Non-ideal sorption and extensive elution tailing behavior of atrazine was evaluated for an agricultural soil with and without stable manure amendment (10% by weight). A series of laboratory experiments showed that the sorption of atrazine was described by rate-limited, nonlinear reversible processes (Freundlich isotherm) for both non-amended and amended soil. Non-ideal transport of atrazine exhibited extensive low concentration elution tailing due to the most likely organic carbon fraction in the soil. This tailing behavior was more pronounced and extensive for soil with 10% stable-manure amendment. Two-site transport modeling analyses including non-linear sorption and rate-limited sorption-desorption provided a reasonably good match to the atrazine breakthrough curves but were unable to match the long-term concentration tailing, even for non-amended soil. A mathematical model incorporating nonlinear, rate-limited sorption/desorption described by a continuous-distribution function was used to successfully simulate atrazine transport early-time breakthrough and long-term concentration tailing for both non-amended and amended soil conditions.
Keywords: Atrazine; Continuous distribution function; Desorption; Rate-limited; Sorption; Transport modeling.
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