Professor Edgardo Latrubesse Won the 2016 AAG Grove Karl Gilbert Award for Excellence in Geomorphic Research

14 04 2016

Dr. Edgardo Latrubesse, Professor of Geography and the Environment at UT, won the 2016 AAG Grove Karl Gilbert Award for Excellence in Geomorphic Research. This honor was awarded this past week by the American Association of Geographers Geomorphology Specialty Group at the AAG Annual Meetings in San Francisco. The Grove Karl Gilbert Award is one of the most important on geomorphology in the USA and internationally. It is presented to the author(s) of a single significant contribution to the published research literature in geomorphology during the past three years.

Dr Latrubesse’s awarded contribution “Large rivers, megafans and other Quaternary avulsive fluvial systems: A potential “who’s who” in the geological record.” (Earth-Science Reviews 146 (2015), 1–30) synthesizes more than two decades of research in many of the largest rivers and megafans of Earth and field expeditions to some of the most remote and wildest places of the tropics.

L-R, Dr. Tim Beach (UT), Dr. Sheryl L. Beach (UT), Dr. Richard Marston (KSU; 2016 Mel Marcus Award Winner) and Dr. Edgardo Latrubesse (UT; 2016 G.K. Gilbert Award Winner) at 2016 AAG Meetings, San Francisco, CA

 




New Publications 2014-2016

23 03 2016

Past two years for the Large Rivers Group had been very busy and productive. Here are the new publications from our research lab members!

Restrepo, J. D., Park, E., Aquino, S., & Latrubesse, E. M. (2016). Coral reefs chronically exposed to river sediment plumes in the southwestern Caribbean: Rosario Islands, Colombia. Science of The Total Environment, 553, 316-329.

 Matos, M. V., Borges, S. H., d’Horta, F. M., Cornelius, C., Latrubesse, E., Cohn‐Haft, M., & Ribas, C. C. (2016). Comparative Phylogeography of Two Bird Species, Tachyphonus phoenicius (Thraupidae) and Polytmus theresiae (Trochilidae), Specialized in Amazonian White‐sand Vegetation. Biotropica, 48(1), 110-120.

Park, E*. and Latrubesse, E. (2015) Surface water types and sediment distribution patterns at the confluence of mega rivers: Solimoes-Amazon and Negro Rivers. Water Resources Research, 51.

Latrubesse, E. (2015) Large rivers, mega fans and other Quaternary avulsive fluvial systems: A potential “who’s who” in the geological records. Earth Science Reviews. 146, 1-30.

YO Feitosa, ML Absy, EM Latrubesse, JC Stevaux (2015) Late Quaternary vegetation dynamics from central parts of the Madeira River in Brazil. Acta Botanica Brasilica .

EM Latrubesse, JC Stevaux (2015) The Anavilhanas and Mariuá Archipelagos: Fluvial Wonders from the Negro River, Amazon Basin. Landscapes and Landforms of Brazil.

Latrubesse, E. and Restrepo, J. (2014). The Role of Andean Rivers on global sediment yield. Geomorphology.

Park, E*. and Latrubesse, E. (2014) Modeling suspendes sediment distribution patterns of the Amazon River using MODIS data. Remote Sensing of Environment, 147, 232-242.




Big Field Works in the Amazon River Basin 2015 Summer

23 03 2016

AMAZON Basin (2015)

The large rivers Group of Prof. Latrubesse conducted fieldwork in the Amazon basin related to ongoing NSF and Science without Borders-CAPEs projects in the summer of 2015. The first field stage involved paleoecological and Quaternary research in Brazilian Southwestern Amazon with colleagues from University of Acre and University of Rochester. The second field phase took place along the Amazon River in between the confluences with Negro and Madeira Rivers. This study is part of the research project of Doctoral Candidate Edward Park and the field work was developed in collaboration with Prof. Maximiliano Bayer (UFG-Brazil) and Prof. Latrubesse’s Brazilian graduate student, Landerlei Almeida (UNESP). The research objectives aims to investigate the impacts of tributaries on suspended sediment distribution patterns along the anabranching main channel of the Amazon River. The Amazon confluences with the Negro River is the largest on Earth in water discharge where distinct water types meet: Solimões-Amazon (muddy white water) and Negro (black water) Rivers. They collected water velocity and acoustic backscatter data using Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) from critical transects along the Amazon River. Acoustic backscatter data is particularly important because it could be calibrated with suspended and bed loads to calculate the total sediment flux of the river. Along with ADCP data, they also collected water quality data (pH, temperature, turbidity, etc.) at a multiple depth using Hanna Water Quality Meter, bathymetric data using Furuno Multi-beam Echo Sounder and Humminbird Side-scan Sonar, surface sediment on river and floodplains, and lake sediment cores in floodplains. Results on surface water patterns were recently published in the prestigious journal Water Resources Research (Park and Latrubesse, 2015) under the title “Surface water types and sediment distribution patterns at the confluence of mega rivers: The Solimões-Amazon and Negro Rivers”.

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The third field phase concentrated in the upper Amazon in Peruvian territory. Prof. Latrubesse conducted geomorphologic studies to reconstruct the paleogeography of the Amazon basin as part of the ongoing NSF-FESD project. Prof. Thomas Dunne (UCSB) and Prof. Rolf Aalto (U. of Exeter) joined this field expedition.

