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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 1995

Modelling the transport of acidity in soil profiles with FRONT - a dynamic transport model

Eriksson, E; Karltun, E


A dynamic transport model, FRONT, that describes the downwards transport of acidity in podzolized forest soils is presented. In this model the downward transport of acidity with the soil solution is counteracted by a production of alkalinity through the weathering of primary minerals and delayed by the adsorption of sulfate and hydrogen ions on iron- and aluminium oxides. The heart of the model is a massbalance equation that describes the transport of bulk acidity/alkalinity. The FRONT model was tested on 23 deep soil profiles situated along three transects in wear-to-east direction across Sweden. Using a deposition scenario starting at 1910 the model was able to account for the large regional differences in the present depth of the acid front. Assuming a linearly decreasing deposition until 30% of present deposition is reached in 2010 the model was used to simulate a scenario for profiles in different parts of Sweden. The scenarios indicated that the upper parts of soil profiles that are severely acidified today will recover and assume a new steady-state in 2030. However, for soil profiles that have large stores of adsorbed sulfate in the B horizon the simulations indicate that one can expect an increased acidity in the deep soil layers several decades after the deposition has ceased due to downward transport of acidity.


soil acidification; sulfate adsorption; dynamic model; recovery

Published in

Water, Air, and Soil Pollution
1995, Volume: 85, number: 3, pages: 1789-1794

      SLU Authors

    • Karltun, Erik

      • Department of Soil Sciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Soil Science

    Publication Identifiers


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