WIT Press

Metal Contamination Of A Riparian Area In The Conchos Watershed Of Chihuahua, Mexico


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WIT Press


H. Rubio Arias , R. A. Saucedo , K. Wood , A. Nuñez


This study investigated metal contamination levels in soils at six points along a riparian area of the Conchos watershed in Chihuahua, Mexico. Soil samples were collected from the surface horizon (0-15 cm) as well as from two subsurface horizons (15-30 cm and 30-50 cm). Cadmium, sodium, manganese, lead, copper, iron and zinc concentrations were determined by flame atomic absorption spectrometry while arsenic and mercury concentrations were calculated by hydrourous-generator atomic absorption spectrometry. Also measured were pH, M.O.(%), CaCO3(%), H.C., CE, N-NO3 (as Kg ha-1), P, and K. Arsenic values were higher in the Zaragoza point with the highest value of 2.3192 ppm in the upper soil horizon. Mercury, manganese, and sodium did not show a specific trend, however mercury concentrations ranged from 0.2381 to 1.2715 ppm and were higher than those values that were present in a typical soil (0.03 to 0.2 mg kg-1). Cadmium levels were less than 9 ppm in all samples. Lead and zinc concentrations were higher in the site near an urban center reaching values of 36.8 ppm and 68.8 ppm, respectively, in the 0-15 cm horizon. The pH ranged from 7.08 to7.70. This study showed that soils in the riparian areas of one of the most important watersheds in northern Mexico are above desirable levels. Keywords: riparian soils, metal contamination, Conchos watershed, Chihuahua, Mexico.


riparian soils, metal contamination, Conchos watershed, Chihuahua, Mexico.