On the Retention and Transformation of Contaminants in Soil and the Subsurface

  • Bruno Yaron
  • Ishai Dror
  • Brian Berkowitz


In the Critical Zone, anthropogenic chemical contaminants come into contact with a soil–subsurface system that exhibits vertical and horizontal heterogeneity, and is subject to seasonal climatic conditions expressed in terms of variations in temperature and water content. As a consequence, the soil–subsurface system displays both aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Active microbial populations that develop under these environmental conditions, as well as plant exudates, also affect contaminant behavior in the soil–subsurface system. Clay minerals and organic geosorbents, characterized by particles of size down to 2 μm, exhibit high surface charge, and selectively control the retention and release of contaminants in the surrounding liquid and gaseous phases of the soil–subsurface system. Specific contaminants may also be retained in the soil–subsurface solid phase as a result of physical or mechanical processes such as precipitation, deposition, or trapping.


Humic Substance Humic Acid Cation Exchange Capacity Organic Contaminant Natural Organic Matter 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Amirtharajah A, Raveendran P (1993) Detachment of colloids from sediments and sand grains. Colloids Surf A 73:211–227CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Amitay-Rosen T, Cortis A, Berkowitz B (2005) Magnetic resonance imaging and quantitative analysis of particle deposition in porous media. Environ Sci Tech 39:7208–7216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ashton FM, Sheets TJ (1959) The relationship of soil adsorption of EPTC to oats injury in various soil types. Weeds 7:88–90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bailey GW, White JL (1964) Review of adsorption and desorption of organic pesticides by soil colloids with implications concerning pesticide bioavailability. J Agric Food Chem 12:324–382CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Barraclough D, Kearney T, Croxford A (2005) Bound residues: environmental solution or future problem? Environ Pollut 133:85–90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Barriuso E, Baer U, Calvet R (1992a) Dissolved organic matter and adsorption-desorption of difemuron, atrazine and carbetamide by soils. J Environ Qual 21:359–367CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Barriuso E, Koskinen WC, Sorenson B (1992b) Modification of atrazine desorption during field incubation experiments. Sci Total Environ 123(124):333–344Google Scholar
  8. Berkowitz B, Dror I, Yaron B (2008) Contaminant geochemistry: interactions and transport in the subsurface environment. Springer, Heidelberg, p 412Google Scholar
  9. Bollag JM, Liu SY (1990) Biological transformation processes of pesticides. In: Chen HH (ed) Pesticides in the soil environment: Processes, impacts, and modeling, SSSA Book Series 2. SSSA, Madison, WIGoogle Scholar
  10. Bollag JM, Loll MJ (1983) Incorporation of xenobiotics in soil humus. Experentia 39:1221–1225CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bollag JM, Myers CJ, Minard RD (1992) Biological and chemical interactions of pesticides with soil organic matter. Sci Total Environ 123(124):205–217Google Scholar
  12. Bolt GH (1955) Ion adsorption by clays. Soil Sci 79:267–278CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Bolt GH, De Boodt MF, Hayes MF, McBride MB (eds) (1991) Interactions at the soil colloid-solution interface NATO ASI Series – Applied Science Series F, vol 190. Kluwer, Dordrecht, p 603Google Scholar
  14. Boyd GE, Adamson AW, Mayers LS Jr (1947) The exchange adsorption of anions from aqueous solution by organic zeolites. J Am Chem Soc 69:2836–2848CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Bradford SA, Simunek J, Bettahar M, van Genuchten MT, Yates SR (2003) Modelling colloid attachment, straining and exclusion in saturated porous media. Environ Sci Technol 37:2242–2250CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Brown CB, White JL (1969) Reactions of 12-triazines with soil clays. Soil Sci Soc Am Proc 33:863–867CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Buffle J (1988) Complexation reactions in aquatic systems: an analytical approach. Ellis Horwood, Chichester, EnglandGoogle Scholar
  18. Burchil SM, Hayes MHB, Greenland DJ (1981) Adsorption. In: Greenland DJ, Hayes MHB (eds) Chemistry of soil processes. Wiley, New York, pp 224–400Google Scholar
  19. Calderbank A (1989) The occurrence and significance of bound pesticides residues in soil. Rev Environ Contam Toxicol 198:69–103Google Scholar
