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

Chapter

Abstract

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.

Keywords

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.

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

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

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