The multitracer technique was applied to elucidate of influence of humate formation on adsorption behavior of ultratrace elements. Dissolved fractions of Co, As, Rb, Sr, Y, Zr, Ba, Ce, Eu, Gd, Tb, Yb, Lu, Hf, Re and Pt in contact with kaolinite or silica gel were determined simultaneously either in the presence or absence of humic acid, which was partly adsorbed on the solid. Percentage of dissolved fraction of rare earth elements was identical to that of humic acid, indicating high stability of the rare earth-humate complex. Hydrolysis was the most important factor controlling the behavior of Zr and Hf. Both hydrolysis and humate complexation influenced the adsorption of Co, Sr, Ba and Pt, whereas neither affected the distribution of As, Rb and Re.