Impacts of salinity level and flood irrigation on Cd mobility through a Cd-contaminated soil, Thailand: experimental and modeling techniques

  • Athiya Waleeittikul
  • Srilert ChotpantaratEmail author
  • Say Kee Ong
Soils, Sec 3 • Remediation and Management of Contaminated or Degraded Lands • Research Article



The objective of this research was to investigate the effects of salinity levels and pore water velocity (PV) on the sorption, fate, and transport of Cd through contaminated soil in low-lying areas along Mae Tao Creek, Tak Province, Thailand.

Materials and methods

Soil samples collected from a depth of 15 cm from the rice field were air-dried, ground, and sieved through a 2-mm sieve prior to the experiments. Batch sorption/desorption experiments were conducted under three salinity levels, 1, 10, and 100 mM, using CaCl2 as salt. The six columns for the Cd transport experiments were performed with low and high pore water velocities (2 and 9 cm/h) and salinity levels of 1, 10, and 100 mM. Effects on Cd rate-limited sorption and transport behavior were evaluated using the sorption isotherms, PHREEQC geochemical modeling, and mathematical model, HYDRUS-1D.

Results and discussion

For the batch experiments, the Freundlich isotherm was found to be the best sorption isotherm to explain the Cd sorption (R2 > 0.93, p value < 0.05). The Langmuir two-site model (TSM) well explained the breakthrough curves of the column experiments with Langmuir sorption coefficient (KL) ranging from 0.09 to 4.03 l/g. Salinity levels appeared to significantly increase the equilibrium fraction site (f) and first-order rate constant (α) on Cd sorption and transport over the salinity levels of 10–100 mM due to the competitive effect and the dominant species of Cd.


Solute transport parameters in the TSM can be used as an efficient decision support tool to predict Cd movement through contaminated sandy loam soils under a flood irrigation area.


Cd transport Contaminated soil HYDRUS-1D Pore water velocity Salinity levels 



The authors thankfully acknowledge the support of the International Postgraduate Programs in Environmental Management, Graduate School, Chulalongkorn University for their invaluable support in terms of facilities and scientific equipment. We are grateful for the thorough checking done by Prof. Zhihong Xu, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Soils and Sediments, and for the reviews of anonymous reviewers. Their valuable comments significantly improved the earlier draft of this article.

Funding information

This research was funded by the 90th Year Chulalongkorn University Scholarship. We acknowledge some financial supports from the Grant for International Research Integration: Chula Research Scholar, Ratchadaphiseksomphot Endowment Fund (GCURS-59-06-79-01), the Office of Higher Education Commission (OHEC), and the S&T Postgraduate Education and Research Development Office (PERDO). We also thank the Ratchadaphiseksomphot Endowment Fund, Chulalongkorn University for funding the Research Unit.

Supplementary material

11368_2018_2207_MOESM1_ESM.docx (72 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 71 kb)
11368_2018_2207_MOESM2_ESM.docx (25 kb)
ESM 2 (DOCX 24 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Postgraduate Programs in Environmental Management, Graduate SchoolChulalongkorn UniversityBangkokThailand
  2. 2.Department of Geology, Faculty of ScienceChulalongkorn UniversityBangkokThailand
  3. 3.Research Program of Toxic Substance Management in the Mining Industry, Center of Excellence on Hazardous Substance Management (HSM)Chulalongkorn UniversityBangkokThailand
  4. 4.Research Unit of Green Mining (GMM)Chulalongkorn UniversityBangkokThailand
  5. 5.Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental EngineeringIowa State UniversityAmesUSA

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