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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Ecological Risk Assessment

Industrial Impact on Marsh Soils at the Bahia Blanca Ria, Argentina


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 31 No. 2, p. 532-538
    Received: Aug 1, 2000

    * Corresponding author(s): mandrade@uvigo.es
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  1. Maria Luisa Andrade *a,
  2. Maria Luisa Reyzabalb,
  3. Purificacion Marceta and
  4. Maria Jose Monteroa
  1. a Dep. of Vegetable Biology and Soil Sciences, Ap. 874, 36200 Vigo, Spain
    b Dep. of Agronomy, Universidad Nacional del Sur, Bahía Blanca, Argentina


The Bahía Blanca Estuary is located in southern Buenos Aires province, Argentina. The area is linked to a petrochemical industrial complex, whose raw materials and final products contaminate the surrounding areas via atmospheric pollution and effluents, which are dumped in the estuary waters. To establish the effects of the industrial waste disposal on the nearest coastal soils, 17 samples were taken at different distances from the loading dock and the outfall pipes of the industrial complex. Later, the physicochemical characteristics of the soil samples, their hydrocarbon contents, sulfides, sulfates, Zn, Cu, and Pb were analyzed and a comparison was made to control samples, which were not affected by the industrial outfall. Hydrocarbons, Zn, Cu, and Pb contents were found at levels that modified the physical and chemical characteristics of the soils. The resistance to penetration shows that the thinner the film of water that surrounds the particles or aggregates, the smaller the migration of organic micelle, which settle on the surface of the contact material. This is demonstrated by the degree of cohesion reached by the particles and the strong influence on the index of hydrophobicity. The high porosity shows that the continuity of the porous space of the soil matrix is impeded by the presence of pollutants, which generate areas that are highly limiting to water flow. The oxidation–reduction potential and the low concentrations of soluble forms of Cu and Pb compared with their concentrations precipitated as sulfides confirm the action of the pollutants.

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Copyright © 2002. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyPublished in J. Environ. Qual.31:532–538.