From: Pixie A Hamilton [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Monday, May 19, 2008 3:51 PM
Subject: Journal of Environmental Quality features USGS investigations
in five agricultural watersheds across the U.S.
*** Please feel free to distribute this information to your
We would like to inform you of the May/June issue of Journal of
Environmental Quality, which features in-depth USGS investigations in
five agricultural watersheds across the U.S.
Findings highlight how natural environmental processes and agricultural
practices interact to determine the transport and fate of agricultural
chemicals in the environment. The holistic study design focuses on the
catchment scale and addresses several environmental compartments,
including surface water, ground water, the unsaturated zone, the
streambed, and the atmosphere. The study areas were selected to
represent major agricultural settings and, therefore, findings are
relevant throughout much of the Nation.
The papers can be accessed at
http://jeq.scijournals.org/content/vol37/issue3/ by selecting "Special
Capel and others provide an overview of the holistic study design,
descriptions of the study areas, data-collection methods and water
Domagalski and others discuss the downstream transport of agricultural
chemicals and show how hydrologic and landscape modifications-such as
irrigation and enhanced soil drainage-change the magnitude and timing of
water flux and transport into and through the system.
Vogel and others report on the frequent occurrence of pesticides,
including parent compounds and their degradates, in precipitation.
Alvarez and others demonstrate a passive sampling method to conduct
chemical and toxicological assessments of organic agricultural
contaminants for aquatic biota.
Fisher and Healy explore the movement of water in the unsaturated zone
and provide the basis for Green and others to characterize and compare
the downward movement of nitrogen from the land surface to ground water
in different agricultural settings.
Hancock and others, Steele and others, Bayless and others, and Webb and
others present data and model simulations that highlight the abundance
and persistence of pesticides and their degradates in the unsaturated
zone and their movement to ground water.
Green and others assess the potential for natural attenuation of
nitrate, and conclude that although attenuation by denitrification
occurs to some degree at all sites studied, rates are often too slow to
prevent nitrate transport and contamination of ground water and
discharge to streams.
Essaid and others use heat as a tracer to quantify water flux through
streambeds to help define interactions between surface and ground water.
Building on this work, Puckett and others explore biochemical processes
in the streambed and other site-specific factors that can affect nitrate
Duff and others investigate how whole-stream processes-such as
photosynthesis and transient storage-and stream conditions can change
nitrate loads in surface water receiving agricultural runoff.
For questions on individual papers, please contact the individual
authors: Paul Capel ([log in to unmask], 612- 625-3082), Joe Domagalski
([log in to unmask], 916-278-3077), Jason Vogel ([log in to unmask],
402-328-4130), Chuck Fisher ([log in to unmask], 702-564-4614),
Christopher Green ([log in to unmask], 650-329-4728), Tracy Hancock
([log in to unmask], 804-261-2618), Gregory Steele ([log in to unmask],
402-328-4129), Randall Bayless ([log in to unmask], 317-290-3333 x147),
Richard Webb ([log in to unmask], 303-236-5025), Hedeff Essaid
([log in to unmask], 650-329-4581), Larry Puckett ([log in to unmask],
703-648-5842), and John Duff ([log in to unmask], 650-329-4319).
USGS Office of Water Quality
National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program
1730 E. Parham Rd.
Richmond, VA 23228
(804) 261-2602 (ph)
(804) 261-2657 (fax)
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