National Research Program


Comprehensive Organic Analysis of Water

A disproportionate amount of research in water chemistry has been directed towards defining trace levels of organic contaminants in water whereas the structures and characteristics of natural organic substances, in the dissolved, suspended, and bed sediment phases, are very poorly understood. A better knowledge of the nature of natural organic substances in water is essential to the advancement of many diverse sciences, such as organic geochemistry, aquatic biology, soil science, hydrology involving contaminant transport, and even atmospheric chemistry involving carbon cycle research. The Water Resources Division is conducting significant research on the nature of humic substances in water, which comprise less than one-half of the total organic carbon in water; a comprehensive study of the entire suite of compound classes comprising natural organic substances has been lacking. Objectives are to conduct comprehensive organic analyses of various surface-water samples where comprehensive analyses is defined as "state-of-the-art" organic analyses on as many classes (humic substances, lipids, proteins, carbohydrates, etc.) as possible within the time and resource limitations of the project; develop chromatographic, selective extraction, and derivatization methods for organic substance characterization by infrared, nuclear magnetic resonance, and mass spectrometric methods; define the chemical, biologic, and hydrologic processes which both produce and diagenetically alter natural organic substances in water; and conduct interdisciplinary studies with colleagues to determine significance and mechanisms of contaminant binding with natural organic substances. For additional information, see projects home page

REPORTS PUBLISHED 2002-2007

Reddy, M.M. and Leenheer, J., 2011, Calcite Growth - Rate Inhibition by Fulvic Acids Isolated from Big Soda Lake, Nevada, USA, The Suwannee River, Georgia, USA and by Polycarboxylic Acids: Annals of Environmental Science, v. 5, p. 41-53. (on-line abstract or on-line journal article in pdf format, 1356 KB, maintained by Northeastern University with free access))

Leenheer, J.A. 2009, Systematic approaches to comprehensive analyses of natural organic matter: Annals of Environmental Science, v. 3, p. 1-130. (on-line preface or on-line paper in pdf format, 7,743 KB, published with open access by Northeastern University)

Leenheer, J.A., Izbicki, J.A., Rostad, C.E., Noyes, T.I., and Woodside, G., 2008, Discovery of cyanuric acid during an assessment of natural organic matter in stormflow water of the Santa Ana River, southern California, 2003–2004: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2007–5048, 13 p. (on-line abstract or on-line report in pdf format, 1.1 MB)

Leenheer, J.A., and Reddy, M.M., 2008, Co-Precipitation of Dissolved Organic Matter by Calcium Carbonate in Pyramid Lake, Nevada : Annals of Environmental Science, v. 2, p. 11-25. (on-line abstract or on-line article in pdf format, 221 KB)

Peters, K.E., Hostettler, F.D., Lorenson, T.D., and Rosenbauer, R.J., 2008, Families of Miocene Monterey crude oil, seep, and tarball samples, coastal Cailfornia: American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin, v. 92, p. 1131-1152.

Reemtsma, T., These, A., Linscheid, M., Leenheer, J.A., and Spitzy, A., 2008, Molecular and structural characterization of dissolved organic matter from the deep ocean by FTICR-MS, Including Hydrophilic Nitrogenous Organic Molecules: Environmental Science and Technology, v. 42, p. 1,430-1,437. (on-line abstract of journal article)

Herckes, P., Leenheer, J.A., and Collett Jr., J.L., 2007, A new comprehensive approach to characterizing carbonaceous aerosol with an application to wintertime Fresno, California PM2.5: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions, v. 7, no. 3, p. 8423-8453. (on-line abstract or on-line paper in pdf format, 767 KB, an Open Access Journal of the European Geosciences Union)

Herckes, P., Leenheer, J.A., and Collett Jr., J.L., 2007, Comprehensive characterization of atmospheric organic matter in Fresno, California fog water: Environmental Science and Technology, v. 41, no. 2, p. 393-399. (on-line abstract of journal article)

Izbicki, J.A., Pimental, I.M., Johnson, R., Aiken, G.R., and Leenheer, J.A., 2007, Concentration, UV-spectral characteristics and fractionation of DOC in stormflow from an urban stream, Southern California, USA: Environmental. Chemistry, v. 4, no. 1, p. 35-48. (on-line abstract of journal article)

Leenheer, J.A., 2007, Progression from model structures to molecular structures of natural organic matter components: Annals of Environmental Science, v.1, p. 57-68. (on-line abstract or on-line article in pdf format, 166 KB, Northeastern University maintains and provides free access to aritcles in Annals of Environmental Science)

