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Quantitative assessment of soil parameter (KD and TC) estimation using DGT measurements and the 2D DIFS model.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date03/2008
Number of pages7
Original languageEnglish


Diffusive gradients in thin films (DGT) is a dynamic, in situ measuring technique that can be used to supply diverse information on concentrations and behaviour of solutes. When deployed in soils and sediments, quantitative interpretation of DGT measurements requires the use of a numerical model. An improved version of the DGT induced fluxes in soils and sediments model (DIFS), working in two dimensions (2D DIFS), was used to investigate the accuracy with which DGT measurements can be used to estimate the distribution coefficient for labile metal (KD) and the response time of the soil to depletion (TC). The 2D DIFS model was used to obtain values of KD and TC for Cd, Zn and Ni in three different soils, which were compared to values determined previously using 1D DIFS for these cases. While the 1D model was shown to provide reasonable estimates of KD, the 2D model refined the estimates of the kinetic parameters. Desorption rate constants were shown to be similar for all three metals and lower than previously thought. Calculation of an error function as KD and TC are systematically varied showed the spread of KD and TC values that fit the experimental data equally well. These automatically generated error maps reflected the quality of the data and provided an appraisal of the accuracy of parameter estimation. They showed that in some cases parameter accuracy could be improved by fitting the model to a sub-set of data.