BASELINE OF Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn AND Al CONCENTRATIONS IN CATATUMBO RIVER SURFICIAL SEDIMENTS

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Abstract

Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn and Al were determined in surficial sediment samples from Catatumbo River (including sediments from major tributaries) a binational basin shared by both Venezuela and Colombia in approximately 30% and 70%, respectively. The global mean concentration of the metals was Al > Fe > Mg > Ca > Mn (0.376; 0.304; 0.063; 0.042; 5.9 × 10-4 mmol g-1 dry weight). The objectives of this investigation were (1) to establish metal-concentration baselines, and (2) to determine spatial distribution of Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn and Al concentrations, in bed sediment samples from Catatumbo River (including sediments from major tributaries). As Catatumbo River is the main tributary to Lake Maracaibo system (South America's largest inland lake), its impact on the eutrophication process of Lake Maracaibo due to the formation of metal/phosphorus complexes is discussed.

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