Environmental science and pollution research international

Spatial distribution of triazine residues in a shallow alluvial aquifer linked to groundwater residence time.

PMID 27448811


At present, some triazine herbicides occurrence in European groundwater, 13xa0years after their use ban in the European Union, remains of great concern and raises the question of their persistence in groundwater systems due to several factors such as storage and remobilization from soil and unsaturated zone, limited or absence of degradation, sorption in saturated zones, or to continuing illegal applications. In order to address this problem and to determine triazine distribution in the saturated zone, their occurrence is investigated in the light of the aquifer hydrodynamic on the basis of a geochemical approach using groundwater dating tracers ((3)H/(3)He). In this study, atrazine, simazine, terbuthylazine, deethylatrazine, deisopropylatrazine, and deethylterbuthylazine are measured in 66 samples collected between 2011 and 2013 from 21 sampling points, on the Vistrenque shallow alluvial aquifer (southern France), covered by a major agricultural land use. The frequencies of quantification range from 100 to 56xa0% for simazine and atrazine, respectively (LQxa0=xa01xa0ngxa0L(-1)). Total triazine concentrations vary between 15 and 350xa0ngxa0L(-1) and show three different patterns with depth below the water table: (1) low concentrations independent of depth but related to water origin, (2) an increase in concentrations with depth in the aquifer related to groundwater residence time and triazine use prior to their ban, and (3) relatively high concentrations at low depths in the saturated zone more likely related to a slow desorption of these compounds from the soil and unsaturated zone. The triazine attenuation rate varies between 0.3 for waters influenced by surface water infiltration and 4.8 for water showing longer residence times in the aquifer, suggesting an increase in these rates with water residence time in the saturated zone. Increasing triazine concentrations with depth is consistent with a significant decrease in the use of these pesticides for the last 10xa0years on this area and highlights the efficiency of their ban.

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Simazine-d10, PESTANAL®, analytical standard