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Dynamic modelling of metals in topsoils of UK and Chinese catchments

Lofts, S.; Xu, L.; Tipping, E.; Lawlor, A.; Shotbolt, L.; Lu, Y.. 2014 Dynamic modelling of metals in topsoils of UK and Chinese catchments. [Poster] In: SETAC North America 35th Annual Meeting, Vancouver, Canada, 9-13 Nov 2014. (Unpublished)

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Abstract/Summary

Strongly particle–reactive contaminants such as metals may exhibit highly accumulative behaviour when input to soils. This may cause exceedence of threshold concentrations for risk, for example for ecological effects or for crop metal content, if accumulation continues for a sufficiently long period. Since remediation of soils contaminated beyond threshold metal concentrations is likely to be costly and technically difficult, there is a need for tools to predict present and future accumulation of metals given future projections of inputs. The Intermediate Dynamic Model for Metals (IDMM) is an intermediate complexity model for describing and predicting metal accumulation and loss in topsoils over timescales of decades to centuries. The model combines mechanistic and empirical submodels for metal speciation, partitioning and aging in soils to predict solid phase and porewater metal speciation, leaching losses and plant uptake in response to time–varying inputs. The model has been applied both to a set of upland UK catchments, and to the Guanting reservoir catchment of northern China. The latter scenario presents a strongly contrasting environment, in terms of precipitation and soil chemistry, to the UK catchments. The model is driven by time series inputs of metals, starting from a pristine ‘steady state’ where input and output metal fluxes are in balance. Following estimation of historic metal inputs, particularly from atmospheric deposition, the model is able to make robust predictions of present day topsoil metal pools (within a factor of three of observations). The model thus provides a useful tool for predicting future trajectories of metal concentrations in topsoil, allowing assessment of potential risks due to varying scenarios of metal inputs.

Item Type: Publication - Conference Item (Poster)
CEH Sections: Shore
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 16 Dec 2014 11:09 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/509090

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