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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2007

Effects of changed soil conditions on the mobility of trace metals in moderately contaminated urban soils

Linde M, Oborn I, Gustafsson JP


Changes in the soil chemical environment can be expected to increase the leaching of trace metals bound in soils. In this study the mobility of trace metals was monitored in a column experiment for two contaminated urban soils. Four different treatments were used (i.e. rain, acid rain, salt and bark). Leachates were analysed for pH, dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and for seven trace metals (cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), mercury (Hg), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn)). The salt treatment produced the lowest pH values (between 5 and 6) in the effluent whereas the DOC concentration was largest in the bark treatment (40-140 mg L-1) and smallest in the salt and acid treatments (7-40 mg L-1). Cadmium, Ni and Zn were mainly mobilised in the salt treatment, whereas the bark treatments produced the highest concentrations of Cu and Pb. The concentrations of Cu, Cr, and Hg were strongly correlated with DOC (r(2) = 0.90, 0.91 and 0.96, respectively). A multi-surface geochemical model (SHM-DLM) produced values for metal dissolution that were usually of the correct magnitude. For Pb, however, the model was not successful indicating that the retention of this metal was stronger than assumed in the model. For all metals, the SHM-DLM model predicted that soil organic matter was the most important sorbent, although for Pb and Cr(III) ferrihydrite was also important and accounted for between 15 and 50% of the binding. The results confirm the central role of DOC for the mobilization of Cu, Cr, Hg and Pb in contaminated soils

Published in

Water, Air, and Soil Pollution
2007, volume: 183, number: 1-4, pages: 69-83
Publisher: SPRINGER

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Soil Sciences
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Soil Sciences
Gustafsson, Jon Petter (Gustafsson, Jon-Petter)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Soil Sciences

UKÄ Subject classification

Agricultural Science

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