and inland life (Cauer, 1938). In higher animals like mammals it plays a very importantrole, when it is present in the thyroid gland in the form of amino acid-thyroxin thatcontrols the rate of metabolism.Aside from tungsten, iodine is the heaviest element to be essential in living organisms,and iodine is the heaviest element thought to be needed by higher animals. About 19,000tons are produced annually from natural sources.A case study of Bihar State in India.:Iodine deficiency is an important global health problem with an estimated 200 million people affected by iodine related problems (Moynahan,1979). Indian Coalition for Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (ICCIDD) reveals that 79 million or 8 person outof every hundred, suffer from goiter in India (Hindustan Times, New Delhi, 25-11-2001).The human body contains very little iodine (0.00004% or 0.4 ppm), yet it is essentiallyrequired to be maintained through food and water. Any disruption in iodine content jeopardizes the human metabolism. Thyroxin, a hormone secreted by the thyroid glandlocated on both side of the trachea contains about 65% iodine. In the absence of optimalquantity of iodine, the gland increases in size to compensate the deficiency of iodine andadversely affects the human metabolism. Water with iodine concentration less than 5-10µg/l produces goiter.The Gandak basin in Bihar is also known to be goiter prone since long. A detail researchwas carried out by Prof. N.C. Ghose (2003) of Department of Geology, Patna Universityon distribution of iodine in soil-water system in the Gandak Basin in Bihar.According to Prof. Ghose, the vast tract in Gandak basin in north Bihar is known iodinedeficient area and the population is prone to dreaded and endemic disease like goiter.Surface water of this area, iodine content ranges from 1.56 µg/l to 5.52 µg/l, while ingroundwater which is the only source for drinking, it varies from 2.1 µg/l to 4.56 µg/l. Insoil, the iodine content ranges between 3.65 µg/gm to 12.59 µg/gm. Season wise, there isconsiderable variation in iodine content both in surface and groundwater. Duringmonsoon it reduces considerably in surface water due to dilution and in groundwater itreduces owing to heavy recharge of the aquifer system through infiltration. In soil, thereis no definite pattern in seasonal variation in iodine content. In major part of the studyarea, the iodine content is deficient and ranges between 3 and 4 µg/l. The cause of lowiodine is attributed to repeated floods and erosion of top soil which is the main source of iodine to the groundwater system.The spatial variation of iodine in both surface and groundwater reveals a striking feature.It is observed that the abundance of iodine both in surface and groundwater decreasesdownstream from West Champaran to Vaishali. However, in surface water, the profile of iodine content of river Gandak increases again near Hajipur, where it rises to 5.52 µg/l.the high incidence of iodine at the confluence of Ganga and Gandak near Patna is due tomixing of the two river waters.