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U.S. Geological Survey Toxic Substances Hydrology Program--Proceedings of the Technical Meeting, Colorado Springs, Colorado, September 20-24, 1993, Water-Resources Investigations Report 94-4015

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Reconnaissance Data for Selected Herbicides and Two Atrazine Metabolites in Surface Water of the Midwestern United States: Chemical Analysis by Immunoassay and Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry

by

Elisabeth A. Scribner (U.S. Geological Survey, Lawrence, Kans.), E. Michael Thurman (U.S. Geological Survey, Lawrence, Kans.), and Donald A. Goolsby (U.S. Geological Survey, Denver, Colo.)

Abstract

Water-quality data were collected from 147 rivers and streams during 1989-90 for an assessment of selected preemergent herbicides and two atrazine metabolites in 10 Midwestern States. All water samples were collected by depth-integrating techniques at three to five locations across each stream. Sites were sampled three times in 1989: before application of herbicides, during the first major runoff after application of herbicides, and in the fall during a low-flow period when most of the streamflow was derived from ground water. About 50 sites were selected by a stratified random procedure and resampled for both pre-and post-application herbicide concentrations in 1990 to verify the 1989 analytical results. Laboratory analyses consisted of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) with confirmation by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). The data have been useful in (1) studying herbicide transport, (2) comparing the spatial distribution of the post-application concentrations of 11 herbicides and 2 atrazine metabolites (deethylatrazine and deisopropylatrazine) in streams and rivers at a regional scale, (3) examining the annual persistence of herbicides and their metabolites in surface water, and (4) assessing whether the two atrazine metabolites can be used as indicators of surface- and ground-water interaction.

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