Natural and anthropic perturbations to the chemical composition of the Colorado River (Tucumán, Argentina)
Economic and urban development in the province of Tucumán is closely associated with its hydrological network. In spite of the regulatory efforts to preserve the quality of the water resources, the lower basins of the majority of the rivers are contaminated with organic effluents derived from sugar-mill and citrus industry. In this paper, the conditions of the Colorado River basin are described. At its headwater, the lithology and geology determine the chemical composition. Calcite and gypsum dissolution and silicate influence water composition, which is slightly perturbed a few kilometers downstream by geothermal waters discharged by a tributary. Close to the discharge into the Salí River, the Colorado River receives a high organic matter load from the highly polluted Calimayo stream, which produces an increase in the organic matter and depletion of dissolved oxygen with redox conditions that promote the reduction of sulfate to sulfide.