Leenheer, J.L., Aiken, G.R., Woodside, G. and O'Connor-Patel, K., 2007, DOM in recharge waters of the Santa Ana River Basin: Journal of the American Water Works Association, v. 99, p. 118-131. (on-line abstract of journal article)

Leenheer, J.A., Dotson, A., Westerhoff, P., 2007, Dissolved organic nitrogen fractionation: Annals of Environmental Science, v.1, p. 45-56. (on-line abstract or on-line article in pdf format, 434 KB, Northeastern University maintains and provides free access to aritcles in Annals of Environmental Science)

Reeves, III, J. B., McCarty, G. W., Rutherford, D. W., and  Wershaw, R.L., 2007, Near-infrared spectroscopic examination of charred pine wood, bark, cellulose and lignin: Implications for the quantitative determination of charcoal in soils by NIRS: Journal of Near-Infrared Spectroscopy, v. 15, p. 307-315. (on-line abstract of journal article)

Rostad, C.E., 2007, Studies on disinfection by-products and drinking water: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2004-3032. (on-line fact sheet in pdf format, 1.08 MB)

Rostad, C.E., and Daniel, S.R., 2007, Distribution of selected organic compounds among suspended particulate, colloid and aqueous phases in the Mississippi River and selected tributaries: Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, v. 53, p. 151-158. (on-line abstract of journal article)

Rostad, C.E., and Hostettler, F.D., 2007, Profiling refined hydrocarbon fuels using polar components: Environmental Forensics, v. 8, p. 129-137 (on-line abstract of journal article).

Leenheer, J.A., 2006, Total organic matter fractionation: Proceedings of the 13th meeting of the International Humic Substances Society, July 30-August 4, Karlsruhe, Germany, p. 25-28.

Rostad, C.E., 2006, Differentiation of commercial fuels based on polar components using negative electrospray ionization/mass spectrometry: Environmental Forensics, v. 7, no. 1, p. 5-14. (on-line abstract of journal article)

Bekins, B.A., Hostettler, F.D., Herkelrath, W.N., Delin, G.N., Warren, E., and Essaid, H.I., 2005, Progression of methanogenic degradation of crude oil in the subsurface: Environmental Geosciences, v. 12, p. 139-152. (on-line abstract of journal article)

Peters, K.E., and Hostettler, F.D., 2005, Organic materials in geology, in Nibbering, N.M.M., ed., Fundamentals of and Applications to Organic and Organometallic Compounds: The Encyclopedia of Mass Spectrometry, v. 4, Elsevier, p. 886-899.

Rostad, C.E., 2005, Screening of Polar Components of Petroleum Products by Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry: Energy and Fuels, v. 19, no. 3, p. 992-997, DOI: 10.1021/ef049752v. (on-line abstract of journal article)

Hostettler, F.D., Rosenbauer, R.J., Lorenson, T.D., and Dougherty, J., 2004, Geochemical characterization of tarbells along the California coast, part I - Shallow seepage impacting the Santa Barbara Channel Islands, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, and San Miguel: Organic Geochemistry, v. 35, no. 725-746. (on-line summary plus)

Kvenvolden, K.A., and Hostettler, F.D., 2004, Geochemistry of coastal tarballs in sourthern California-A tribute to I.R. Kaplan, in Hill, R.J., Leventhal, J., Aizenshtat, Z., Baedecker, M.J., Claypool, G., Eganhouse, R., Goldhaber, M., and Peters, K., eds., Geochemical Investigations in Earth and Space Science - A Tribute to Isaac R. Kaplan: Special Publication Series No. 9, The Geochemical Society, Elsevier, Amsterdam, p. 197-209.

Leenheer, J.A., and Rostad, C.E., 2004, Tannins and terpenoids as major percursors of Suwannee River fulvic acid: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2004-5276, 17 p. (on-line report)

Leenheer, J.A., and Rostad, C.E., 2004, Fractionation and characterization of organic matter in wastewater from a swine waste-retention basin: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2004-5217, 21 p. (on-line report)

Leenheer, J.A, Noyes, T.I., Rostad, C.E., and Davisson, M.L., 2004, Characterization and origin of polar dissolved organic matter from the Great Salt Lake: Biogeochemistry, v. 69, no. 1, p. 125-141. (on-line abstract)

Petty, J.D., Huckins, J.N., Alvarez, D.A., Brumbaugh, W.G., Cranor, W.L., Gale, R.W., Rastall, A.C., Jones-Lepp, T.L., Leiker, T.J., Rostad, C.E., and Furlong, E.T., 2004, A holistic passive integrative sampling approach for assessing the presence and potential impacts of waterborne environmental contaminants: Chemosphere, v. 54, no. 6, p. 695-705. (on-line summary plus)

