The Relative Importance of pH, Charge, and Water Solubility on the Movement of Organic Solutes in Soils and Ground Water

  • R. L. Malcolm
Conference paper
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 73)


Water solubility and charge of the organic solute and the pH of the natural environment are three dominant factors in the movement of organic pollutants in soils, sediments, and ground-water aquifers. These factors are sometimes overlooked by soil scientists and hydrologists involved in pollution studies who are primarily inorganic chemically oriented. The major objectives of this paper are not only to demonstrate the importance of pH, charge, and water solubility for organic solute movement, but to emphasize that by considering these and a few other factors, a simplistic conceptual model of pollutant movement can be formulated with a limited data base and in a short period of time. Such first approximations of waste movement are imperative today relative to crisis management of pollutant spills, the urgency and relevancy of cleanup procedures, the potential of the spill to contaminate ground waters, and the relative human health hazard of the incident. A series of experiments in the movement of several organic solutes during ground-water recharge of the Ogallala aquifer near Stanton, Texas, by the U.S. Geological Survey will serve to demonstrate the stated objectives of this paper.


Water Solubility Breakthrough Curve Organic Solute Observation Well Injection Well 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. L. Malcolm
    • 1
  1. 1.U.S. Geological Survey — WRDArradaUSA

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