A new method is described for the analysis of atrazine and four of its degradation products (desethylatrazine, deisopropylatrazine, didealkylatrazine, and hydroxyatrazine) in water. This method uses solid- phase extraction on a graphitized carbon black cartridge, derivatization of the eluate with N-methyl-N-(tert-butyldimethylsilyl)trifluoroacetamide (MTBSTFA), and analysis by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). This method was used to analyze lysimeter samples collected from a field in central Indiana in 1994 and 1995. Atrazine and its degradation products were transported rapidly through the vadose zone. Maximum values of atrazine ranged from 2.61 to 8.44 ??g/L and occurred from 15 to 57 days after application. Maximum concentrations of the degradation products occurred from 11 to 140 days after atrazine application. The degradation products were more persistent than atrazine in pore water. Desethylatrazine was the dominant degradation product detected in the first year, and didealkylatrazine was the dominant degradation product detected in the second year. Concentrations of atrazine and the degradation products sorbed onto soil were estimated; maximum concentrations ranged from 7.3 to 24 ??g/kg for atrazine and were less than 5 ??g/kg for all degradation products. Degradation of atrazine and transport of all five compounds were simulated by the vadose zone flow model LEACHM. LEACHM was run as a Darcian-flow model and as a non-Darcian-flow model.
Additional publication details
Analysis of atrazine and four degradation products in the pore water of the vadose zone, central Indiana