AUTC project number: 309026
David L. Barnes (UAF)
The Alaska Railroad Corporation needs effective, low-cost ways to manage vegetation growth along rail lines. This project, in partnership with the USDA Agricultural Research Service, is investigating the environmental fate, attenuation, and effectiveness of herbicides currently being evaluated for use along Alaska's transportation corridors. Questions addressed include: Once these herbicides are applied, how long does it take for them to enter the soil? Where do they go? How long does it take for them to dissipate? The herbicides have been applied near Seward, the southern end of the ARRC rail line. Researchers are tracking these applications over two years through a series of soil and groundwater samples to obtain site-specific attenuation data. They are also performing mass balance studies on the herbicides using lysimeters installed at the Experimental Farm on the Fairbanks campus. Results will yield a better understanding of the environmental fate of these herbicides in Alaska's maritime subarctic zone.