Geochemistry of Continental Shelf Sediments of the Ceará Coast, North-Eastern Brazil

  • G. S. S. Freire
  • D. F. Gomes
  • S. F. Lima
  • L. P. Maia
  • L. D. Lacerda
Part of the Environmental Science book series (ESE)


The coastal area of Ceará State, norht-eastern Brazil (Fig. 26.1) extends for about 570 km from latitude 3°07′ S to 4°50′ S and longitude 42°15′ W and 39°45′ W. It is limited to the west by the Parnaiba River Delta and to the east by the Apodi River estuary. The coastal relief comprises a 50 to 100 km-wide belt of coarse-grained, siliclastic sediments of Tertiary age (“Barreiras Formation”) bordered by granite-gneissic mountain chains from the pre-Cambrian (Mabesoone et al. 1972). The total drainage area of the coastal zone reaches about 200 000 km2 and total river discharge to the sea is about 200 m3s−1 (ANEEL 2000). The plain is drained by small rivers, with the exception of the extensive Jaguaribe River on the extreme eastern portion of the coast. Climate is humid (1 000 to 1 200 mm yr−1) along the mountainous relief and valleys and semiarid (500 to 700 mm yr−1) in the low lands. Annual rainfall distribution characterises a short humid period, February-May, when over 80% of the total yearly rainfall occurs (Lima et al. 2000). Soils are mostly yellow-red euthrophic podsols under more humid climates and solonetz soils under more arid conditions (Pereira et al. 1991). Extensive dune fields, coastal lagoons and mangroves are typical of the coastline.


Continental Shelf Sedimentary Facies Calcareous Alga Terrigenous Sediment Shelf Sediment 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. S. S. Freire
  • D. F. Gomes
  • S. F. Lima
  • L. P. Maia
  • L. D. Lacerda

There are no affiliations available

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