National Institute for Science and Technology –
Continental Materials Transfer to the Ocean

 

MISSION

To develop research to quantify the transport, transformations and fate of sediments, organic matter, nutrients and trace metals at the continent-ocean interface along the east-northeastern coast of Brazil and its interactions with economic chains and natural processes. To consolidate the results obtained under the scope of the Millennium Institute Estuaries (www.institutomilenioestuarios.com.br) in showing similarities and differences on contamination and eutrophication processes and carrying capacities of estuarine ecosystem and the sustainable management of their coastal zone goods and services in face of changes in land use and global climate. Contribute with minimizing regional dissimilarities by supporting a strong program in capacity building at all levels of education and training. Make accessible to the society all results obtained in the study in a way to make them understandable to all levels and therefore able to be used to drawn consistent policies of sustainable development of the coastal zone in the reality of the Anthropocene.

 

OBJECTIVES AND GOALS

On the consolidation of the results obtained under the scope of the Millennium Institute program: The results obtained on the alterations of the morphology of coastal basins, erosion, sedimentation, trophic state and the dimension of the continental fluxes to the coastal zone, suggest strong temporal variability. This variability has been assessed on the seasonal scale, but is necessary to upscale to cover variations of climatic teleconnections (ICTZ, ENSO) and how these relates to the changes verified in environmental proxies at the coastal zone. This will be achieved by the application of sophisticated environmental techniques. Dating with 210Pb, the use of tangential ultra-filtration, and microanalysis and dispersive X-ray electron (SEM/EDS) and transmission (TEM) as well as chemical speciation and organic and inorganic traces and the use of natural radionuclides along materials transport through the land-sea interface will be the chosen techniques to generate the necessary results. Therefore it is necessary to synthesize the existing data, making it more easily available to specialists involved with the different aspect of the coastal zone management. Also increase the human capacity building promoted by that program.  Therefore, although largely increased in scope and participation, the present proposal is a natural continuation of the goals established by theMillennium Institute (www.institutomilenioestuarios.com.br).
The studies will be concentrated in the area already under the scope of the Millennium research program, adding however, two new areas for specific studies at the Parnaíba basin, PI, including the Delta which is practically unknown to science and the Mundaú-Manguaba lagoon system and the Cananéia region, where the abundance of previous studies will make possible the calibration of advanced methodologies and comparisons with the processes already described for the other regions.

On the human dimensions: The project aims to evaluate the social-economic impacts of the productive chains of artisan fisheries, aquaculture, irrigated agriculture and husbandry in the Municipalities of the lower Basins, in particular in terms of water use conflicts, erosion and fertility loss of soils and sedimentation of artificial reservoirs, in particular the conflicts among water use, soil erosion and sedimentation, and river damming. Participation of stakeholders will be sought by the organization of workshops to transfer the generated knowledge and how they can be applied in policy making and sustainable devotement of the coastal zone. The project will also evaluate the generation and dependence of income and jobs by the local population on the environmental conditions based on a joint evaluation of environmental and socioeconomic indicators. This dimension will be complemented by a significant effort in building human capacity in all levels of education and training.

On the environmental geochemistry framework: The project will quantify similarities and dissimilarities of contamination, eutrophication and carrying capacities of the different studied estuaries, integration and modeling them in order to construct appropriate scenarios for their sustainable utilization. This will include the geological, biological and chemical frameworks as well As the anthropogenic emissions of trace metals, nutrients and organic matter. Measurements to control and minimize emissions will be made based on these scenarios. Special attention will be given to the changes in sediment, nutrients, organic matter and pollutants fluxes from the continent downriver to the estuarine area, where most water-dependent activities are taking place, including the contributions from river damming, irrigated agriculture, urbanization and aquaculture. Particular attention will be given to changes in basin morphology, erosion and sedimentation of the estuary. A hierarchical typology of such drivers should be achieved in order to balance future planning actions for this watershed. A detailed description of the major biogeochemical processes will be performed in a comparative way taking into consideration the different geochemical backgrounds of the five regions, in particular the behavior of sediment, nutrients, organic matter and pollutants in the geochemical gradient from humid climate (Southeast) to environments under semi-arid climate (Northeast). The biogeochemical studies will incorporate sophisticated techniques of tangential ultra-filtration, and microanalysis and dispersive X-ray electron (SEM/EDS) and transmission (TEM) as well as chemical speciation and organic and inorganic traces and the use of natural radionuclides following the materials transport through the land-sea interface. Finally the consolidated seagoing logistics will allow the extending of studies to the continental shelf.

On the global and regional climate change scenarios: Environmental impacts will be evaluated by changes in biodiversity proxies of global and land use changes, including changing cover of natural key ecosystems, changing biodiversity including the spectrum of fisheries populations and key monitoring species already identified for the basin. This information shall be analyzed together with alteration in biogeochemical proxies and together with the other major lines of research will be used to drawn consistent scenarios of sustainable utilization of coastal zone goods and services in the reality of the Anthropocene.