John Libbey Eurotext

Science et changements planétaires / Sécheresse


Chemical and algological characterization of surface waters in the Orontes river (Lebanon) in a semiarid environment Volume 16, issue 2, Juin 2005


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Université Libanaise, Faculté des Sciences, Beyrouth, Hadath, Liban, Commission libanaise d’énergie atomique, Conseil national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), PO Box 11-8281, Beyrouth, Liban
  • Key words: Hydrobiology, Water quality, Degradation, Indicators, Diatoms, Lebanon
  • Page(s) : 131-5
  • Published in: 2005

The Orontes River is an international river situated in a semiarid environment, with its headwaters in Lebanon, its middle section in Syria, and its mouth in Turkey. A survey was conducted through 2001-2002 in order to assess the quality of its waters as it seems to vary along its course. Water quality is good in headwaters while due to anthropic inputs associated with agricultural, urban, and industrial activities it deteriorates in the middle section of the river. Diatoms in water are a good indicator of undergoing environmental changes, as can be inferred from the exclusively halophiles and eutrophic species that can be encountered. In headwaters, diatoms are indicative of an alkaline, calcareous medium, whereas in the middle section of the river, they become mesotrophic thereby pointing out to anthropic input.