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Metal biogeochemistry in the Tinto-Odiel rivers (Southern Spain) and in the Gulf of Cadiz: a synthesis of the results of TOROS project
Elbaz-Poulichet, F.; Braungardt, C.; Achterberg, E.; Morley, N.; Cossa, D.; Beckers, J.-M.; Nomerange, P.; Cruzado, A.; Leblanc, M. (2001). Metal biogeochemistry in the Tinto-Odiel rivers (Southern Spain) and in the Gulf of Cadiz: a synthesis of the results of TOROS project. Cont. Shelf Res. 21(18-19): 1961-1973.
In: Continental Shelf Research. Pergamon Press: Oxford; New York. ISSN 0278-4343, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 278837 [ OMA ]


Authors  Top 
  • Elbaz-Poulichet, F.
  • Braungardt, C.
  • Achterberg, E.
  • Morley, N.
  • Cossa, D.
  • Beckers, J.-M., more
  • Nomerange, P., more
  • Cruzado, A.
  • Leblanc, M.

    TOROS (Tinto–Odiel–River–Ocean Study) has been studying the biogeochemical processes which control metals and nutrients cycling in the mixing zone of the Tinto and Odiel rivers (SW Spain) and has established the fate of metals in the Gulf of Cadiz in relation to hydrodynamics and biological activity. The Tinto and Odiel rivers are small, with a combined mean discharge of 18 m3/s. They drain the largest sulphide mineralisation in the world. Predominantly, Zn–Cu–Pb mineralisation has been worked since 2500 yr BC. The estuarine zone includes both an extensive area of salt marsh and an intensively industrialised urban area. As a consequence of pyrite oxidation, the Tinto and Odiel rivers are strongly acidic (pH<3) with extremely high and variable metal concentrations. Transition metals are poorly removed from the water column in the mixing zone. Moreover, drainage from large phosphogypsum waste deposits contributes to As, Hg, U and phosphate contamination of the estuary. The collapse of the tailing reservoir at los Frailes in 1998 had not impacted the chemistry of the coastal waters up to 6 months later. A large plume of metal-rich waters due to the Tinto and Odiel discharges occurs along the coast of the Gulf of Cadiz. This plume affects seasonally the Atlantic inflow through the Strait of Gibraltar. The dispersion of the metal discharges has been simulated by injection of a tracer in the 3-D hydrodynamical model. Both model and field study clearly show the inflow of metal contaminated Spanish Shelf Water through the Strait of Gibraltar.

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