Methyl-tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE), an additive used to oxygenate gasoline, has been detected in lakes in northwestern New Jersey. This occurrence has been attributed to the use of gasoline-powered watercraft. This paper documents and explains both seasonal and daily variations in MTBE concentrations at Cranberry Lake. During a recent boating season (late April to September 1999), concentrations of MTBE typically exceeded 20??g/L. MTBE concentrations varied daily from 12 to 24??g/L over a 2-week period that included the Labor Day holiday. Concentrations were highest on weekends when there is more boat traffic, which had an immediate effect on MTBE mass throughout the lake. MTBE concentrations decreased to about 2??g/L shortly after the end of the summer recreational season. The loss of MTBE can be accounted for by volatilization, with a half-life on the order of 10 days. The volatilization rate was modeled with the daily decrease in MTBE then the modeled rate was validated using the data from the seasonal decline. ?? 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Seasonal and daily variations in concentrations of methyl-tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE) at Cranberry Lake, New Jersey