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Organochlorine pesticide residues in bed sediments of the San Joaquin River and its tributary streams, California

January 1, 1987

The distribution and concentrations of organochlorine pesticide residues in bed sediments were assessed from samples collected at 24 sites in the San Joaquin River and its tributaries in the San Joaquin Valley, California. Sampling was designed to collect the finest grained bed sediments present in the vicinity of each site. One or more of the 14 pesticides analyzed were detected at every site. Pesticides detected at one or more sites were chlordane, DDD, DDE, DDT, dieldrin, endosulfan, mirex, and toxaphene. Pesticides not detected were endrin, heptachlor, heptachlor epoxide, lindane, methoxychlor, and perthane. The most frequently detected pesticides were DDD (83% of sites), DDE (all sites), DDT (33% of sites), and dieldrin (58% of sites). Maximum concentrations of these pesticides, which were correlated with each other and with the amount of organic carbon in the sample, were DDD, 260 micrograms/kg; DDE, 430 micrograms/kg; DDT, 420 micrograms/kg; and dieldrin, 8.9 micrograms/kg. Six small tributary streams that drain agricultural areas west of the San Joaquin River had the highest concentrations. Water concentrations and loads were estimated for each pesticide from its concentration in bed sediments, the concentration of suspended sediment, and streamflow. Estimated loadings of DDD, DDE, DDT, and dieldrin from tributaries to the San Joaquin River indicate that most of the loading to the river at the time of the study was probably from the westside tributaries. Estimated water concentrations exceeded the aquatic life criterion for the sum of DDD, DDE, and DDt of 0.001 microgram/L at nine of the 24 sites sampled. Five of the nine sites are westside tributaries and one is the San Joaquin River near Vernalis. (Author 's abstract)

Publication Year 1987
Title Organochlorine pesticide residues in bed sediments of the San Joaquin River and its tributary streams, California
DOI 10.3133/ofr87531
Authors R. J. Gilliom, D.G. Clifton
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 87-531
Index ID ofr87531
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse