The elemental composition of pine trees as a function of age was achieved by the tree-ring method. By using instrumental neutron activation analysis, trace elements were determined in individual rings ofPinus elliottii var.elliottii of 32, 14 and 9 years, from an implanted forest ofPinus sp., Buri, São Paulo, far away from industrial pollution. Different components of the system such as needles, pith, bark, soil and litter were also analyzed for 18 elements (As, Br, Ce, Co, Cs, Eu, Fe, Hf, K, La, Mn, Na, Rb, Sc, Sm, Yb, Zn, and Zr). Al, B, Ba, Ca, Fe, K, Mg, and P concentrations were determined by atomic absorption and/or emission spectrometry (AAS; ICP-AES). Some elements have showed similar radial distribution of the concentration for the three ages. Abrupt concentration changes in the pith and ring-bark boundary corresponding to the first and last growth rings were observed.
Neutron activation analysis was performed on aluvial soil samples from several sites on the floodplains of the Amazon River and its major tributaries for trace elements determination. The spatial and temporal variations of chemical composition of floodland sediments in the Amazon basin are discussed. No significant difference was found in trace elemental distribution in the floodland soils along the Amazon main channel, even after the source material has been progressively diluted with that from lowland draining tributaires. It was also seen that the average chemical composition of floodplain soils compares well with that of the suspended sediments.
Authors:L. Lara, E. Fernandes, H. Oliveira, M. Bacchi, and E. Ferraz
The interactive processes operating on the continental shelf adjacent to the river mouth control the amount and the characteristics of the Amazon discharge reaching the Atlantic Ocean. In this study, the distribution of trace elemental concentrations, with emphasis to the rare-earth elements, in sediment cores collected at several stations from the Amazon continental shelf during the falling water period was investigated by instrumental neutron activation analysis. Cores from the terrigenous and blue water zones have relatively uniform REE concentrations throughout the profile. Cerium anomalies for samples of the upper section of the eight stations are consistently positive and of high values (normally >2). Similar variation in the elemental concentration ratios between the seabed sediments and Amazon River suspended sediments was seen for stations located in the biogenic and blue water zones, with an enrichment for Ce, Sm, Fe, Th, and Sc and a depletion for the La, Eu, Tb, Yb, Co, Cr, Cs, Hf, Ta, and Zn. The shale-normalized REE patterns from shelf sediments are enriched in LREE relative to HREE, with enrichment factors varying from 1.5 for stations near the river mouth (terrigenous zone) to 1.9 for stations located far in the blue water zone. Published data for the Amazon River suspended sediment agree remarkably well with this observation of LREE-enrichment.
Authors:P. Favaro, E. De Nadai Fernandes, E. Ferraz, and M. Falótico
Over the last decades the acceleration of the industrialization and urbanization processes together with the intensive agricultural
practices have resulted in an impact on the Piracicaba river basin, state of São Paulo, Brazil. The source rivers drain from
an area of low population density, absence of heavy industries, non-significant agriculture, native forest and reforestation,
the opposite is found in the middle part of the basin. Samples of riverbed sediments were collected along the basin for chemical
analysis. Results showed that the source rivers still preserve their natural characteristics, while the Atibaia river in the
middle part shows signs of pollution from the agricultural activity, industrial effluents and urban sewage.
Authors:Elisabete De Nadai Fernandes, M. Bacchi, G. Sarriés, and E. Ferraz
Soil as an impurity in sugarcane is a serious problem for the ethanol industry, increasing production and maintenance costs
and reducing the productivity. Fe, Hf, Sc and Th determined by INAA were used as tracers to assess the amount of soil in sugarcane
from truckloads as well as in the juice extraction process. Quality control tools were applied to results identifying the
need for stratification according to soil type and moisture. Soil levels of truckloads had high variability indicating potential
for improving cut and loading operations. Samples from the juice extraction process allowed tracking the soil in the mill