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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2012, Article ID 676173, 14 pages
Research Article

Assessment of Physical-Chemical Characteristics of Water and Sediments from a Brazilian Tropical Estuary: Status and Environmental Implications

1Departamento de Ciências Exatas e da Terra, Universidade do Estado da Bahia, Rua Silveira Martins 2555, Cabula, 41150-000 Salvador, BA, Brazil
2Departamento de Solos, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Avenida PH Rolfs, Campus Universitário, 36570-000 Viçosa-MG, Brazil
3Centro de Ciências da Saúde, Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, Avenida Maruípe, S/N Maruípe, 29042-751 Vitória, ES, Brazil
4Diretoria de Graduação, Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia do Espírito Santo, Avenida Vitória 1729, Jucutuquara, 29040-780 Vitória, ES, Brazil
5Instituto de Química, Universidade Federal da Bahia, Rua Barão de Geremoabo 147, 40170-115 Salvador, BA, Brazil

Received 20 October 2011; Accepted 7 December 2011

Academic Editors: M. L. de la Torre and J. L. Zhou

Copyright © 2012 Madson de G. Pereira et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The environmental quality of the Jacuípe River's estuary (very important in northeastern Brazil) was assessed during 2007 and 2008. In water, concentrations (mg L−1) of NO2 (<0.004 to 0.016), NO3 (0.01 to 0.33), soluble PO43 (<0.02 to 0.22), dissolved oxygen (3.9 to 9.6), total contents (mg L−1) of Cd (<0.001), Cu (<0.01), Pb (<0.01), and Zn (<0.1), pH (5.60 to 8.00), and electrical conductivity (0.12 to 48.60 mS cm−1) agreed with environmental standards. In sediments, clay and total organic matter (%, m/m) varied, respectively, from 8.8 to 12.0 and from 1.1 to 8.8, while infrared, thermogravimetric profile, electronic micrograph, as well as X-Ray analyses showed desirable adsorptive characteristics. However, maximum exchangeable levels (mg kg−1) of Cd (1.3), Cu (44.6), Pb (35.7), and Zn (43.7) and their respective maximum pseudototal concentrations (mg kg−1): 19.4, 95.1, 68.2, and 30.3 were below the recommended limits. In this sense, it was possible to demonstrate good environmental preservation even with the growing number of industries and touristic activities in the evaluated estuarine area.