7.  Acid Rain

"Major rivers of the southeastern region [of Brazil] show pH values between 6.0 and 7.5.  Thus, there is little or no evidence of acidification of either soils or surface waters." (pg. 293) 27.

    -Acidification occurs naturally
    -In tropical areas with high rainfall, natural acidification of soils and surface waters is common
    -Tropical areas also especially sensitive to further acidification by increased atmospheric deposition of sulfate and nitrate ions
    -Three conditions for aquatic ecosystem to be acidified by atmospheric deposition
            -Atmospheric deposition of sulfate or nitrate or some other anion must increase
                -Data on anion retention capacity?
            -Adjacent soils to aquatic ecosystem must not retain the anion that is increased in deposition
            -Aquatic ecosystem must have low alkalinity for acidification to result in biological damage.  Aquatic ecosystems of this type are typically associated with acid soils 26.

rivers dams  

Rivers and Dams of Brazil (click to enlarge)


Industrial Areas of Southeastern Brazil (click to enlarge)

Characteristics of the major rivers and tributaries of the southeastern region of Brazil  27

     -São Francisco River
            -Runs 3.161 km
            -Drains 670,000 km2
            -Well irrigated by rains in its higher part, semi humid and semiarid in its medium section, and humid again in coastal zone
            -Highest mean discharge in January
            -Max precipitation in December
sao francisco
    -Paraíba do Sul River
            -Results from confluence of Paraitinga and Paraibuna rivers, which have dams on their high reaches
            -Supplies water to 27 cities, also bears cities' wastes
            -Municipal pollution greater than industrial pollution
            -Draining area about 57,000 km^2
            -Length 1,145 km
    -Tieté River
            -Basin covers 84,170 km^2 draining area
            -30% is agricultural land, 30% reforested, 1.3% natural vegetation
            -Provides 28% of Sáo Paulo urban water supply
            -Receives about 300 tons organic matter daily
            -After crossing city, receives additional pollutants from agricultural chemicals and fertilizers
    -Paranapanema River
            -Flows into River Paraná
            -About 900 km long
            -Basin draining area of 45690 km^2
            -Excellent water quality, although some waste discharges from food industries, distilleries, paper mills, and cellulose plants
            -Mainly agricultural, with 14% reforested areas, 10% natural forests, in basin: 41% of the surface is pasture
    -Grande River
            -Drainage area about 122,000 km^2


"Differences in nitrogen and sulfur concentrations observed in river waters of the southeastern region of Brazil cannot be explained by geological, pedological, or climatic factors.  Higher N0-3, NH+4, and SO 2-4 contents were determined in rivers crossing urban and industrial areas, the same areas that also present a polluted atmosphere." (p.284)27.

City Characteristics:
        -About 23 industrial sites, including chemical and fertilizer plants, metal works and an oil refinery
        -Natural orographic barrier:
            -Winds blowing from sea toward continent meet the Sierra do Mar
            -Prevents pollutants from dispersing
        -Rainy season December 1982 show rainwater pH in downtown Cubatão varied from 3.7 to 4.7 while values in nearby Vila Parisi ranged from 5.8 to 6.8
    -São Paulo City
        -pH values of rainwater from 6.33 to 2.67, with mean value 5.0
        -in precipitation, high Ca 2+ and high K + concentrations
                -Likely due to large quantity of cement dust in the air27.

Pollution creation:
    3 major metropolitan areas:  Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, and Sao Paulo
    -Cover only 2% of southeastern region, but emit about 450,000 tons/year of SO2 into atmosphere
    -Low wind speeds of southeastern region allow deposition of pollutants near emission sites
    -Principal emission sources:  metal smelting and metal working industries, electric power plants, fertilizer and heavy chemical industries
    -Principal air pollution sources outside urban areas:  Biomass burning and animal waste disposal 27.

