Derivation of cation exchange constants for sand, loess, clay and peat soils on the basis of field measurements in the Netherlands

W. de Vries, M. Posch

    Research output: Book/ReportReportAcademic


    This report presents extensive Tables of cation exchange constants (selectivity coefficients) for sand, loess, clay and peat soils at different depths derived from simultaneous field measure-ments of adsorbed in dissolved concentrations of H, Al, Ca, Mg, K and Na in several hundreds of non-agricultural soils in the Netherlands. Data are provided for the two most widely used cation exchange models (Gaines-Thomas and Gapon) and for all possible combinations of cations, including protons. Results show a wide range in exchange constants, especially when using the Gaines-Thomas exchange description. It appears that Gapon exchange constants are stronger correlated than the corresponding Gaines-Thomas exchange constants, especially for sandy soils. A strong positive correlation means that the ratio between two exchange constants is more characteristic, and less variable, of a certain soil (type) than their absolute numbers, which often vary by several orders of magnitude. In deriving exchange constants, the Al constants were related to free Al3+, the CEC was normalised to a buffered soil pH of 6.5 and the dissolved ion concentrations have all been derived while using a centrifugation method to extract the soil solution. Because of these methodological aspects, they cannot always be used directly in a particular model application. Nevertheless, they provide insight into the numerical ranges of and correlations between exchange constan, and are thus useful for constraining model parameters, e.g. in model calibrations.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationWageningen
    Number of pages50
    Publication statusPublished - 2003

    Publication series

    ISSN (Print)1566-7197


    • soil types
    • cation exchange
    • acidification
    • soil chemistry
    • dynamic models
    • measurement
    • field experimentation
    • netherlands


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