The development of models to accurately simulate metal ion transport through saturated systems under variable chemical conditions, e.g., in systems containing organic ligands (L) such as natural organic matter (NOM), has two essential aspects: (1) establishing the ability to simulate metal ion sorption to aquifer solids over a range of metal/ligand ratios; and (2) to incorporate this ability to simulate metal speciation over a range in chemical conditions (e.g., pH, ligand activity) into mass transport models. Modeling approaches to evaluate metal ion sorption and transport in the presence of NOM include: (1) isotherm-based transport models, and (2) multicomponent (MC) transport models. The accuracy of transport models depends on how well the chemical interactions affecting metal ion transport in the presence of organic ligands (e.g., metal/ligand complexation) are described in transport equations. The isotherm-based transport models often fail to accurately describe metal ion transport in the presence of NOM since these models treat NOM as a single solute despite the fact that NOM is a multicomponent mixture of subcomponents with different chemical and polyfunctional behavior. On the other hand, the calculations presented in this study suggest that a multicomponent reactive transport model, in conjunction with a mechanistic modeling approach for the description of metal ion binding by NOM in a manner conducive to the application of surface complexation modeling (SCM), can effectively be used as an important predictive tool in simulating metal ion sorption and transport under variable chemical conditions in the presence of NOM. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.