Recommendations for Research
    Environmental monitoring activities by states and municipalities of southeastern region
        -Facilitate regional comparisons of results and environmental conditions
    -Permanent monitoring networks in selected rural and urban areas
           -Determine spatial and temporal gradients in precipitation chemistry and concentrations of airborne gases, fine aerosol particles, and coarse particulate matter
            -Main chemical constituents to study:  pH, conductivity, amounts of major cations and anions, amounts of organic acids, sulfur dioxides, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, ammonia and nitric acid vapors, heavy metals in air and precipitation
    -Permanent monitoring networks to measure seasonal and multiannual trends in flow rates and chemistry of both headwater streams and major rivers
            -Chemical constituents:  pH, conductivity, alkalinity, amounts of major nutrient cations and anions, selected heavy metals
    -Permanent monitoring networks to determine long-term changes in chemistry of soils and groundwater aquifers 27.


The Massachusetts Institute of Technology                               Contact:  lacooney@mit.edu


Research Bibliography
***Note:  I will update these web-sites as correct bibliographical entries soon.

1.      Palaeoceanography  Environmental Change Research Centre

2.      Land Surface Hydrology and Water Chemistry The Large Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia (LBA)

3.     The source of the Amazon River was just recently discovered. Why did it take so long?  National Geographic Society

4.     Tropical Deforestation Fact Sheet   NASA Earth Observatory

5.     Effects of Deforestation

6.     Amazonia - Resiliency and Dynamism of the Land and its People  Nigel J.H. Smith, Emanuel Adilson S. Serrão, Paulo T. Alvim, and Italo C. Falesi,  United Nations University

7.    Solving the Amazon?s climate riddle  By Ginger Pinholster, SCIENCE

8.    Fish in the Trees   by Rachel Hauser, NASA Earth Observatory

9.    River Seasons  by Laura Cheshire, NASA Earth Observatory

10.  http://www.gsfc.nasa.gov/gsfc/educ/science/2001/01-04-01.htm

11.  Amazon Deconstruction:  Cause and Effect    camille, charlie, hsing hsing, maya, pete, University of Washington

12.  "Applications of Hillslope Process Hydrology in Forest Land Management Issues:  The Tropical North-East Australian Experience", Mike Bonell

13.  Dictionary of Geography, Oxford University Press

                    Bela Petry & Doron Grull
15.  "Analysis of the Streamflow Record Extension for the Xingu River at Babaquara  Maria Elvira Pineiro Maceira and Jorge Machado Damazio  

16.  Seasonal Variations in the evapotranspiration of a transitional tropical forest of Mato Grosso, Brazil  George Vourlitis, Nicolau Priante Filho, Mauro Hayashi, Jose de S. Nogueira, Fernando Caseiro, Jose Holanda Campelo 

17.  Towards improving natural resources use in Eastern Amazonia through a modified sequential agroforestry system  Sa, T.D. de A.; Vielhauer, K.; Kanashiro, M.; Denich, M. and Vlek, P.L.G.

18.  Cloud condensation nuclei in the Amazon Basin:  "Marine" conditions over a continent?  Gregory C. Roberts and Meinrat O. Andreae; Jingchuan Zhou; Paulo Artaxo

19.  Rates and Processes of Amazon Deforestation  Michael Glantz, Tandy Brook, Patricia Parisi

20.  Acid Rain   Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

21.  Effects of Acid Rain:  Lakes and Streams   EPA

 Sea surface temperatures impact weather in Amazon basin  Environmental News Network, By Robinson Shaw

23.  Giant spy eye opens on world's biggest rainforest, Environmental News Network, by Katherine Baldwin

24.  Aluminum Companies Urged to Scrap Plans for Amazon Dams  Glenn Switkes                              

25.   SIVAM

26.  Chapter 1:  Acidification and Regional air Pollution in the Tropics by H. Rodhe, E. Cowling, I.E. Galbally, J. N. Galloway and R. Herrera
        Edited by Henning Rodhe and Rafael Herrera, Acidification in Tropical Countries, John Wiley & Sons, 1988

27.  Chapter 8:  Acidification in Southeastern Brazil by L. M. Moreira-Nordemann, M. C. Forti, V. L. Di Lascio, C. M. do Espirito Santo and O. M. Danelon
        Edited by Henning Rodhe and Rafael Herrera, Acidification in Tropical Countries, John Wiley & Sons, 1988

28.  Tucurui Hydropower Complex Brazil, Final Report November 2000, Prepared for the World Commision on Dams

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology                               Contact:  lacooney@mit.edu