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Pollution Issues Affecting Río de la Plata Estuary, Argentina – February 16th, 2013

34.6S 58.3W

February 16th, 2013 Category: Image of the day, Rivers, Sediments

Argentina and Uruguay – January 26th, 2013

The Río de la Plata is a complex water system that connects the del Plata Basin with the Atlantic Ocean. Streams flow from southwest to northeast discharging along the coast of the Río de la Plata Estuary.

Its southwestern coastal sector holds densely populated areas (here, the city of Buenos Aires is visible as a large grey area) with tributaries running across them, which are also receptors of different discharges of pollutants. Human activity is the cause of serious pollution of surface waters, sediments and soils due to point and non-point industrial, agricultural and urban sources.

Results of recent studies show high burdens of different chemical loads in tributaries such as Riachuelo and Canal Oeste. Concentration levels of pollutants are within ranges expected to produce biological effects on aquatic biota, pointing to the need for mitigation interventions (click here for more information).

Paraná Delta and Rio de la Plata Estuary, Argentina

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January 29th, 2013 Category: Rivers, Wetlands

Argentina – January 28th, 2013

The Paraná River runs through Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina, where it flows into another river called Río de la Plata. Through the Parana Delta and the Rio de la Plata estuary, the second major hydrographic basin of South America (La Plata Basin) drains to the Atlantic Ocean.

From a geologic perspective, the complex system of the delta and the estuary are considered a dynamic sedimentary geologic-hydrologic unit which has a vital relevance not only for the region -a high populated area with more than 22 million inhabitants- but also for the hydrology of South American continent. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Rio de la Plata, the Amazon and the Orinoco carry into the Atlantic Ocean more than 30% of the renewable freshwater of the world.

The Delta of the Paraná River is one of the largest coastal wetlands systems of Argentina, spreading over 320 km and covering a surface of 15000 km2. The Delta presents a variable width, from 18 Km up to 100 km, and according to landscape parameters and hydrologic regimes, it presents more than 10 landscape units distributed in 3 zones: Superior, Medium and Lower Delta. The Parana Delta is rich in biodiversity and natural resources and faces the pressures of urban growth and the consequences of climate changes. It is a natural capital which represents a valuable benefit for the human population due to the ecosystem’s goods and services.

The high sediment transportation rate of the Parana River turns the delta into a changing territory whose front is expanding towards the Rio de la Plata and it is expected to reach the coast of the city of Buenos Aires (visible here as a grey area on the shores of the estuary) in around 110 years. This future trend makes important to develop a study of the complete system taking into account the natural phenomenon, the relation with the dynamics of the urbanization processes and climate changes (click here for more information).

Varied Hues of Sediments in Rio de la Plata Estuary, Argentina and Uruguay

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December 7th, 2012 Category: Rivers, Sediments

Argentina – December 2nd, 2012

A beautiful mix of colors from sediments and algal growth can be seen in the Rio de la Plata Estuary, between Argentina (below, left) and Uruguay (above, right): many different hues including dark brown, tan, greyish brown, green and blue are all present. Visible on the Argentine side is the country’s capital city, Buenos Aires, appearing as a large grey area. Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, is visible further east, on the upper banks.

Sediments in Río de la Plata Estuary, Argentina

34.6S 58.3W

October 17th, 2012 Category: Rivers, Sediments

Argentina – October 14th, 2012

Sediments in the Río de la Plata give the estuary’s waters chocolate and toffee tones before dispersing into the deep waters of the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Argentina (below) and Uruguay (above). Visible along the shores of the estuary is the city of Buenos Aires, appearing as a large grey area amidst the otherwise green, vegetated landscape.

Green and Tan Sediments in Rio de la Plata Estuary – July 11th, 2012

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July 11th, 2012 Category: Image of the day, Rivers, Sediments

Argentina and Uruguay – July 9th, 2012

Sediments diffusing into the Atlantic Ocean give intense coloring to the Rio de la Plata estuary, separating Argentina (left) and Uruguay (above). The sediments rushing into the estuary from the Paraná and Uruguay Rivers give its upper reaches a dark tan hue, which changes to opaque yet lighter tan near the mouth, before mixing with the waters of the Atlantic Ocean in beautiful greenish tones. Visible near the left edge, on the shores of the estuary, is the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires. Montevideo, the Uruguayan capital, can be seen near the right edge.

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