POSSMs: a parsimonious speciation model for metals in soils

Lofts, Stephen ORCID: 2022 POSSMs: a parsimonious speciation model for metals in soils. Environmental Chemistry, 18 (8). 335-351.

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Mechanistic geochemical models are useful for detailed study of the speciation of metals in well-characterised soils, but can be challenging to apply when driving soil compositional data are sparse, for example, at large scales. Empirical models, using minimal driving data, have been developed either for prediction of solid–solution partitioning or for the computation of the free metal ion from the total or geochemically active metal. This work presents an empirical speciation model, POSSMs (ParsimOniouS Speciation of Metals in soils), which predicts the free, solution-bound and sorbed metal in a soil in a single calculation, using a minimal set of soil parameters. The model has been parameterised for Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd and Pb using datasets of geochemically active soil metal and solution phase composition. The parameterised model can also be used to compute the free metal ion from the solution metal. The model was tested by applying it to literature datasets on the speciation of metals in soil solutions and extracts, and on the metal solid–solution partitioning. The performance of the model was comparable to other empirical models of similar complexity. Some test datasets produced biased predictions, particularly in the underestimation of measured free ion at circumneutral and alkaline pH, where the model predicted low free ion concentrations. The model is not a replacement for mechanistic geochemical models, but is a useful tool for soil metal speciation where comprehensive driving data are not available.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Pollution (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 1448-2517
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: chemical speciation, dissolved organic matter, free metal ion, modelling, partition coefficient, pH, soil organic matter, soils, trace metal
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Agriculture and Soil Science
Date made live: 19 Apr 2022 13:48 +0 (UTC)

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