Journal of environmental quality

Infiltration of acetochlor and two of its metabolites in two contrasting soils.

PMID 14964378


To obtain data concerning the risk of leaching of acetochlor (2-chloro-2'-methyl-6'-ethyl-N-ethoxymethyl-acetanilide) and its major metabolites, ethanesulfonic acid (ESA) and oxanilic acid (OA), to ground water, we studied the fate of these products in two different soil types (luvisol and calcisol) under the same weather conditions. The metabolites were detected in the soils as early as 7 d after application, indicating a rapid onset of acetochlor degradation. Ethanesulfonic acid was predominant over OA in the calcisol, regardless of time or depth, whereas the ESA to OA ratio varied with both time and depth in the luvisol. The maximum depths at which they were detected were 60 to 70 and 10 to 20 cm for ESA and OA, respectively, in the luvisol, and 60 to 70 cm (maximum depth sampled) and 30 to 40 cm for ESA and OA, respectively, in the calcisol. Acetochlor was still detected in the surface layer of the two soils 344 d after its application, although the molecule was partially leached. The maximum depths at which acetochlor was detected (60-70 cm in the luvisol and 50-60 cm [maximum depth sampled] in the calcisol) were recorded during the first sampling 7 d after application. Acetochlor was not detected on later dates below the 30- to 40-cm layer in the calcisol or the 5- to 10-cm layer in the luvisol. The greater preferential flow in the luvisol, which would have favored leaching, might partially explain why the mass balances done 7 d after application were lower in the luvisol (approximately 26%) than in the calcisol (approximately 45%).

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