The thallium (Tl) concentrations and isotope compositions of various river and estuarine waters, suspended riverine particulates and loess have been determined. These data are used to evaluate whether weathering reactions are associated with significant Tl isotope fractionation and to estimate the average Tl isotope composition of the upper continental crust as well as the mean Tl concentration and isotope composition of river water. Such parameters provide key constraints on the dissolved Tl fluxes to the oceans from rivers and mineral aerosols. The Tl isotope data for loess and suspended riverine detritus are relatively uniform with a mean of ??205Tl = -2.0 ?? 0.3 (??205Tl represents the deviation of the 205Tl/203Tl isotope ratio of a sample from NIST SRM 997 Tl in parts per 104). For waters from four major and eight smaller rivers, the majority were found to have Tl concentrations between 1 and 7 ng/kg. Most have Tl isotope compositions very similar (within ??1.5 ??205Tl) to that deduced for the upper continental crust, which indicates that no significant Tl isotope fractionation occurs during weathering. Based on these results, it is estimated that rivers have a mean natural Tl concentration and isotope composition of 6 ?? 4 ng/kg and ??205Tl = -2.5 ?? 1.0, respectively. In the Amazon estuary, both additions and losses of Tl were observed, and these correlate with variations in Fe and Mn contents. The changes in Tl concentrations have much lower amplitudes, however, and are not associated with significant Tl isotope effects. In the Kalix estuary, the Tl concentrations and isotope compositions can be explained by two-component mixing between river water and a high-salinity end member that is enriched in Tl relative to seawater. These results indicate that Tl can display variable behavior in estuarine systems but large additions and losses of Tl were not observed in the present study. Copyright ?? 2005 Elsevier Ltd.