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The Environmental Impact of Iron in Groundwater

Ground Water Hydrology

  1. David B. Vance1,
  2. James A. Jacobs2

Published Online: 15 JUL 2005

DOI: 10.1002/047147844X.gw1508

Water Encyclopedia

Water Encyclopedia

How to Cite

Vance, D. B. and Jacobs, J. A. 2005. The Environmental Impact of Iron in Groundwater. Water Encyclopedia. 5:608–610.

Author Information

  1. 1

    ARCADIS G&M, Inc., Midland, Texas

  2. 2

    Environmental Bio-Systems, Inc., Mill Valley, California

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2005


Iron is a common constituent in soils and groundwater. It readily participates in subsurface redox reactions and under some conditions can cause taste, odor, and flow problems with drinking water wells and can precipitate and plug up in situ groundwater remediation systems. In other geochemical conditions, iron can aid in the remediation of certain chemicals undergoing chemical transformations associated with Redox reactions. Ferrous iron is used as a terminal electron acceptor for anaerobic bioremediation processes that play a dominant role in the natural attenuation process.


  • amorphous hydrous ferric oxide (Fe2O3 · XH2O);
  • complexed;
  • Eh/pH conditions;
  • ferric iron;
  • ferrous iron;
  • goethite (alpha-FeOOH);
  • hematite (alpha-Fe2O3);
  • in situ metal adsorption;
  • iron complexing;
  • iron fouling of well screens;
  • iron oxidation;
  • iron oxides;
  • lepidocrocite (gamma-FeOOH);
  • maghemite (gamma-Fe2O3);
  • microbiological metabolic pathways;
  • microbiology and iron;
  • mineralized ferric;
  • natural attenuation process;
  • subsurface redox;
  • uncomplexed ions