||Environmental Research Lab., Athens, GA. ;Technology Applications, Inc., Athens, GA. ;Computer Sciences Corp., Athens, GA. ;Mansoura Univ. (Egypt).
Coupled geochemical speciation/transport models are being developed to assess potential transport of metal contaminants in the subsurface environment. In a test of the geochemical speciation portion of the effort, MINTEQA2 model predictions are compared with laboratory data concerning the pH dependent partitioning behavior of eight cationic contaminants (Ba, Be, Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb, Tl, and Zn) on a sandy aquifer material in an oxidized environment. MINTEQA2 contains provisions for describing potential attenuation due to both mineral phase precipitation processes and adsorption processes resulting from amorphous iron oxides in aquifer materials (MIT Diffuse Layer Model). In the comparison, several trends were discerned. (1) Adsorptive processes tend to better describe the pH-dependent partitioning behavior of transition metals (especially Pb, Zn, and Ni). (2) Cd behavior is better described by precipitation as a cadmium carbonate phase. (3) Cu behavior is not reasonably described by the model. (4) Ba and Be comparisons are poor (although presumably their partitioning behavior results from adsorptive and/or pH sensitive solid solution processes). (5) Unlike the other elements, the behavior of Tl is relatively insensitive to pH.