A mass-balance model to separate and quantify colloidal and solute redistributions in soil

Chemical Geology
By: , and 



Studies of weathering and pedogenesis have long used calculations based upon low solubility index elements to determine mass gains and losses in open systems. One of the questions currently unanswered in these settings is the degree to which mass is transferred in solution (solutes) versus suspension (colloids). Here we show that differential mobility of the low solubility, high field strength (HFS) elements Ti and Zr can trace colloidal redistribution, and we present a model for distinguishing between mass transfer in suspension and solution. The model is tested on a well-differentiated granitic catena located in Kruger National Park, South Africa. Ti and Zr ratios from parent material, soil and colloidal material are substituted into a mixing equation to quantify colloidal movement. The results show zones of both colloid removal and augmentation along the catena. Colloidal losses of 110kgm-2 (-5% relative to parent material) are calculated for one eluviated soil profile. A downslope illuviated profile has gained 169kgm-2 (10%) colloidal material. Elemental losses by mobilization in true solution are ubiquitous across the catena, even in zones of colloidal accumulation, and range from 1418kgm-2 (-46%) for an eluviated profile to 195kgm-2 (-23%) at the bottom of the catena. Quantification of simultaneous mass transfers in solution and suspension provide greater specificity on processes within soils and across hillslopes. Additionally, because colloids include both HFS and other elements, the ability to quantify their redistribution has implications for standard calculations of soil mass balances using such index elements. ?? 2011.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title A mass-balance model to separate and quantify colloidal and solute redistributions in soil
Series title Chemical Geology
DOI 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2011.01.014
Volume 282
Issue 3-4
Year Published 2011
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Chemical Geology
First page 113
Last page 119