The equilibrium distribution of lead in solution and adsorbed on cation exchange sites in sediment theoretically may be calculated from equations representing selectivities of substrate for lead over H+, Ca2+ and Na+, and the stabilities of lead solute species. Such calculations include consideration of total concentrations of major ions, cation exchange capacity (CEC) of substrate, and pH, at values expected in various natural systems. Measurements of CEC and selectivity coefficients were made for synthetic halloysite, a finely divided amorphous 1:1 clay prepared by precipitation from a mixture of solutions of aluminum and silica. Where suspended sediment having the same properties is present in concentrations of 10-1,000 mg/1 at pH 6-8, more than 90% of the lead present can be adsorbed on sediment surfaces. The cation exchange behavior of lead and other minor cationic species in natural systems could be predicted by this type of model if enough other supporting information were available. Information of the type needed describing natural stream sediments, however, is presently inadequate for accurate predictions. ?? 1976.
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Geochemical controls on lead concentrations in stream water and sediments