Original Article

Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 60, Issue 6, pp 1291-1301

First online:

Mangrove forest sedimentation and its reference to sea level rise, Cananeia, Brazil

  • Christian J. SandersAffiliated withDepartamento de Geoquímica, Universidade Federal de Fluminense (UFF) Email author 
  • , Joseph M. SmoakAffiliated withEnvironmental Science, University of South Florida (USF)
  • , A. Sathy NaiduAffiliated withInstitute of Marine Science, University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF)
  • , Denise R. AraripeAffiliated withDepartamento de Química Analítica, Universidade Federal de Fluminense (UFF)
  • , Lucian M. SandersAffiliated withEnvironmental Science, University of South Florida (USF)
  • , Sambasiva R. PatchineelamAffiliated withDepartamento de Geoquímica, Universidade Federal de Fluminense (UFF)

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The stability of a mangrove ecosystem in Cananeia, Brazil, is assessed based on investigations of the site-specific temporal rise in relative sea level during the past 50 years, 100-year sediment accumulation rates (SAR) and sources of organic matter (OM). Addressing this, three sediment cores were collected in a transect, intertidal mud flat, mangrove margin and well into the forest. The net SAR, as estimated by the age–depth relationships of 210Pb and 137Cs, is between 2.5 and 3.9 mm year−1. These rates are comparable to the estimates based on the Pb and Zn contaminant markers corresponding to mining initiation in the region in 1918. Further, the SARs are lower than the rate of regional relative sea level rise (4 mm year−1) as indicated by the past 50-year tide gauge record, but the rate is higher than the eustatic sea level rise (1.7 ± 0.3 mm year−1). The stratigraphies of TOC/TN, δ13C(OC), OP and δ15N indicate site-specific mangal vegetal litter, which is the predominant source of OM at all core sites, during the past century and reflects a stable mangal system over that time span.


210Pb 137Cs Trace metal contamination TOC TN OP δ13C(OC) δ15N