Rathbun, R.E., and Rostad, C.E., 2004, Lateral mixing in the Mississippi River below the confluence with the Ohio River: Water Resources Research, v. 40, no. 5. (on-line abstract)

Rostad, C.E., Bishop, L.M., Ellis, G.E., Leiker, T.J., Monsterleet, S.G., and Pereira, W.E., 2004, Organic contaminants associated with suspended sediment collected during five cruises of the Mississippi River and its principal tributaries, May 1988 to June 1990: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 93-360, 54 p. (on-line report)

Rostad, C.E., Bishop, L.M., Pereira, W.E., and Leiker, T.J., 2004, Data for selected organic contaminants in the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers near their confluence, June 1989 and May-June 1990: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 93-371, 18 p. (on-line report)

Rostad, C.E., and Leenheer, J.A., 2004, Factors that affect molecular weight distribution of Suwannee River fulvic acid as determined by electrospray ionization/mass spectrometry: Analytica Chimica Acta, v. 523, no. 2, p. 269-278. (on-line abstract)

Barber, L.B., and Rostad, C.E., 2003, Specific organic contaminants, in Schroeder, R.A., ed., Water-quality changes and organic-carbon characterization during recharge with recycled water at a research basin in Montebello Forebay, Los Angeles, California, 1991-1996: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 03-4146, chapt. 12, p. 116-122.

Chen, W., Westerhoff, P., Leenheer, J.A., and Booksh, K., 2003, Fluorescence excitation-emission matrix regional integration to quantify spectra for dissolved organic matter: Environmental Science and Technology, v. 38, p. 5701-5710.

Croué, J.-P., Benedetti, M.F., Violleau, D., and Leenheer, J.A., 2003, Characterization and copper binding of humic and nonhumic organic matter isolated from the South Platte River: Evidence for the presence of nitrogenous binding site: Environmental Science and Technology, v. 37, no. 2, p. 328 - 336. (on-line abstract)

Godsy, E.M., Hostettler, F.D., Warren, E., Paganelli, V.V., and Kharaka, Y.K., 2003, The fate of petroleum and other organics associated with produced water from the Osage-Skiatook petroleum environmental research sites, Osage County, Oklahoma in Kharaka, Y.K., and Otton, J.K., eds., Environmental impacts of petroleum production: Initial results from the Osage-Skiatook petroleum environmental research (OSPER) Sites, Osage County, Oklahoma: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 03-4260, p. 84-102. (to access on-line report in pdf format - 7MB)

Leenheer, J.A., and Barber, L.B., 2003, Hierarchal approach to organic matter characterization, in Schroeder, R.A., ed., Water-quality changes and organic-carbon characterization during recharge with recycled water at a research basin in Montebello Forebay, Los Angeles, California, 1991-1996: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 03-4146, chapt. 6, p. 57-60.

Leenheer, J.A., and Croué, J.-P., 2003, Characterizing aquatic dissolved organic matter: Environmental Science and Technology, v. 37, no. 1, p. 18A - 25A. (on-line file in pdf format)

Leenheer, J.A., Ferrer, I., Furlong, E.T., and Rostad, C.E., 2003, Charge characteristics and fragmentation of polycarboxylic acids by electrospray ionization - Multistage tandem mass spectrometry, in Ferrer, I., and Thurman, E.M., eds., Liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry, MS/MS and time of flight MS, Analysis of Emerging Contaminants: American Chemical Society Symposium Series 850, p. 312-324.

Leenheer, J.A., Nanny, M.A., McIntyre, C., 2003, Terpenoids as major precursors of dissolved organic matter in landfill leachates, surface water, and groundwater: Environmental Science and Technology, v. 37, no. 11, p. 2323-2331. (on-line abstract)

Leenheer, J.A., and Noyes, T.I., 2003, Characterization of dissolved organic matter by infrared and ultraviolet/visible spectrometry, in Schroeder, R.A., ed., Water-quality changes and organic-carbon characterization during recharge with recycled water at a research basin in Montebello Forebay, Los Angeles, California, 1991-1996: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 03-4146, chapt. 9, p. 89-101.

Leenheer, J.A., Wershaw, R.L., Brown, G.K., and Reddy, M.M., 2003, Characterization and diagenesis of strong-acid carboxyl groups in humic substances: Applied Geochemistry, v. 18, p. 471-482. (on-line abstract)

Rostad, C.E., and Rathbun, R.E., 2003, Distributions of halogenated organic compounds, in Schroeder, R.A., ed., Water-quality changes and organic-carbon characterization during recharge with recycled water at a research basin in Montebello Forebay, Los Angeles, California, 1991-1996: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 03-4146, chapt. 11, p. 109-115.

