The effects of pH, ionic strength and concentration on the sorption of Th(IV) on alumina and silica were investigated and the sorption isotherms of Th(IV) on alumina and silica at different pH values were determined. It was found for both sorbents that the absorbability of silica is less than that of alumina. The relative sorption rate of silica is similar to that of alumina. The sorption edges are similar to each other, that the insensitivity of sorption to ionic strength is about the same. These similarities between the sorbents suggest that the speciation of Th(IV) in aqueous solutions plays a significant, but subtle role, in controlling the sorption process, because the charges of both sorbents are distinctly different. The mechanism of Th(IV) sorption on alumina is distinctly different from that of the sorptions of Cs+, Eu3+ and Yb3+ on alumina, and similar to that of the sorption of Co(II) on alumina.