Characterization of soil heavy metal pools in paddy fields in Taiwan: chemical extraction and solid-solution partitioning

P.F.A.M. Römkens, H.Y. Guo, C.L. Chu, T.S. Liu, C.F. Chiang, G.F. Koopmans

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102 Citations (Scopus)


Ongoing industrialization has resulted in an accumulation of metals like Cd, Cu, Cr, Ni, Zn, and Pb in paddy fields across Southeast Asia. Risks of metals in soils depend on soil properties and the availability of metals in soil. At present, however, limited information is available on how to measure or predict the directly available fraction of metals in paddy soils. Here, the distribution of Cd, Cu, Cr, Ni, Zn, and Pb in 19 paddy fields among the total, reactive, and directly available pools was measured using recently developed concepts for aerated soils. Solid-solution partitioning models have been derived to predict the directly available metal pool. Such models are proven to be useful for risk assessment and to derive soil quality standards for aerated soils. Soil samples (0-25 cm) were taken from 19 paddy fields from five different communities in Taiwan in 2005 and 2006. Each field was subdivided into 60 to 108 plots resulting in a database of approximately 3,200 individual soil samples. Total (Aqua Regia (AR)), reactive (0.43 M HNO3, 0.1 M HCl, and 0.05 M EDTA), and directly available metal pools (0.01 M CaCl2) were determined. Solid-solution partitioning models were derived by multiple linear regressions using an extended Freundlich equation using the reactive metal pool, pH, and the cation exchange capacity (CEC). The influence of Zn on metal partitioning and differences between both sampling events (May/November) were evaluated. Total metals contents range from background levels to levels in excess of current soil quality standards for arable land. Between 3% (Cr) and 30% (Cd) of all samples exceed present soil quality standards based on extraction with AR. Total metal levels decreased with an increasing distance from the irrigation water inlet. The reactive metal pool relative to the total metal content is increased in the order Cr
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)216-228
JournalJournal of Soils and Sediments
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • contaminated soils
  • flow-analysis
  • trace-metals
  • cadmium
  • rice
  • cd
  • cu
  • zinc
  • zn
  • pb


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