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Microbasin and physical-chemical diagnostic in Ribeirao das Araras, Araras, Sao Paulo

, : Microbasin and physical-chemical diagnostic in Ribeirao das Araras, Araras, Sao Paulo. Geociencias (Sao Paulo) 22(2-2): 195-208

Natural habitats are increasingly becoming degraded due to urbanization. In lotic systems; where anthropic activities not properly regulated will compromise the quality of freshwater supplies. The Ribeirao of Araras Micro basin is a good example of negative effects produced from both urban and agricultural activities. This micro basin is located at the central portion of Araras city; to the east of the Mogi Guacu River Macro basin; and has an area of about 16 km (super 2) . The objective of this research was to classify the Ribeirao of Araras Microbasin along its upstream-downstream gradient; according to physical-chemical variables; physiography and hydrography. The classification was used to define different microzones and to access its water quality. Sampling was conducted during the dry season (march to November) to minimize the influence of runoff variation. Three fluvial microzones were identified: High (HRA); Medium (MRA) and Low ribeirao of Araras (LRA). In the HRA; the sources presented good quality; being classified as Class I. The riparian vegetation was present; but in some sources was replaced by sugar cane cultures. The physiography showed metric to decimetric cascades with declivities above 30 degrees; and a turbulent lotic system. The main impacts in HRA were physical (stream erosion and sediments transported downstream) and biological (deforestation). The MRA was located in the urban area. The waters in MRA; were classified as Class II and III; showing pH values as high as 9.67; expressive decreases in redox (from zero to-140 mV); and an overall increase in oxygen levels. These changes were probably a result of the large volume of industrial effluents present. The landscape was flat with small steps; and the lotic system was turbulent. The identified impacts in MRA were physical (erosion and sediments transport); biological (deforestation) and chemical (industrial effluents). In LRA the waters were also classified as Classes II to III. This portion was occupied by recreational and rural properties. Riparian vegetation was present along the banks and was eventually replaced by cultures of orange and sugar cane. There the lotic system increased in volume and lower declivity favored a more laminar flow; many marginal lagoons appeared. The results showed the decrease of quality in Microbasin resulting from urbanization; and suggest that the Municipal and State Administrations are not effectively enforcing the environmental laws.


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