National Research Program

Comparative Study of Organic Degradation in Selected Hydrologic Environments

Degradation of organic material produces organic compounds that both alter the quality of water and affect the inorganic reactions. The hydrogeologic controls on organic-inorganic reactions, their rate, and progress are not well understood. This project focuses on the occurrence and fate of organic compounds in (1) contaminant aquifers, (2) soils, and (3) lake sediments. Project objectives are to increase our understanding of reactions involving organic matter and to evaluate the significance of these reactions in geochemical studies. Of particular interest are: identifying organic and inorganic compounds that are present as a result of the degradation of organic material; studying the interaction of organic compounds with soil and aquifer materials; and using geochemical models to describe processes in organic-rich environments. For additional information about this project, see project page:
Organic Compounds in Near-Surface Environments: Understanding Fate in a Changing Biogechmical Landscape.


Baedecker, M.J., Eganhouse, R.P.,. Bekins, B.A., and Delin, G.N., 2011, Loss of volatile hydrocarbons from an LNAPL oil source: Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, v. 126, no. 3-4, p.140-152. (on-line abstract of journal article)

Bekins, B.A., Baedecker, M.J., Eganhouse, R.P., and Herkelrath, W.N., 2011, Long-term natural attenuation of crude oil in the subsurface, in GQ10, , in Hoehn. E., and Schirmer, M., eds., Groundwater Quality Management in a Rapidly Changing World, Proceedings 7th International Groundwater Quality Conference held in Zurich, Switzerland, 13–18 June 2010, IAHS Publ. 342, p. 123-127. (on-line abstract of article)

Drennan, D.M., Bekins, B.A., Warren, E., Cozzarelli, I.M., Baedecker, M.J., Herkelrath, W.N., and Delin, G.N., 2010, Fate and transport of petroleum hydrocarbons in the subsurface near Cass Lake, Minnesota: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2010-5085, 33 p. (on-line abstract or on-line report in pdf format, 19.9 MB)

Hornberger, G.M., Baedecker, M.J., Chin, Y-P, Daigger, G.T., Fountain, T.R., Kratz, T.K., Lawford, R.G., Loucks, D.P., O’Melia, C.R., Polasky, S., Rabalais, N.N., Scholz, J.T., and Winter, T.C., 2010, Review of the WATERS network science plan: The National Academies Press, 69 p. (on-line book)

Baedecker, M.J. and Wood, W.W., 2009, William "Bill" Back: An Incisive Geochemist and a Great Mentor: Ground Water, v. 47, no. 2, p. 314-318. (on-line article in pdf format,173 KB, compilation by the National Ground Water Association; no claim to original US government works.)

Baedecker, M.J., 2003, Overview of Water, Energy, Biogeochemical Budgets Program of the US Geological Survey in The First Interagency Conference on Research in the Watersheds, 27-30 October 2003, Benson, AZ, Proceedings, 6p. (on-line report, pdf format)

Bjerg, P.L., Albrechtsen, H.-J., Kjeldsen, P., Christensen, T.H., and Cozzarelli, I.M., 2003, The Geochemistry of waste disposal facilities in groundwater, in Lollar, B.S., ed., Environmental Geochemistry, Treatise on Geochemistry, v. 9: Elsevier, p. 579-612.

Christenson, S.C., and Cozzarelli, I.M., 2003, The Norman Landfill Environmental Research Site: What Happens to the Waste in Landfills?: US Geological Survey Fact Sheet FS-040-03. (on-line fact sheet)

Cozzarelli, I.M., and Baehr, A.L., 2003, Volatile fuel hydrocarbons and MTBE in the environment, in Lollar, B.S., ed., Environmental Geochemistry, Treatise on Geochemistry, v. 9: Elsevier, p. 433-474.

Essaid, H.I., Cozzarelli, I.M., Eganhouse, R.P., Herkelrath, W.N., Bekins, B.A., and Delin, G.N., 2003, Inverse modeling of BTEX dissolution and biodegradation at the Bemidji, MN crude-oil spill site, Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, v. 67, pp 269-299. (on-line abstract)

Ulrich, G.A., Breit, G.N., Cozzarelli, I.M., Suflita, J.M., 2003, Sources of sulfate supporting anaerobic metabolism in a contaminated aquifer: Environmental Science and Technology, v. 37, p. 1,093-1,099. (on-line abstract)

Bekins, B.A., Cozzarelli, I.M., Warren, E., Godsy, E.M., 2002, Microbial ecology of a crude-oil contaminated aquifer, in Thornton, S.F., and Oswald, S.E., eds., Natural and Enhanced Restoration of Groundwater Pollution: International Association of Hydrological Sciences, IAHS Red Book Series no 275, p. 57-63. (on-line abstract)

Cozzarelli, I.M. 2002, Impact of organic contaminants on the evolution of ground-water geochemistry, 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. 30-32. (on-line report)

Grossman, E.L., Cifuentes, L.A., and Cozzarelli, I.M., 2002, Anaerobic methane oxidation in a landfill-leachate plume, Environmental Science & Technology, v. 36, no. 11, p. 2436-2442. (on-line abstract)

Herman, J.S., Mills, A. L., and Cozzarelli, I.M., 2002, Alteration of reactive mineral surfaces by ground water, in Wilkin, R.T., Ludwig, R.D., and Ford, R.G., eds, Proceedings of the Workshop on Monitoring Oxidation-Reduction Processes for Ground-water Restoration, Dallas, Texas, April 25-27, 2000: Cincinnati, OH, U.S. Enviromental Protection Agency, EPA/600/R-02/002, p. 39-42. (on-line report)

Mary Jo Baedecker, Scientist Emeritus
U.S. Geological Survey, MS 432, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston, VA 20192
Telephone: 703-648-5858

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

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