Tuesday, 31 May 2011

The Water Cycle and the Peats of Graminhais

This year the Environmental Centre of Priolo, under the Project LIFE Sustainable Laurel began with the Water Cycle activity with some classes of the first cycle of the School of Nordeste.

The first part of the activity takes place within the classroom, with many practical experiences that symbolize the water cycle. In the second part, there is a visit to several sites that mark different stages of this cycle from the spring to its mouth.

This tour begins in the highlands of Planalto dos Graminhais, a habitat of extreme importance for the supply of water to human populations in Nordeste. The Planalto dos Graminhais is composed of mosses of Sphagnum sp. which has a water holding capacity of 20 times its own weight. Here students learn the importance of this habitat for conserving water quality, since with the rain and humidity, these mosses retain water and release it gradually, allowing to control soil erosion, the flow of streams and restoration of water levels in aquifers. Another peculiarity of these plants is the ability to "purify " water by retaining in its structure metal ions and toxic substances.

Through the rain runoff, groundwater and springs, rivers and streams are formed, so the next stop was the river Ribeira dos Caldeirões in Achada. We passed its spring, the Waterfall and Ribeira dos Caldeirões and then the mouth of it, where the river goes into the sea.

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