GeoScienceWorld
GeoRef Record 2010-052695

Influence of geomorphological variables on mountainous stream water chemistry (Sierras Pampeanas, Cordoba, Argentina)

Influence of geomorphological variables on mountainous stream water chemistry (Sierras Pampeanas, Cordoba, Argentina)

Latitude & Longitude S32°00′00″ – S31°30′00″ and W65°10′00″ – W64°30′00″

Abstract

The relationship between geomorphological features and water geochemistry was studied for a group of mountainous rivers (from nearly equal 900 to nearly equal 2200 m a.s.l.) with similar geology and climate, in the Sierras Pampeanas of Cordoba (Argentina, 31 degrees 30', 32 degrees 00'S, and 64 degrees 30', 65 degrees 10'W). A multivariate approach was used to identify three morphological domains that describe the set of sampled rivers, namely "size" dominance, slope dominance, and drainage density dominance. The links between physicochemical and geomorphological variables show that "size" dominance is mostly related to major ions, conductivity, and pH, which tend to increase downstream. Slope dominance is associated with the total concentration of heavy metal (i.e., high heavy metal concentrations are associated with relatively flat areas with slightly acid to circumneutral pH, which promotes desorption). The drainage density dominance results in an association between well-drained catchments and low Cl (super -) concentration (i.e., preserving the chemical signature of atmospheric precipitation). Abstract Copyright (2009) Elsevier, B.V.