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Project presentation. Geo-Center project, financed by GEUS and AU 2011- 2014 Project title: “Iodine in the hydrological cycle in Denmark: implications for human health“ People involved in the project: Søren Munch Kristiansen (AU, Department of Geoscience)

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project presentation
Project presentation
    • Geo-Center project, financed by GEUS and AU
    • 2011- 2014
    • Project title:

“Iodine in the hydrological cycle in Denmark: implications for human health“

    • People involved in the project:
  • Søren Munch Kristiansen (AU, Department of Geoscience)
  • Birgitte Hansen, Vibeke Ernstsen, Brian Sørensen & Kim Esbensen (GEUS)
why iodine is interesting
Why iodine is interesting?

Medical aspect

      • essential component of the thyroid hormones
      • low iodine intake:
        • variety of IDD – mental retardation, goitre, hypothyroidism, etc;
  • prevention – fortification of table salt and salt in bread(dk mandatory since 2000/2001)
      • high iodine intake:
          • tolerable upper intake level
          • associated with the correction of iodine deficiency or/and chronically high intake – iodine induced hyperthyroidism, elevated goitre and subclinical hypothyroidism

Geochemical aspect

      • iodine in groundwater (= tap water)
  • mapping regional/temporal variations
  • not included in the monitoring programs of the waterworks;
  • data mainly from GRUMO wells; some studies
      • understanding the involved processes
      • source/sources of iodine in the groundwater in Denmark
previous studies

Andersen, Petersen, Lauberg “

Iodine in drinking water is bound in humic substances“ 2002

Previous studies

Rasmussen, Larsen, Ovesen

“Iodine content in drinking water and other beverages in Denmark” 2000

Pedersen, Laurberg, Nøhr, Jørgensen, Andersen

"Iodine in drinking water varies by more than 100-fold in Denmark. Importance for iodine content of infant formulas" 1999

available groundwater data
Available Groundwater data

Status December 2011: 2562 samples

  • Data quality assessment
    • Different methods
    • Unit mistakes
  • Statistical analysis of the data
  • Picking up interesting areas for case-studies

Number of Iodine* samples

Poster Bari

multivariate data analysis
Multivariate Data analysis


finding outliers

grouping due to date, method, etc.

exploring the relations/correlations between the different data


Other constituents

Hypothesis: there is correlation between iodine and the other constituents or some of them

  • Hypotheses:
  • Iodine originates from the rock/sediment
  • sea water intrusion
  • upward diffusion of old saltwater


Distance to coastline

Distance to major faults


iodine speciation

Storage experiment:

How the Iodide concentration in groundwater sample is affected by:

storage conditions – 5ºC,10ºC, freezer

storage period

Iodine speciation

Important for the geochemical understanding of the Iodine cycle

Inorganic iodine


Total iodine

Statistically significant difference

Lab methods development and testing:

Inorganic Iodine – IC

Total Iodine – ICP-MS


Freezer – indications that the composition of the water was different; new experiment needed in order to make conclusions

case studies
Case Studies




Source - explanation for the observed concentrations

Iodine speciation

Geochemical analysis

0 meq/l








future plans and possible collaboration
Future plans and possible collaboration

Medical aspect

Geochemical aspect

In progress:

  • Case studies
  • Multivariate analysis

of Jupiter data

National study on Iodine in drinking water:

  • Sampling from waterworks wells
  • Reflecting the different geology and the size of the waterworks
  • Mapping of Iodine concentrations in drinking water
      • Estimation of the dietary iodine intake in Denmark
      • Combined study with data from medical registers

Possible collaboration