Stream sediments record water–rock interactions in tributaries followed by fluid mixing in larger downstream catchments, but it can be difficult to determine the relative contributions of each tributary. A good way to analyze this problem is sediment fingerprinting, which allows researchers to identify the source of sediments within a basin and to estimate the contribution of each source to the watershed. Herein, we developed a workflow using the frequentist model FingerPro v1.3 to quantify the sediment source contribution in a semiarid watershed. We applied an unmixing model algorithm to an ICP-MS geochemical database containing information on 32 elements in 362 stream sediment samples. By modeling the source contributions to these mixed samples, we infer that the main sediment contribution comes from the upper portion of the catchment (61–70%), followed by the middle (21–29%) and lower (8–10%) parts, with geochemical anomalies (As and Cu) being closely related to mining sites. Results from this study can be helpful for future management decisions to ensure a better environment in this semiarid watershed.
Nota bibliográficaPublisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.