Articles | Volume 4, issue 4
Original research article
26 Oct 2018
Original research article |  | 26 Oct 2018

Aluminium and base cation chemistry in dynamic acidification models – need for a reappraisal?

Jon Petter Gustafsson, Salim Belyazid, Eric McGivney, and Stefan Löfgren

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Cited articles

Akselsson, C., Westling, O., Sverdrup, H., Holmqvist, J., Thelin, G., Uggla, E., and Malm, G.: Impact of harvest intensity on long-term base cation budgets in Swedish forest soils, Water Air Soil Pollut., 7, 201–210,, 2007. 
Berggren, D. and Mulder, J.: The role of organic matter in controlling aluminum solubility in acidic mineral soil horizons, Geochim. Cosmochim. Ac., 59, 4167–4180,, 1995. 
Bonten, L. T. C., Groenenberg, J. E., Meesenburg, H., and de Vries, W.: Using advanced surface complexation models for modelling soil chemistry under forests: Solling forest, Germany, Environ. Pollut., 159, 2831–2839,, 2011. 
Bonten, L. T. C., Reinds, G. J., Groenenberg, J. E., de Vries, W., Posch, M., Evans, C. D., Belyazid, S., Braun, S., Moldan, F., Sverdrup, H. U., and Kurz, D.: Dynamic geochemical models to assess deposition impacts and target loads of acidity for soils and surface waters, in Critical Loads and Dynamic Risk Assessments – Nitrogen, Acidity and Metals in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems, edited by: de Vries, W., Hettelingh, J.-P., and Posch, M., Springer, 225–252, 2015. 
Cosby, B. J., Wright, R. F., Hornberger, G. M., and Galloway, J. N.: Modelling the effects of acid deposition: assessment of a lumped parameter model of soil water and stream water chemistry, Water Resour. Res., 21, 51–63,, 1985. 
Short summary
This paper investigates how different dynamic soil chemistry models describe the processes governing aluminium and base cations in acid soil waters. We find that traditional cation-exchange equations, which are still used in many models, diverge from state-of-the-art complexation submodels such as WHAM, SHM, and NICA-Donnan when large fluctuations in pH or ionic strength occur. In conclusion, the complexation models provide a better basis for the modelling of chemical dynamics in acid soils.