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SOIL DRYNESS AND ITS EFFECT ON TOXIC COPPER MOBILITY

Pages : 64 – 75

Hossam Altaher, Andrea Dietrich and John Novak

Abstract:

Copper is applied to many crops as a fungicide/bactericide, including plasticulture tomato growing operations. Therefore, a laboratory study was undertaken to determine if this agricultural copper can migrate in soil and to determine the mechanisms that account for the movement through soil to the subsurface. Total Organic Carbon (TOC), dryness and its temperature cycle and water content of the soil were selected for study. These factors were investigated in both batch and continuous flow (column) processes. Results demonstrated that copper mobility through soil columns was associated with TOC mobility and soil drying had a major effect on both copper and TOC mobility. The concentration of copper eluted from columns containing dried soils was as high as 120 ug/l copper and 150 mg/l TOC. The copper and TOC concentrations from dried soils were very high compared with those containing wet soils. The extent of dryness was found to affect mobility. A first-flush-pattern for both copper and TOC was observed in all columns studies.

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