Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is a chemical constituent that is present in measurable quantities in virtually all groundwater. Because DOC typically consists of many thousands of different carbon-bearing compounds, its composition and its chemical and biological properties can be difficult to assess. This book summaries the most common sources of DOC to groundwater, the various analytical techniques for characterizing that DOC, the chemical and biological processes that control DOC concentrations, and the chemical and biological processes that affect the bioavailability of DOC. This book explains how and why DOC is important in the study of both pristine and contaminated groundwater.

DOC is an indicator of groundwater quality that can be determined by what have become standard methods. Other such indicator parameters are TDS (total dissolved solids), pH, Eh (redox potential) and EC (electrical conductance). These latter four indicator parameters are accepted as having broad usefulness in groundwater investigations and are commonly reported as part of the description of the nature of any groundwater. After 50 years of DOC research, there is sufficient literature to support DOC as an indicator parameter deserving a level of attention similar to these other indicator parameters.


Dissolved Organic Carbon in Groundwater Systems Copyright © 2022 by Francis H. Chapelle. All Rights Reserved.