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Lead and soil properties distributions in a roadside soil: effect of preferential flow paths

AuthorsHelmhart, Martín ; Garrido, Fernando
KeywordsSoil contamination
Preferential flow
Staning experiment
Issue Date2012
CitationGeoderma 170: 305-313(2012
AbstractPreferential flow is the non-uniform movement of water and solutes through soils that bypasses a portion of the soil matrix. It limits the effective sorbing capacity of the soil and it has been related to a reduced solute residence time accounting for an increased risk of groundwater contamination. A dye tracer experiment and a subsequent soil sampling procedure in three adjacent soil profiles were performed in a moderately Pb contaminated roadside soil aiming to make visible different flow domains, to test whether preferential flow paths influence the metal content depth distribution, to study differences in selective soil properties resulting from flow domains and, lastly, to investigate whether preferential flow induces changes in the solid phase distribution of lead. Identified preferential flow domains showed greater lead concentration along with lower pH and greater amounts of both inorganic and organic C contents than unstained soil matrix domains. The ratio humic acids (HAs) to fulvic acids (FAs) contents was significantly lower in the preferential paths than in the matrix domains which might be related with sizable differences in the humification process. Lastly, based on the three-step BCR sequential extraction procedure, it has been shown that preferential flow phenomena induce differences in metal distribution between both identified flow domains. While lead content in the soluble and exchangeable (FI) as well as bound to organic matter fractions (FIII) were greater in the matrix than in the preferential flow domains, the amount of metal bound to Fe, Al and Mn (hydr)oxides (FII) was significantly greater in the preferential flow domain than in the matrix one. This indicates that more stable lead sorption mechanisms, thus leading to a lower metal mobility, might partially be responsible for the larger amount of total metal content found associated to the preferential flow paths. Overall, our results suggest that preferential flow domains may behave as metal storage compartments in the soils due to differences in soil properties promoted by means of the heterogeneous water flow distribution.
Description9 páginas, ilustraciones y tablas estadísticas
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geoderma2011.10.017
Appears in Collections:(ICA) Artículos
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