Chemical composition of the small coastal lagoons of the Mediterranean Spanish littoral
M.P. López and X. Tomàs

About sixty small water bodies (coastal lagoons, marshes, salt pans, channels, springs, etc.) of the Spanish Mediterranean coast were sampled seasonally for one year (1979-1980), in order to study different aspects of their chemical composition. The concentrations of major ions (alkalinity, Cl-, Ca2+, Mg2+, Na+, and K+), nutrients (N.NO-3, N.NO2-, TRP and Si), oxygen and pH were determined for this purpose. The salt concentrations measured range between 0.4 and 361.3 g l-1. The samples have been divided into four classes of salinity (in g l-1): Cl, S < 5; C2, 5 < S < 18; C3, 18 < S < 40; C4, S > 40. Within these classes, the pattern of ionic dominance recorded is remarkably constant and similar to that found in most coastal lagoons (Cl- > So42- > Alk., for the anions, and Na+ > Mg2+ > Ca2+ > K+, for the cations), although other models occur especially in the first class. The dominance of Na+ and Cl-, as well as the molar ratios Mg2+/Ca2+ and Cl- / SO42- ,clearly increase from class Cl to class C4. The hyperhaline waters include different subtypes of the major brine type “c”,, of EUGSTER & HARDIE (1978), the Na+ - (Mg2+) - Cl- - (SO42-) being the most frequent. Nutrient concentrations fall within a wide range (N.NO3 from 0.1 to 1100 mg-at 1-1; PRT from 0.01 to 23.56 mg-at l-1 and Si from 1.0 to 502.0 mg-at l-1). The oxygen values are very variable too, ranging between 0 and 14.4 ml l-1. Four different patterns of nutrient distribution have been distinguished based on the mean concentrations of N.NO3-, and TRP (mean values in mg-at l-1): A, N.NO3- < 10, TRP > l ; B, N.NO3- > 100, TRP < 1; C, 10 < N.NO3- < 100, TRP < 1; C, D, N.NO3- < 10, TRP < 1. As a rule, lagoons of low salinity (C1 and C2 classes) display the nutrient pattern C, and lagoons of high salinity (C3 and C4) show the nutrient pattern D. Model A only appears in waters of very low salinity, whereas model B does not seem to be related to salinity.

Keywords: coastal lagoons, chemistry, nutrients, Mediterranean lagoons, Spain.
Contents of this volume Sci. Mar. 53(2-3) : 591-599 Back PDF
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