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Boletín de la Sociedad Geológica Mexicana

versión impresa ISSN 1405-3322


ISRADE-ALCANTARA, Isabel et al. Geological and environmental issues about the landfills in the Cuitzeo Basin, northern State of Michoacán. Bol. Soc. Geol. Mex [online]. 2008, vol.60, n.2, pp.203-211. ISSN 1405-3322.

The Cuitzeo basin is part of the Lerma basin, located in west central Mexico. It covers an area of ca. 4,000 km2 that is occupied by over 1,100,000 inhabitants living in a tectonic basin where the main infill consists of volcano-sedimentary materials. Landforms comprise small hills, volcanic edifices and plateaus, and tilted blocks of fluviolacustrine sediments. Waste disposal sites are operating without engineering design plans that would allow for the control of leachates and bio-gas generated by the urban, agricultural and industrial activities, which in this last case include hazardous waste associated with small-scale industries established in the Cuitzeo basin. The biggest dump, located east of the city of Morelia, has been operating since 1985 and admits 700 tons of waste per day that have added to a total of around 562,000 tons of solid wastes already deposited in the basin. The results of this study indicate that most of the sites lack impermeable subsurface strata. The porosity of the subsurface strata at many of the sites is relatively high, since it consists mainly of highly fractured basaltic lava flows, unconsolidated volcanic fall deposits, diatomites and fluvial deposits. All these lithologies provide ways for the migration of contaminated waters towards the basin. This article aims to provide a better understanding of the characteristics of the Cuitzeo basin in order to establish the engineering methods for minimizing the environmental and public health impact in urban and periurban areas.

Palabras clave : Cuitzeo Basin; dumps; urban residues; fluviolacustrine environments; fractured lavas.

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