Soil chemistry models often use gibbsite solubility and similar equilibrium models to predict Al concentrations in soil solution. A kinetic alternative was developed with the goal of finding universal rate constants instead of the site- and depth-specific solubility constants usually associated with the equilibrium approach. The behavior of the two approaches was studied within the framework of the steady-state soil chemistry model PROFILE using data from Solling, Germany and Gårdsjön, Sweden, two sites with different mineralogy and land use history. The kinetic alternative uses a mass balance to predict Al concentrations. The sources of Al in soil water are deposition, weathering and mineralization. The sinks are leaching and the formation of an aluminosilicate precursor. The precursor slowly transforms into an ordinary clay mineral. Both formation and transformation of the precursor are treated as irreversible processes. The kinetic model introduces a new relationship between pH and Al and produces a systematic pattern of different apparent gibbsite equilibrium constants at different depths. Results show that the kinetic model systematically underestimates Al concentration in the upper horizons, which indicates that there may be additional sources of Al in the upper horizons not accounted for in the model. Predicted values of pH and Al concentrations are comparable with field observations.
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- Chemical Engineering