I-129 and I-127 transport in the Mississippi River Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • The watershed processes which control 129I/127I ratios, 129I and 127I concentrations, and speciation of iodine isotopes were studied through an investigation into the variability of these parameters in the Mississippi River near New Orleans, undertaken in 1996-1998. Analyses of suspended particulate matter (SPM) revealed a greater percent association of 127I than of 129I, resulting in lower 129I/127I ratios in SPM than in surrounding water. Furthermore, crossflow ultrafiltration showed that organo-iodine was the dominant form for both isotopes, with 70-85% of these isotopes found in the 0.45 μm filter-passing fraction associated with colloidal macromolecular organic matter. 129I showed a weak correlation, 127I no correlation, and 129I/127I ratios a strong inverse correlation with river flow rate. Inverse correlations between 129I/127I ratios and river flow rates can be best explained by rainwater and evapotranspiration dominated ratios at base flow and a lowering of the isotope ratios during higher flow due to extra inputs of 127I from soil weathering. We postulate that different equilibration times for 127I and 129I as well as for bomb-produced 129I and reprocessing-produced 129I are responsible for these fractionation effects and the differential mobilities of these isotopes in the Mississippi River watershed.

author list (cited authors)

  • Oktay, S. D., Santschi, P. H., Moran, J. E., & Sharma, P.

citation count

  • 50

publication date

  • November 2001