Title:
A Relationship Between Nitrate and Iron in Georgia's Groundwater

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Author(s)
Vendrell, Paul F.
Parshall, B. Bush
Hitchcock, Rick
Johnson, William C.
Kissel, David E.
Segars, William I.
McSwain, Kristin Bukowski
Authors
Advisor(s)
Advisor(s)
Editor(s)
Hatcher, Kathryn J.
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Supplementary to
Abstract
A mutually exclusive relationship exists between iron and nitrate-N in the ground waters of Georgia. No high nitrate was detected in the presence of high iron and no high iron in the presence of high nitrate. The proposed mechanism for this relationship is that anaerobic microbial activity causes a process of reduction in which first nitrate is denitrified and then fetric iron is reduced to ferrous iron. The consequence of this relationship is that groundwater contamination by nitrate-N is not widespread in Georgia, due in part to reducing conditions in at least a portion of the aquifer system. Nitrate-N is commonly used as an environmental indicator to trace the impact of agricultural land-use activities on groundwater. In cases where agricultural chemicals or wastes have the potential to leach into groundwater and iron levels are high in the groundwater, the absence of nitrate would not rule out other impacts.
Sponsor
Sponsored and Organized by: U.S. Geological Survey, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Natural Resources Conservation Service, The University of Georgia, Georgia State University, Georgia Institute of Technology
Date Issued
2001-03
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Text
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Proceedings
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