Agriculturaf use of fertilizers and herbicides has often resulted in nitrate and atrazine contamination of the shallow aquifers that underlay cultivated fields. In several cases, the concentrations of atrazine and nitrate dissolved in ground water are positively correlated (Spalding ef al., 1979; Chen and Druliner, 1987; Spalding et al., 1989). Because simultaneous application of nitrate fertilizers and the herbicide, atrazine, is common, the co-occurrence of these contaminants in ground water is not entirely unexpected. However, the possibility also exists that this co-occurrence may ret&t interactions of atrazine with nitrate in the subsurface environment. R&ton and Cervelh (1980), McElhannon ei al. (1984) and Mills (1984) have reported that atrazine inhibits denitrification in‘soil’lf this i‘s indeed the case, atrazine contamination may contribute to nitrate preservation and accumulation in anaerobic aquifers by inhibiting denitrification, the principal mechanism for nitrate removal in anaerobic systems. Huwever, the effect of atrazine on the rate of denit~ficat~on in soils remains controversial, because atrazine has been reported variously to enhance denitrification (Cervelli and Ralston, 1983) or to have no effect on denitrification in soils (Bollag and Henninger, 1976; Yeomans and Bremner, IQ85, 1987). Moreover, the effect of dissolved atrazine concentrations on the rate of denitrification in aquifer sediments has not been reported. Our purpose was to determine the elects of dissolved atrazine concentrations on potential rates ofdenitri~~t~on in aquifer sediments from two different agricultural areas to evaluate the hypothesis that, by inhibiting denitrification, atrazine contributes to nitrate preservation in anaerobic aquifer systems.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Effect of atrazine on potential denitrification in aquifer sediments|
|Series title||Soil Biology and Biochemistry|
|Contributing office(s)||Toxic Substances Hydrology Program|