The concentrations of electron donors in aquifer sediments are important to the understanding of the fate and transport of redox-sensitive constituents in groundwater, such as nitrate. For a study by the U.S. Geological Survey National Water-Quality Assessment Program, 50 sediment samples were collected from below the water table from 11 boreholes at the U.S. Geological Survey Agricultural Chemicals Team research site near New Providence, Iowa, during 2006-07. All samples were analyzed for gravel, sand (coarse, medium, and fine), silt, clay, Munsell soil color, inorganic carbon content, and for the following electron donors: organic carbon, ferrous iron, and inorganic sulfide. A subset of 14 sediment samples also was analyzed for organic sulfur, but all of these samples had concentrations less than the method detection limit; therefore, the presence of this potential electron donor was not considered further. X-ray diffraction analyses provided important semi-quantitative information of well-crystallized dominant minerals within the sediments that might be contributing electron donors.
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USGS Numbered Series
Electron donor concentrations in sediments and sediment properties at the agricultural chemicals team research site near New Providence, Iowa, 2006-07