This work compares and models the adsorption of selenium and other anions on a neutral to alkaline surface (amorphous iron oxyhydroxide) and an acidic surface (manganese dioxide). Selenium adsorption on these oxides is examined as a function of pH, particle concentration, oxidation state, and competing anion concentration in order to assess how these factors might influence the mobility of selenium in the environment. The data indicate that 1. 1) amorphous iron oxyhydroxide has a greater affinity for selenium than manganese dioxide, 2. 2) selenite [Se(IV)] adsorption increases with decreasing pH and increasing particle concentration and is stronger than selenate [Se(VI)] adsorption on both oxides, and 3. 3) selenate does not adsorb on manganese dioxide. The relative affinity of selenate and selenite for the oxides and the lack of adsorption of selenate on a strongly acidic surface suggests that selenate forms outer-sphere complexes while selenite forms inner-sphere complexes with the surfaces. The data also indicate that the competition sequence of other anions with respect to selenite adsorption at pH 7.0 is phosphate > silicate > molybdate > fluoride > sulfate on amorphous iron oxyhydroxide and molybdate ??? phosphate > silicate > fluoride > sulfate on manganese dioxide. The adsorption of phosphate, molybdate, and silicate on these oxides as a function of pH indicates that the competition sequences reflect the relative affinities of these anions for the surfaces. The Triple Layer surface complexation model is used to provide a quantitative description of these observations and to assess the importance of surface site heterogeneity on anion adsorption. The modeling results suggest that selenite forms binuclear, innersphere complexes with amorphous iron oxyhydroxide and monodentate, inner-sphere complexes with manganese dioxide and that selenate forms outer-sphere, monodentate complexes with amorphous iron oxyhydroxide. The heterogeneity of the oxide surface sites is reflected in decreasing equilibrium constants for selenite with increasing adsorption density and both experimental observations and modeling results suggest that manganese dioxide has fewer sites of higher energy for selenite adsorption than amorphous iron oxyhydroxide. Modeling and interpreting the adsorption of phosphate, molybdate, and silicate on the oxides are made difficult by the lack of constraint in choosing surface species and the fact that equally good fits can be obtained with different surface species. Finally, predictions of anion competition using the model results from single adsorbate systems are not very successful because the model does not account for surface site heterogeneity. Selenite adsorption data from a multi-adsorbate system could be fit if the equilibrium constant for selenite is decreased with increasing anion adsorption density. ?? 1990.