Thorn, K.A., Rostad, C.E., and Noyes, T.I., 2003, Isolation and characterization of colloids, in Schroeder, R.A., ed., Water-quality changes and organic-carbon characterization during recharge with recycled water at a research basin in Montebello Forebay, Los Angeles, California, 1991-1996: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 03-4146, chapt. 7, p. 61-77.

Wershaw, R.L., Rutherford, D.W., Leenheer, J.A., Kennedy, K.R., Cox, L.G., and Koci, D.R., 2003, Biogeochemical processes that produce dissolved organic matter from wheat straw: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigation Report 03-4213. (on-line abstract or report)

Wershaw, R.L., Rutherford, D.W., Rostad, C.E., Garbarino, J.R., Ferrer, I., Kennedy, K.R., Momplaisir, G., Grange, A., 2003, Mass spectrometric identification of an azobenzene derivative produced by smectite-catalyzed conversion of 3-amino-4-hydroxyphenylar-sonic acid: Talanta, v. 59, no. 6, p. 1219-1226. (on-line abstract)

Godsy, E.M., Hostettler, F.D., Warren, E., Paganelli, V.V., and Kharaka, Y.K., 2002, Environmental impacts of petroleum production: The fate of petroleum and other organics associated with produced water from the Osage-Sakiatook Petroleum Environm Environmental Research sites, Osage County, Oklahoma, in Sublette, K.L., ed., Proceedings of the 9th International Petroleum Environmental Conference: Issues and Solutions in Exploration, Production and Refining, Albuquerque, NM: Integrated Petroleum Environmental Consortium (IPEC) and the University of Tulsa, 18 p., CD-ROM format. (on-line report in pdf format)

Hostettler, F.D., and Kvenvolden, K.A., 2002, Alkylcyclohexanes in environmental geochemistry: Proceedings of the 25th Arctic and Marine Oilspill Program (AMOP) Technical seminar, June 11-13, 2002, Alberta, Canada, v. 1, p. 489-502.

Hostettler, F.D., and Kvenvolden, K.A., 2002, Alkylcyclohexanes in environmental geochemistry: Environmental Forensics, v. 3, no. 3-4, p. 293-301. (on-line abstract)

Kvenvolden, K.A., Hostettler, F.D., Rosenbauer, R.J., Lorenson, T.L., Castle, W.T., and Sugarman, S., 2002, Hydrocarbons in recent sediment of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary: Marine Geology, v. 181, p. 101-113. (on-line abstract)

Leenheer, J.A., 2002, Processes controlling attenuation of dissolved organic matter in the subsurface, in Aiken, G.R., and Kuniansky, E.L., eds., U.S. Geological Survey Artificial Recharge Workshop Proceedings, Sacramento, California: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 02-89, p. 23-25. (on-line abstract)

Lorenson, T.D., Kvenvolden, K.A., Hostettler, F.D., Rosenbauer, R.J., Orange, D.L., and Martin, J.B., 2002, Hydrocarbon geochemistry of cold seeps in the Monerey Bay National Marine Sancturary: Marine Geology, v. 181, p. 285-304. (on-line abstract)

Rostad, C.E., 2002, Fate of disinfection by-products in the subsurface, in Aiken, G.R., and Kuniansky, E.L., eds., U.S. Geological Survey Artificial Recharge Workshop Proceedings, Sacramento, California: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 02-89, p. 26-29. (on-line report)

Stanley, G.R., Jachens, R.C., Lillis, P.G., Mclaughlin, R.J., Kvenvolden, K.A., Hostettler, F.D., McDougall, K.A., and Magoon, L.B., 2002, Subsurface and petroleum geology of the southwestern Santa Clara Valley ("Silicon Valley"), California: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1663, 55p. (on-line report)

Taylor, C.J., and Hostettler, F.D., 2002, Hydrogeologic framework and geochemistry of ground water and petroleum in the Silurian-Devonian carbonate aquifer, south-central Louisville, Kentucky: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 02-4123, 3 p.


For additional bibliographic citations by David Rutherford, also see Environmental Dynamics of Persistent Organic Compounds

For additional bibliographic citations by Kevin Thorn, also see Behavior of Natural Polyelectrolytes in Water

For additional bibliographic citations by Frances Hostettler, also see Origin, Fate, and Transport of Organic Compounds in Surface and Ground Waters and Their Effect on Water Quality

For information on additional projects in the National Research Program, see Indexes to NRP projects and bibliographies.

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