A sensitivity analysis of the PROFILE model in relation to the calculation of soil weathering rates

M E Hodson, S J Langan, M J Wilson

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Recently there has been growing interest in, and use of, the PROFILE model, principally through the role of weathering rates in determining critical loads. In many cases the accuracy of the data used to run the model is not quoted, A simple sensitivity analysis of the model has been carried out by varying the input data one at a time in a systematic fashion. The variation in weathering rate that this generates for monomineralic soil profiles and for a soil profile from an acid sensitive forested catchment in Scotland has been recorded. Variations in weathering rates of over 100% can be generated using ranges of input parameters measured in held studies. The model broadly predicts the relative ease of weathering of the different minerals. Minerals which are particularly sensitive to input variations have been identified, e.g. K-feldspar. Some input parameters exert a larger influence on the weathering rate as calculated by the model than others. The most sensitive input data are soil temperature, moisture content and exposed mineral surface area. The least sensitive input data are cation load and precipitation rate. Copyright (C) 1996 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)835-844
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Geochemistry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1996

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Copyright © 1996 Elsevier Science Ltd.

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