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GroMoPo Metadata for Nordenham cadmium leaching model

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Created: Feb 08, 2023 at 2:38 a.m.
Last updated: Feb 08, 2023 at 2:38 a.m.
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Over the last century, soils in the region of Nordenham in northern Germany received high loads of heavy-metals by air-borne immissions from a close-by metal smelter. Based on measured soil properties and cadmium contamination data the leaching of Cd to groundwater was predicted for Nordenham using a numerical transport model based on the convection-dispersion equation. The main objective in this study was to account for the spatial variability and uncertainty of Cd sorption controlling soil properties (pH, organic carbon content) and to analyze their propagation into the variance of area-related model outputs, i.e. Cd breakthrough concentrations at the groundwater surface. For this purpose a nested Monte-Carlo method was combined with deterministic numerical 1D simulations of Cd leaching. The transport model was parameterized without any parameter fitting involved. The validity of the model was verified by retrospective simulations from the initial operation of the smelter until the year of soil sampling. Forecast simulations were run for a period of 200 years. Predicted local scale Cd breakthrough concentrations at the groundwater surface were evaluated by spatial aggregation for single blocks at the field scale, yielding area-related concentrations with associated uncertainties from imprecise knowledge on local soil properties. Significant exceedance of the limit of the German drinking water ordinance of 5 mu g L-1 is observed on approximately 90% of the study area with the average point in time of limit value exceedance being the year 2066 and a 90% prediction interval of 2049-2092. At the end of the simulation period, Cd concentrations at the groundwater surface still increase on large parts of the study area. The spatially averaged Cd concentration is 19.89 mu g L-1 with a 90% prediction interval of 15.28-24.69 mu g L-1. Locally, however, concentrations larger than 60 mu g L-1 may be reached. Prediction uncertainty is only moderate and does not question the exceedance of the limit value on the majority of the regarded plots even for spatially averaged concentrations, unless measures to prevent leaching are taken, such as an increase of soil pH by liming. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Subject Keywords



Coordinate System/Geographic Projection:
WGS 84 EPSG:4326
Coordinate Units:
Decimal degrees
Place/Area Name:
North Latitude
East Longitude
South Latitude
West Longitude


Additional Metadata

Name Value
DOI 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2009.02.022
Depth 0.8
Scale < 10 km²
Layers 2-5 layers
Purpose Groundwater contamination
GroMoPo_ID 132
IsVerified True
Model Code Cd transport model
Model Link
Model Time 200 years
Model Year 2009
Model Authors C. Beyer, S. Altfelder, W. Duijnisveld, T. Streck
Model Country Germany
Data Available Report/paper only
Developer Email
Dominant Geology Unconsolidated sediments
Developer Country Germany
Publication Title Modelling spatial variability and uncertainty of cadmium leaching to groundwater in an urban region
Original Developer No
Additional Information
Integration or Coupling Solute transport
Evaluation or Calibration Unsure
Geologic Data Availability

How to Cite

GroMoPo, D. Kretschmer (2023). GroMoPo Metadata for Nordenham cadmium leaching model, HydroShare,

This resource is shared under the Creative Commons Attribution CC BY.


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