Al and Fe oxy-hydroxide minerals have been implicated in dissolved organic matter (DOM) stabilization. DOM solutions from a Pinus ponderosa forest floor (PPDOM) were used to irrigate polypropylene columns, 3.2 cm long by 0.9 cm diameter (total volume 2.0 cm3), that were packed with quartz sand (QS), gibbsite-quartz sand (Al-QS), and goethite-quartz sand (Fe-QS) mixtures. To investigate the mobilization and fractionation of DOM during reactive transport, effluent solutions were characterized by UV-Vis absorbance and excitation-emission matrix (EEM) fluorescence spectroscopies. Magnitude of PPDOM sorption followed the trend Al-QS > Fe-QS > QS during the initial transport. Effluent pH values suggest that ligand exchange is a primary mechanism for PPDOM sorption onto oxy-hydroxide minerals. Low molar absorptivity values were observed in effluent solutions of early pore volumes, indicating preferential mobilization of compounds with low aromatic character. Compounds traditionally characterized by EEM spectroscopy as being more highly humified were favorably absorbed onto the gibbsite and goethite surfaces. Humification index values (HIX) were also correlated with DOM aromaticity. HIX results suggest that the presence of low mass fractions of oxy-hydroxide minerals affect the preferential uptake of high molar mass constituents of PPDOM during reactive transport.
Vazquez, A., Hernandez, S., Rasmussen, C., Chorover, J. (2010): Characterization of dissolved organic matter during reactive transport: A column experiment with spectroscopic detection . AGU Fall Meeting (Poster) Abstract B13D-0503..