Anthropogenic contamination of an estuarine system evaluated by PIXE


A study of the elemental concentrations of sediments, collected in the estuary formed by the confluence of the rivers Tinto and Odiel in Huelva, Spain, has been performed by PIXE. 2.5 MeV protons from the 3 MV Van de Graaff accelerator of the ITN, Sacavém (Portugal), were used and two runs for each sample were done with and without a composed Cr + mylar filter. Our main aim has been the evaluation of the environmental impact generated by an industrial complex sited in the surroundings and formed by fertilizer, metal and paint factories that discharge their waste in this area. The results confirm the previously determined anthropogenic impact and give additionally information about the contribution of each factory to the total contamination.