Concentration-dependent mobility, retardation, and speciation of iodine in surface sediment from the Savannah River Site. Academic Article uri icon


  • Iodine occurs in multiple oxidation states in aquatic systems in the form of organic and inorganic species. This feature leads to complex biogeochemical cycling of stable iodine and its long-lived isotope, (129)I. In this study, we investigated the sorption, transport, and interconversion of iodine species by comparing their mobility in groundwaters at ambient concentrations of iodine species (10(-8) to 10(-7) M) to those at artificially elevated concentrations (78.7 M), which often are used in laboratory analyses. Results demonstrate that the mobility of iodine species greatly depends on, in addition to the type of species, the iodine concentration used, presumably limited by the number of surface organic carbon binding sites to form covalent bonds. At ambient concentrations, iodide and iodate were significantly retarded (K(d) values as high as 49 mL g(-1)), whereas at concentrations of 78.7 M, iodide traveled along with the water without retardation. Appreciable amounts of iodide during transport were retained in soils due to iodination of organic carbon, specifically retained by aromatic carbon. At high input concentration of iodate (78.7 M), iodate was found to be reduced to iodide and subsequently followed the transport behavior of iodide. These experiments underscore the importance of studying iodine geochemistry at ambient concentrations and demonstrate the dynamic nature of their speciation during transport conditions.

published proceedings

  • Environ Sci Technol

author list (cited authors)

  • Zhang, S., Du, J., Xu, C., Schwehr, K. A., Ho, Y., Li, H., ... Santschi, P. H.

citation count

  • 58

complete list of authors

  • Zhang, S||Du, J||Xu, C||Schwehr, KA||Ho, Y-F||Li, H-P||Roberts, KA||Kaplan, DI||Brinkmeyer, R||Yeager, CM||Chang, Hyun-Shik||Santschi, PH

publication date

  • July 2011