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Dissolved organic carbon (DOC), an index of organic contamination in ground water near Barstow, California

September 1, 1974

The alluvial aquifer underlying and adjacent to the Mojave River near Barstow, California, has been subjected to degradation from percolation of industrial and municipal wastes for more than 60 years. Effluents discharged to the aquifer have contained high concentrations of both organic (detergents, oil and grease, phenols, humic compounds, and others) and inorganic (chromium, chloride, phosphates, and others) substances. The concentration of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), as determined by a wet combustion technique, has been shown to be a definitive parameter in identifying ground water affected by waste disposal. DOC concentrations ranged from 0.1 to 0.8 milligram per liter in the nondegraded ground water and exceeded 6 milligrams per liter in the ground water affected by the waste discharge.

The general distribution of DOC in the degraded ground water has been defined both areally and vertically. The vertical distribution of DOC and other constituents indicates that two plumes of degraded water occur at different depths. A comparison of the areal distribution of DOC and detergents (as MBAS) suggests that some organic compounds may have been adsorbed by the aquifer sediments.

Publication Year 1974
Title Dissolved organic carbon (DOC), an index of organic contamination in ground water near Barstow, California
DOI 10.1111/j.1745-6584.1974.tb03033.x
Authors Jerry L. Hughes, Lawrence A. Eccles, Ronald L. Malcolm
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Groundwater
Index ID 70247399
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse