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Anthropogenic influences in a lagoonal environment: a multiproxy approach at the valo grande mouth, Cananéia-Iguape system (SE Brazil)


The Cananéia-Iguape system, SE Brazil, consists of a complex of lagoonal channels, located in a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Biosphere Reserve. Nevertheless, important environmental changes have occurred in approximately the last 150 yrs due to the opening of an artificial channel, the Valo Grande, connecting the Ribeira de Iguape River to the lagoonal system. Our objective is to assess the historical record of the uppermost layers of the sedimentary column of the lagoonal system in order to determine the history of environmental changes caused by the opening of the artificial channel. In this sense, an integrated geochemical-faunal approach is used. The environmental changes led significant modifications in salinity, in changes of the depositional patterns of sediments and foraminiferal assemblages (including periods of defaunation), and, more drastically, in the input of heavy metals to the coastal environment. The concentrations Pb in the core analyzed here were up to two times higher than the values measured in contaminated sediments from the Santos estuary, the most industrialized coastal zone in Brazil.

Anthropogenic influence; Lagoon; Sedimentation; SE Brazil

O sistema Cananéia-Iguape (Sudeste do Brasil), consiste em um complexo de canais lagunares localizados no interior de uma Reserva da Biosfera (assim definida pela UNESCO). Não obstante, variações ambientais importantes ocorreram nos últimos 150 anos, devido à abertura de um canal artificial, o Valo Grande, conectando o Rio Ribeira de Iguape ao sistema lagunar. O objetivo deste trabalho foi determinar a história das variações ambientais no sistema lagunar, causadas pela abertura do canal artificial, através da análise das camadas superiores da coluna sedimentar de um testemunho coletado no sistema. Neste sentido, uma abordagem integrada, envolvendo variações geoquímicas e faunísticas foi utilizada. As variações ambientais ocorridas apontam para mudanças drásticas na salinidade, nos padrões de sedimentação, nas associações de foraminíferos (incluindo períodos azóicos) e, mais drasticamente, no aporte de metais para o sistema costeiro. As concentrações de Pb no testemunho coletado indicam valores duas vezes maiores do que os medidos em sedimentos contaminados do estuário de Santos, situado na zona costeira mais industrializada do Brasil.

Influência antrópica; Laguna; Sedimentação; SE Brasil

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Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    15 Jan 2010
  • Date of issue
    Dec 2009


  • Accepted
    07 July 2009
  • Reviewed
    17 June 2009
  • Received
    25 Mar 2009
Universidade de São Paulo, Instituto Oceanográfico Praça do Oceanográfico, 191 , 05508-120 Cidade Universitária, São Paulo - SP - Brasil, Tel.: (55 11) 3091-6501, Fax: (55 11) 3032-3092 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil