Many potentially toxic trace metals and radionuclides are strongly adsorbed onto surfaces of mineral and organic compounds in soils and sediments, limiting their mobility in the environment. However, recent studies have shown that trace metals in soils, groundwater, rivers, and lakes can be carried by mobile colloidal particles. Understanding the release, transport, aggregation, and deposition of natural colloidal particles is therefore of utmost importance for developing quantitative models of contaminant transport and the biogeochemical cycling of trace metals.

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