Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
Abstract The Suquía is a semiarid (rainfall, 700-900 mm y-1), medium-size (7700 km2) riversystem located in central Argentina. Its mountainous upper catchment includes pristine areas aswell as a variety of human settlements and a reservoir lake. A large city (Córdoba, ca. 1.3million inhabitants) and a terminal hypersaline lake are included in the middle and lower basin.Total non-residual (TNR) heavy metals (Pb, Cu, Ni, Zn, Mn, and Fe) have been determined inriver bed sediments in two seasons (spring and autumn), seeking to establish the factors whichcontrol the temporal and spatial variability. The major findings were: a) concentrations of TNRmetals were, in general, higher during springtime than during autumn, particularly downstreamfrom the city of Córdoba; b) organic matter played a significant role as a controlling factorwherever it defined reducing conditions, lowering the concentrations of Mn and Fe hydrousoxides; c) a higher organic load (e.g., downstream the city) and more pronounced reducingconditions could be the causes for the increased Fe concentration, probably precipitated assulfides; d) organic matter exhibited a closer correlation with some TNR metals in autumn,probably caused by a larger capacity for complexation in the biologically-processed organicdebris; and, e) the existence of pristine areas in the drainage basin allowed for the calculation ofenrichment factors (EF) which show the significance of several environmental impacts in theSuquía system.
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