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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 33 No. 4, p. 1487-1498
     
    Received: Sept 16, 2003
    Published: July, 2004


    * Corresponding author(s): istewart@meteora.ucsd.edu
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doi:10.2134/jeq2004.1487

Assessing Ground Water Vulnerability with the Type Transfer Function Model in the San Joaquin Valley, California

  1. Iris T. Stewart *a and
  2. Keith Loagueb
  1. a Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0224
    b Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94035-2115

Abstract

The recently developed type transfer function (TTF) simulation approach was applied to generate a regional-scale nonpoint-source ground water vulnerability assessment for the San Joaquin Valley, California. The computationally comparatively inexpensive TTF approach produces quantitative estimates of contaminant concentrations for large regional scales through characteristic functions based on different soil textures and their leaching properties. The TTF simulations employed an extensive soil and recharge database to estimate atrazine (1-chloro-3-ethylamino-5-isopropylamino-2,4,6-triazine) concentrations at a compliance depth of 3 m resulting from a surface application. Two different sets of TTFs with two different levels of upscaling were used for spatially uniform and distributed recharge estimates. Results show that estimated atrazine concentrations can be related to soil survey information. Areas with high potential vulnerability to atrazine leaching were found for soils with low organic carbon content and sandy loam and loam textures. Travel times for atrazine peak concentrations to the compliance depth ranged from 350 to 730 d. The extent of areas with estimated atrazine concentrations above the maximum contaminant level was less extensive when uniform annual recharge values were used. Simulated TTF concentrations were highest for eastern Fresno County, a vulnerability pattern that is also supported by field observations. The TTF modeling approach is shown to be a useful tool for quantitative pesticide leaching estimates at regional scales significantly larger than those of previous studies.

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