Transfer functions for solid solution partitioning of cadmium for Australian soils

W. de Vries, M.J. Mc Laughlin, J.E. Groenenberg

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To assess transport and ecotoxicological risks of metals, such as cadmium (Cd) in soils, models are needed for partitioning and speciation. We derived regression-based “partition-relations” based on adsorption and desorption experiments for main Australian soil types. First, batch adsorption experiments were carried out over a realistic range of dissolved Cd concentrations in agricultural soils in Australia. Results showed linear sorption relationships, implying the adequacy of using Kd values to describe partitioning. Desorption measurements were then carried out to assess in-situ Kd values and relate these to soil properties The best transfer functions for solid–solution partitioning were found for Kd values relating total dissolved Cd concentration to total soil Cd concentrations, accounting for the variation in pH, SOM contents and DOC concentrations. Model predictions compared well with measurements of an independent data set, but there was a tendency to underestimate dissolved Cd concentrations of highly polluted soils.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3583-3594
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • metal-ion activities
  • contaminated soils
  • humic substances
  • organic-matter
  • heavy-metals
  • surface waters
  • fresh-waters
  • pore-water
  • copper
  • speciation

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