Adsorption of solutes by solid mineral surfaces commonly influences the dissolved ionic composition of natural waters. A model based on electrical double-layer theory has been developed which appears to be capable of characterizing the surface chemical behavior of a natural fine-grained sediment containing mostly quartz and feldspar. This variable surface charge-variable surface potential (VSC-VSP) model differs from others in being capable of evaluating more closely the effect of total metal ion activity on the pH-dependent change in electrical potential at the solid surface. The model was tested using 10-4 molar solutions of lead and a silt-size fraction of sediment from the bed of Colma Creek, a small stream in urban northern San Mateo County, California. The average deviation of measured percent adsorption and values calculated from the model was 6.6 adsorption percent from pH 2.0 to pH 7.0.