Sedimentation and chemical processes on the Lower Mkuze floodplain : implications for wetland structure and function
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The Mkuze Wetland System, situated in northern KwaZulu-Natal, is South Africa’s largest freshwater wetland area. The system plays a vital role in the functioning of the local landscape and has been identified as an important site for the retention of a number of solutes. The mechanisms through which this retention occurs were investigated through analysis of sediment, groundwater and porewater samples collected from the lower floodplain. Sample analysis was achieved through the use of several techniques, including Inductively Coupled Plasma-Optical Emission Spectroscopy (ICP-OES), X-ray Diffraction (XRD), X-ray Fluorescence (XRF), electron microscopy and sequential extraction.