  20. Calvet R (1984) Behavior of pesticides in unsaturated zone. Adsorption and transport phenomena. In: Yaron B, Dagan G, Goldschmid J (eds) Pollutants in porous media. Springer, Heidelberg, pp 143–151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Celis R, Cox L, Hermosin MC, Cornejo J (1996) Retention of metamitron by model and natural particulate matter. Int J Environ Anal Chem 65:245–260CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Daintith J (1990) A concise dictionary of chemistry. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UKGoogle Scholar
  23. Elimelech M, Gregory J, Jia X, Williams RA (1995) Particle deposition and aggregation: measurement, modelling, and simulation. Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford, EnglandGoogle Scholar
  24. Firestone MK (1982) Biological denitrification. In: Stevenson FJ (ed) Nitrogen in agricultural soils. Agronomy 22:289–326Google Scholar
  25. Fowker FM, Benesi HA, Ryland RB, Sawyer WM, Detling KD, Folkemer FB, Johnson MR, Sun YP (1960) Clay catalyzed decomposition of insecticides. J Agric Food Chem 8:203–210CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Fuhr F, Ophoff H, Burauel P, Wanner U, Haider K (1998) Modification of definition of bound residues. In: Fuhr F, Phoff H (eds) Pesticide bound residues in soils. Wiley, Weinheim, pp 175–176Google Scholar
  27. Gaillardon P, Calvet R, Terce M (1977) Adsorption et desorption de la terbutryne par une montmorillonite – Ca et des acides humiques seules ou en mélanges. Weed Res 17:41–48CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Gevao B, Semple KT, Jones KC (2000) Bound pesticide residues in soils: a review. Environ Pollut 108:3–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Giles CH, Smith D, Huitson A (1974) A general treatment and classification of the solute adsorption isotherms. J Colloid Interface Sci 47:755–765CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Grahame DC (1947) The electrical double layer and the theory of electro capillarity. Chem Rev 41:441–449CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Greenland DJ, Hayes MHB (eds) (1981) The chemistry of soil processes. Wiley, ChichesterGoogle Scholar
  32. Greenland DJ, Mott CJB (1978) Surfaces of soil particles. In: Greenland DJ, Hayes MHB (eds) The chemistry of soil constituents. Wiley, Chichester, pp 321–355Google Scholar
  33. Hassett IJ, Banwart WL (1989) The sorption of non polar organics by soil and sediments. In: Sawhney BL, Brown K (eds) Reactions and movement of organic chemicals in soils. SSSA Spec. Pub. 22. SSSA, Madison, WI, pp 31–45Google Scholar
  34. Helfferich F (1962) Ion exchange. McGraw-Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  35. Hodges SC, Johnson GC (1987) Kinetics of sulfate adsorption and desorption by Cecil soils using miscible displacement. Soil Sci Soc Am J 51:323–327CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Huang OM (2000) Abiotic catalysis. In: Sumner ME (ed) Handbook of soil science. CRC, Boca Raton, pp 303–327Google Scholar
  37. Huang PM, Crossan LS, Rennie DA (1968) Chemical dynamics of K release from potassium minerals common in soils. Trans 9th Int Congr Soil Sci 2:705–712Google Scholar
  38. Huang PM, Grover R, McKercher RB (1984) Components and particle size fractions involved in atrazine adsorption by soils. Soil Sci 138:220–224CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Johnson BT, Kennedy JQ (1973) Biomagnification of p, p-DDT and methoxychlor by bacteria. Appl Microbiol 26:66–71Google Scholar
  40. Kan AT, Chen W, Tomson MB (2000) Desorption kinetics from neutral hydrophobic organic compounds from field contaminated sediment. Environ Pollut 108:81–89CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Kang SH, Xing BS (2005) Phenanthrene sorption to sequentially extracted soil humic acids and humans. Environ Sci Technol 39:134–140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Kennedy VC, Brown TC (1965) Experiments with a sodium ion electrode as a mean to studying cation exchange rate. Clays Clay Miner 13:351–352CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Khan SU (1982) Bound pesticides residues in soil and plant. Residue Rev 84:1–25Google Scholar
  44. Li GC, Felbeck GT Jr (1972) A study of the mechanism of atrazine adsorption by humic acid from muck soil. Soil Sci 113:140–148CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Lovley DR (1993) Dissimilatory metal reduction. Ann Rev Microbiol 47:263–290CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. McBride MB (1989) Surface chemistry of soil minerals. In: Dixon JB, Weed SB (eds) Minerals in soil environments. Second ed. SSSA Book Series 1, Madison, WI, pp 35–88Google Scholar
