Open Access

Review of magnetism and heavy metal pollution studies of various environments in Argentina

Earth, Planets and Space200658:BF03352637

Received: 14 December 2005

Accepted: 8 May 2006

Published: 8 November 2006


In recent years, the number of studies of pollution and magnetic proxies for environmental pollution in developed countries, especially European and North American countries, has gradually increased from the 80’s to date. Despite this trend that shows a positive interest in taking care of the environment and researching into the environmental impact of several human activities, pollution studies in Latin American countries have been reducing in number. Moreover, studies of magnetic proxies for pollution are scarce; in particular, studies of this nature has been carried out in Argentina over the past few years by Chaparro and coworkers. Studies of magnetic enhancement in soils due to the burning mechanism are discussed and the results of burnt soils affected by fires of different nature and natural soils are compared, taking into account their magnetic carriers. Nevertheless, this article deals mainly with the first studies of magnetic proxies for pollution conducted in a province in Argentina. Soils, lagoon and stream sediments from three areas were studied. These areas comprise La Plata, Chascomús, and Tandil districts. The influence of pollution was investigated in Tandil and La Plata, revealing magnetic enhancement and the presence of pollutants only in Tandil soils. On the other hand, stream and lagoon sediments were studied in La Plata and Chascomús. Magnetic carriers and the contents of some heavy metals were identified and investigated in both areas separately. Magnetic parameters show distinctive points and wide areas affected by pollution. Furthermore, this magnetic inference is supported by high contents of heavy metals, especially lead and zinc. Finally, a new statistical study of multiple correlation analysis concerning data from La Plata and Chascomús areas was tried in order to investigate the existence of a linear relation between sets of several magnetic parameters and several chemical variables.

Key words

Magnetismmagnetic enhancementpollutionstream sedimentssoils