Major ion chemistry in a freshwater coastal lagoon from Southern Brazil (Mangueira lagoon): influence of groundwater inputs

Santos, Isaac Rodrigues dos; Machado, Maria Isabel Corrêa da Silva; Niencheski, Luis Felipe Hax; Burnett, William C.; Milani, Idel Cristiana Bigliardi; Andrade, Carlos Francisco Ferreira de; Peterson, Richard; Chanton, Jeffrey; Baisch, Paulo Roberto Martins


This paper characterizes major ion distributions and investigates whether groundwater exerts a major control on the chemical functioning of Mangueira Lagoon, a large (90 km long), shallow (*4–5 m deep), and fresh coastal lagoon in southern Brazil. Water volumes equivalent to *80% of the total annual input are used in the summer for irrigating nearby rice plantations, the most important regional economic activity. While Na+ and Cl- are the major ions in local groundwater, Na+ and HCO3- are the most enriched ions in lagoon water. The ion concentrations measured in Mangueira Lagoon were homogeneous, except for a few samples affected by rainwater and groundwater inputs. A shore-normal transect starting at the pump house of a rice irrigation canal indicated strong groundwater input at this canal. In spite of the small volume contribution (*2% of precipitation), groundwater discharge accounts for 50–70% of major ion inputs into the lagoon, with *70% of the groundwater inputs being anthropogenically derived (e.g., from the rice irrigation canals). This may have serious implications for the management of the coastal water resources from Mangueira Lagoon and other similar areas as groundwater associated with agricultural systems may be contaminated by fertilizers and pesticides. The results imply that groundwater should not be neglected in dissolved species’ budgets even when its volume contribution is small.

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