In agricultural lowland landscapes, intensive agricultural is accompanied by a wide use of agrochemical application, like pesticides and fertilizers. The latter often causes serious environmental threats such as N compounds leaching and surface water eutrophication; additionally, since perchlorate can be present as impurities in many fertilizers, the potential presence of perchlorates and their by-products like chlorates and chlorites in shallow groundwater could be a reason of concern. In this light, the present manuscript reports the first temporal and spatial variation of chlorates, chlorites and major anions concentrations in the shallow unconfined aquifer belonging to Ferrara province (in the Po River plain). The study was made in 56 different locations to obtain insight on groundwater chemical composition and its sediment matrix interactions. During the monitoring period from 2010 to 2011, in June 2011 a nonpoint pollution of chlorates was found in the shallow unconfined aquifer belonging to Ferrara province. Detected chlorates concentrations ranged between 0.01 and 38 mg/l with an average value of 2.9 mg/l. Chlorates were found in 49 wells out of 56 and in all types of lithology constituting the shallow aquifer. Chlorates concentrations appeared to be linked to NO3 −, volatile fatty acids (VFA) and oxygen reduction potential (ORP) variations. Chlorates behaviour was related to the biodegradation of perchlorates, since perchlorates are favourable electron acceptors for the oxidation of labile dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in groundwater. Further studies must take into consideration to monitor ClO4 − in pore waters and groundwater to better elucidate the mass flux of ClO4 − in shallow aquifers belonging to agricultural landscapes. The main findings are the first recognition in Europe of ClO3 − temporal and spatial variation concentrations in a shallow unconfined aquifer belonging to agricultural landscapes.
Chlorate origin and fate in shallow groundwater below agricultural landscapes / Mastrocicco, Micòl; Di Giuseppe, Dario; Vincenzi, Fabio; Colombani, Nicolò; Castaldelli, Giuseppe. - In: ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION. - ISSN 0269-7491. - ELETTRONICO. - 231:Pt 2(2017), pp. 1453-1462. [10.1016/j.envpol.2017.09.007]