STRATI 2013 pp 857-861 | Cite as

Geochemical Signatures of Recent Holocene Estuarine Sediments of the Jaboatão River, Pernambuco, Brazil

  • Marta M. do Rego Barros Fernandes de LimaEmail author
  • Virgínio Henrique Neumann
  • Maria Teresa Taboada Castro
  • Enjôlras de A. Medeiros Lima
  • Edmilson Santos de Lima
  • Ricardo Ferreira da Silva
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Geology book series (SPRINGERGEOL)


The Jaboatão River Basin, northeastern Brazil, is characterized by urban and industrial land uses, although it includes extensive sugarcane plantations with a marked deterioration of the native forests. Heavy metal (HM) concentrations in estuarine sediments of the river have been measured to assess possible historical sources of pollution. The trace metals were investigated based on samples from a drill core taken 4 km from the mouth of the river. The sediments of the core were analysed for chemistry, particle size, and organic matter (OM) content. The chemical species analysed (As, Cr, Pb, Hg, Ni, and Zn) show higher concentrations in the 30–35 cm interval of the core. This indicates that the accumulation of HMs has been constant over the last few decades and confirms the existence of two well-differentiated compartments, one above and one below the 30–35 cm horizon. The partitioning of the sedimentary and geochemical profiles highlights varying environmental conditions in the estuary. This behaviour is marked by a conspicuous dichotomy in the C/N ratio, specifying signatures dependent on the geochemistry of the sediments and on hydrodynamic variations, in an essentially organo–siliciclastic depositional context. The OM present in the sediments indicates a progressive evolution of continental environment conditions at the bottom to more estuarine conditions at the top, which could indicate a small and progressive drowning of the Jaboatão River mouth, probably related to sea-level rise in the range considered.


Heavy metal Organic matter Environmental geochemistry 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marta M. do Rego Barros Fernandes de Lima
    • 1
    Email author
  • Virgínio Henrique Neumann
    • 2
  • Maria Teresa Taboada Castro
    • 3
  • Enjôlras de A. Medeiros Lima
    • 4
  • Edmilson Santos de Lima
    • 2
  • Ricardo Ferreira da Silva
    • 5
  1. 1.MFG TransportesAflitosBrazil
  2. 2.Departament of GeologyFederal University of Pernambuco, UFPE, CTGPernambucoBrazil
  3. 3.Universidad A Coruña, C/Maestranza, snA CoruñaSpain
  4. 4.Geological Survey of Brazil, CPRMRecifeBrazil
  5. 5.Departament of GeologyFederal University of Pernambuco, UFPE, CTGRecifeBrazil

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