  47. McBride MB (1994) Environmental chemistry of soils. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 286Google Scholar
  48. McCarthy JF, Zachara JM (1989) Subsurface transport of contaminants. Environ Sci Technol 23:496–502Google Scholar
  49. Mills AC, Biggar JW (1969) Solubility-temperature effect on the adsorption of gamma and beta – BHC from aqueous and hexane solutions by soils materials. Soil Sci Am Soc Am Proc 33:210–216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Mingelgrin U, Gerstl Z (1993) A unified approach to the interactions or small molecules with macrospecies. In: Beck AJ, Jones KC, Hayes MHB, Mingelgrin U (eds) Organic substances in soil and water. Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, pp 102–128Google Scholar
  51. Mingelgrin U, Saltzman S (1977) Surface reactions of parathion on clays. Clays Clay Miner 27:72–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Mortland MM (1970) Clay-organic complexes and interactions. Adv Agron 22:75–117CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Mortland MM (1986) Mechanism of adsorption of non humic organic species by clays. In: Huang PM, Schnitzer M (eds) Interaction of soil minerals with natural organics and microbes. SSSA, Madison, WI, pp 59–76Google Scholar
  54. Newman RH, Tate KR (1980) Soil-phosphorus characterization by p-31 nuclear magnetic resonance. Comm Soil Sci Plant Anal 11:835–842CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Nye PH, Tinker PB (1977) Solute movement in the soil-root system. Blackwell, Oxford, p 324Google Scholar
  56. Oades JM (1989) An introduction to organic matter in mineral soils. In: Dixon JB, Weed SB (eds) Minerals in soil environment. Soil Sci Soc Am, Madison, WI, pp 89–153Google Scholar
  57. Overbeek JTh (1952) Electrochemistry of the double layer. Colloid Sci 29:119–123Google Scholar
  58. Parr JF, Smith S (1976) Degradation of toxaphene in selected anaerobic soil environments. Soil Sci 121:52–57CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Paul EA, Clark FE (1989) Soil microbiology and biochemistry. Academic, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  60. Penrose WR, Polzer WL, Essington EH, Nelson DM, Orlandini KA (1990) Mobility of plutonium and americium through a shallow aquifer in a semiarid region. Environ Sci Technol 24:228–234CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Pignatello JJ (1989) Sorption dynamics of organic compounds in soils and sediments. In: Sawhney BL, Brown K (eds) Reactions and movement of organic chemicals in soils, SSSA Spec Publ 22. SSSA, Madison, WI, pp 45–81Google Scholar
  62. Ponec V, Knor Z, Cerny S (1974) Adsorption on solids. Butterworth, London, p 234Google Scholar
  63. Purdue EM, Wolfe NL (1983) Prediction of buffer catalysis in field and laboratory studies of pollutant hydrolysis reactions. Environ Sci Technol 17:635–642CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Quirk JP, Posner AM (1975) Trace element adsorption by soil minerals. In: Nicholas DJ, Egan AR (eds) Trace elements in soil-plant-animal systems. Academic, New York, pp 95–107Google Scholar
  65. Rao PSC, Horsnby AG, Kilcrease DP, Nkedi-Kizza P (1985) Sorption and transport of hydrophobic organic chemicals in aqueous and mixed solvent system: model development and preliminary evaluation. J Environ Qual 14:376–383CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Rao PSC, Lee LS, Nkedi-Kizza P, Yalkowsky SH (1989) Sorption and transport of organic pollutants at waste disposal sites. In: Gerstl Z, Chen Y, Mingelgrin U, Yaron B (eds) Toxic organic chemicals in porous media. Springer, Heidelberg, pp 176–193CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Renkin EM (1954) Filtration, diffusion and molecular sieving through porous cellulose membranes. J Gen Physiol 38:224–243Google Scholar
  68. Ryan JN, Elimelech M (1996) Colloid mobilization and transport in ground water. Colloids Surf A 107:1–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Sakthivadivel R (1966) Theory and mechanism of filtration of non-colloidal fines through a porous medium. Rep. HEL 15–5, 110 pp., Hydraul. Eng. Lab. Univ. of Calif., BerkeleyGoogle Scholar
  70. Sakthivadivel R (1969) Clogging of a granular porous medium by sediment. Rep. HEL 15–7, 106 pp., Hydraulic Engineering Laboratory. University of California, BerkeleyGoogle Scholar
