Modelling heavy metal and major ion geochemistry in soil subjected to coal seam gas produced water

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Mallants, Dirk; Buter, Anuschka; Simunek, Jirka




We evaluate the fate of naturally occurring inorganic chemicals in soil as a result of unintentional release from storage ponds. We present a review of exposure pathways and relevant hydro-geo-chemical processes, and a collation of physico-chemical properties of inorganic contaminants as input to a set of generic simulations of transport and attenuation in variably saturated soil profiles. We demonstrate the ability to model the coupled processes of variably-saturated flow and transport of multiple contaminants and major ions in soil; sensitivity analysis are undertaken to test the robustness of chemical migration and attenuation with regards to hydraulic and chemical parameters and boundary conditions. The focus of the assessment is on the heavy metals cadmium, lead, and uranium. Chemical attenuation processes in soil include adsorption of heavy metals through cation exchange and surface complexation. The assessment is based on an analysis, in space and time, of adsorbed and aqueous phase metal concentrations and relative abundance of dissolved metal species. Chemical fluxes at the bottom of the soil profile are also discussed.



coal seam gas produced water; metal mobility; reactive transport model; soil leaching

Environmental Impact Assessment; Soil Physics ; Soil Chemistry (excl. Carbon Sequestration Science)

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Mallants, Dirk; Buter, Anuschka; Simunek, Jirka. Modelling heavy metal and major ion geochemistry in soil subjected to coal seam gas produced water. Canberra: CSIRO; 2015.

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