Dissolved trace metal speciation in estuarine and coastal waters: Comparison of WHAM/Model VII predictions with analytical results

Anthony Stockdale, Edward Tipping, Stephen Lofts
  • Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, December 2014, Wiley
  • DOI: 10.1002/etc.2789

Can we accurately model dissolved metal behaviour in estuaries and coastal waters

What is it about?

Computer models enabling the prediction of the distribution of dissolved metals between different chemical forms in freshwater environments have been available for decades. These models have become important in a large range of academic and regulatory disciplines. This study tests one such model for the saltier environments found in estuaries and coastal waters and compares model predictions with actual experimental results.


Anthony Stockdale

This study showed that there was no systematic bias in the modelling results compared to experiments. There is a general tendency for agreement between modelled and measured values to improve with increasing total metal concentrations and thus models may be appropriate for assessing regulatory control of metals, which will involve controlling concentrations at the higher end of the range. A significant knowledge gap exists in the changes to the composition of organic carbon compounds with salinity, which is an important factor controlling metal behaviour. Recently, tools have been tested for both extracting and analysing organic matter from saline waters. We need to make use of these tools to investigate the nature of organic matter so the models can make use of the additional information to more accurately predict metal behaviour in these environments.

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