Environmental Geochemistry and Health, 2017, Vol.39(6), pp.1291-1304
European floodplain soils are frequently contaminated with potentially toxic inorganic substances. We used a multi-surface model to estimate the aqueous concentrations of Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn in three Mollic Fluvisols from the Central Elbe River (Germany). The model considered complexation in solution and interactions with soil organic matter (SOM), a clay mineral and hydrous Al, Fe and Mn oxides. The amounts of reactive metals were derived from extraction with 0.43 M HNO 3 . Modelling was carried out as a function of pH (soil pH ± 1.4) because it varies in floodplain soils owing to redox processes that consume or release protons. The fraction of reactive metals, which were dissolved according to the modelling, was predominantly 〈1%. Depending on soil properties, especially pH and contents of SOM and minerals of the clay fraction, the modelled concentrations partially exceeded the trigger values for the soil–groundwater pathway of the German soil legislation. This differentiation by soil properties was given for Ni, Pb and Zn. On the other hand, Cd was more mobile, i.e., the trigger values were mostly exceeded. Copper represented the opposite, as the modelling did not predict exceeding the trigger values in any horizon. Except for Pb and partially Zn (where oxides were more important), SOM was the most important adsorbent for metals. However, given the special composition and dynamics of SOM in mollic horizons, we suggest further quantitative and qualitative investigations on SOM and on its interaction with metals to improve the prediction of contaminant dynamics.
Floodplain soil ; Metals ; Soil contamination ; Adsorption ; Multi-surface modelling
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