  71. Saltzman S, Kliger L, Yaron B (1972) Adsorption-desorption of parathion as affected by soil organic matter. J Agric Food Chem 20:1224–1227CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Saltzman S, Mingelgrin U, Yaron B (1974) The surface catalyzed hydrolysis of parathion on kaolinite. Soil Sci Soc Am Proc 38:231–234CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Sander M, Lu y, Pignatello J (2005) A thermodynamically based method to quantify true sorption hysteresis. J Environ Qual 34:1063–1072CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Senesi M, Chen Y (1989) Interaction of toxic organic chemicals with humic substances. In: Gerstl Z, Chen Y, Mingelgrin U, Yaron B (eds) Toxic organic chemicals in porous media. Springer, Berlin, pp 37–91CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Sims JT, Pierzynski GM (2005) Chemistry of phosphorus in soils. In: Tabatabai MA, Sparks DL (eds) Chemical processes in soils, SSSA Book Series 8, Madison, WI, pp 151–192Google Scholar
  76. Sparks DL (1986) Soil physical chemistry. CRC, Boca Raton, FL, p 324Google Scholar
  77. Sparks DL (1989) Kinetics of soil chemical processes. Academic, New York, p 210Google Scholar
  78. Sparks DL, Huang PM (1985) Physical chemistry of soil potassium. In: Munson RE (ed) Potassium in agriculture. ASA, Madison, pp 201–276Google Scholar
  79. Sparks DL, Jardine PM (1984) Thermodynamics of potassium exchange in soil using a kinetic approach. Soil Sci Soc Am J45:1094–1099Google Scholar
  80. Sposito G (1984) The surface chemistry of soils. Oxford University Press, Oxford, p 234Google Scholar
  81. Stern O (1924) Zur theorie der elecktrolytischen doppelschict. Z Electrochem 30:508–516Google Scholar
  82. Stevenson FJ (1994) Humus chemistry: genesis, composition, reactions, 2nd edn. Wiley, NYGoogle Scholar
  83. Stone AT, Torrents A (1995) The role of dissolved metals and metal containing surfaces in catalyzing the hydrolysis of organic pollutants. In: Huang PM (ed) Environmental impact of the soil components. Lewis, Boca Raton, FL, pp 275–299Google Scholar
  84. Stone TA, Torrents A, Smolen J, Vasudevan D, Hadley J (1993) Adsorption of organic-compounds processing ligand donor groups at the oxide-water interface. Environ Sci Technol 27:895–909CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Talibuden O (1981) Cation exchange in soils. In: Greenland DJ, Hayes MHB (eds) The chemistry of soil processes. Wiley, Chichester, pp 115–178Google Scholar
  86. Terce M, Calvet R (1977) Some observation on the role of Al and Fe and their hydroxides in the adsorption of herbicides by montmorillonite. Sonderdruck Z Planzen – kr Pfanzenschutz Sonderheft VIIIGoogle Scholar
  87. van Olphen H (1967) An introduction to clay colloid chemistry. Wiley, New York, p 220Google Scholar
  88. Vilks P, Cramer JJ, Bachinski DB, Doern DC, Miller AG (1993) Studies of colloids and suspended particles, Cigar Lake uranium deposit, Saskatchewan, Canada. Appl Geochem 8:605–616CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Villaverde J, Vanbei um W, Beulke S, Brown CD (2009) The kinetics of sorption by retarded diffusion into soil aggregate pores. Environ Sci Technol 43:8227–8232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Vinten AJ, Yaron B, Nye PH (1983) Vertical transport of pesticides into soil when adsorbed on suspended particles. J Agric Food Chem 31:661–664CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Waner U, Fuhr F, deGraaf AA, Burauel P (2005) Characterization of non-extractable residues of the fungicide dithianon in soil using C-13/C-14 labelling. Environ Pollut 133:35–41CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Wershaw RL (1986) A new model for humic materials and their interactions with hydrophobic organic chemicals in soil-water or in sediment-water systems. J Contam Hydrol 1:29–45CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Wolfe NL, Mingelgrin U, Miller GC (1990) Abiotic transformations in water, sediments, and soil. In: Cheng HH (ed) Pesticides in the soil environment, SSSA Book Series 2. SSSA, Madison WI, pp 103–168Google Scholar
  94. Yamane VK, Green RE (1972) Adsorption of ametryne and atrazine on an oxisol, montmorillonite and charcoal in relation to pH and solubility effects. Soil Sci Soc Am Proc 36:58–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  95. Yao KM, Habibian MT, O’'Melia CR (1971) Water and waste water filtration: concepts and applications. Environ Sci Technol 5:1105–1112CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  96. Yaron B, Saltzman S (1978) Soil-parathion surface interactions. Residue Rev 69:1–34Google Scholar
  97. Yaron B, Calvet R, Prost R (1996) Soil pollution processes and dynamics. Springer, Heidelberg, p 310, ISBN 3-540-60927-XGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental Sciences and Energy ResearchWeizmann Institute of ScienceRehovotIsrael

Personalised recommendations