The team also attended the 9th Symposium of River Coastal and Estuarine Morphodynamics (RCEM). Prof. Latrubesse is member of the International Advisory Board of the organization, and he was in charge of a field course on the Amazon titled The Amazon River from late Tertiary to present: paleogeographic reorganization of the basin, Quaternary record and present morphodynamic. Doctoral Candidate Edward Park offered an oral presentation and attended an advance course on the use of Acoustic Doppler Profilers.




Doctoral Candidate Edward Park and Dr. Latrubesse Receives NSF DDRI Award.

22 12 2015

Doctoral candidate Edward Park (Co-PI) and Professor Edgardo Latrubesse (PI) of the Department of Geography and the Environment has been awarded a Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF) for a multidisciplinary project in the Amazon River and floodplains. The title of the project is “Roles of tributaries, floodplains and the anabranching channels on suspended sediment transport patterns in the Amazon River”, which will be supported with the $ 14,687 grant. In this project, the research team will perform field surveys and collect in-situ samples along the Amazon River coupled with remote sensing products and laboratory analysis to characterize the continental-scale sediment transport mechanisms in the Amazon River channel-floodplain systems.

Abstract of the NSF project:

Large rivers play a fundamental role on the planet by transporting eroded materials from continent to the ocean, facilitating the nutrient transfer through biogeochemical cycles, and sustaining complex ecosystems and high biodiversity. However, their mechanisms of sediment transport and floodplain storage are still not well understood. In the case of the Amazon River, the largest river on our planet in water discharge, complexity in sediment transport pattern is affected by the inputs from large tributaries, anabranching channel pattern, and vast floodplains. This doctoral dissertation research will investigate the roles of large tributaries, anabranching channel planform, and vast complex floodplains on sediment transport patterns along the Amazon River. The results of this project will fill knowledge gaps on morphodynamics of large rivers as, traditionally, the assessments of sediment transport patterns have relied substantially on laboratory experiments, field measurements or numerical modeling on small to mid-scale rivers, but rarely on large rivers. Considering that large rivers generally follow the anabranching patterns, methods proposed in this project can be applied to variety of morphodynamics and environmental analyses of large river systems around the world. The results of this project will also be important to wetland ecology, water resources managements, remote sensing, and local policy makers. This research project will strengthen the ties between U.S and Brazilian institutions through collaborations and also incorporate educational outreach to local school organizations to support underrepresented k-12 students in the science.

Assessing sediment transport, mapping sedimentary environments and landforms in large rivers in multi-temporal scale have been areas of focus for river scientists across disciplines, because sediment plays a major role in the hydrophysical and ecological functions, evolution of the complex channel-floodplain system, and biogeochemical cycles in fluvial system. By integrating field hydrogeomorphic data with 16 years (2000-2015) of suspended sediment concentration maps over the entire Amazon River derived from remotely sensed data, this project will address the two core questions: (1) what are the spatiotemporal patterns of sediment transport at the major confluences along the anabranching main channel?; (2) what are the sediment transport, deposition patterns, and sediment budgets in the floodplains? The researchers will perform field surveys and geomorphic mapping, and collect in-situ samples along the Amazon River coupled with remote sensing products and laboratory analysis to characterize the macro-scale sediment transport mechanisms in the Amazon River channel-floodplain systems.

 




Dr. Edgardo Latrubesse Partners on $4.3 Million National Science Foundation Grant

3 02 2014

The Dynamics of Mountains, Landscapes and Climate in the Distribution and Generation of Biodiversity of the Amazon/Andean Forest

Professor Edgardo Latrubesse of the Department of Geography and the Environment has been awarded a grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF) for a multidisciplinary project in the Amazon/Andean Forest. The project titled “The Dynamics of Mountains, Landscapes and Climate in the Distribution and Generation of Biodiversity of the Amazon/Andean Forest,” will be supported with the $4.3 million NSF grant. In this project, scientists from both North and South America will work together to develop an integrated understanding of how geology, biology and climate interact to shape the species distribution and biodiversity in these forests over time.

The project is an interdisciplinary effort amongst University of Texas at Austin Professors, Dr. Paul A. Baker of Duke University, University of Washington, University of Michigan, Wake Forest, ECU and international collaborators from Brazil and Peru. It will also offer educational opportunities, training, and mentoring of graduate students, who will assist with fieldwork, laboratory studies, and modeling. Dr. Latrubesse will be managing a team with a budget of about $340,000, and UT Austin Prof. Brian Horton from the Jackson School will be bringing in a comparable amount, totaling approximately $680,000 in research funds. The ultimate goal is to understand the role of environment and environmental history in genetic differentiation of populations and the origins of new species.

From the grant abstract:

“The uplift of the Andes affects Amazon climate and hydrology. Andean uplift also generates the sediment fill, nutrient supply, river routing, and soil composition of the adjacent lowland basin of the Amazon and hence affects the productivity of its forests. But the interactions are bi-directional, because changes in climate, hydrology, and sediment supply influence rates of uplift through isostatic (buoyancy) effects produced by weathering and erosion… By deciphering how environment affects biodiversity and, conversely, how genetic sequences of plant species encode the history of the physical environment, it is envisioned that molecular phylogenetics will inform geological history, much like paleontology informs stratigraphic and paleo-environmental interpretation, and a new field of geo-genomics will emerge.”

You can learn more about Prof. Latrubesse and the scope of his research at the Latrubesse Research Group Website and his faculty profile.

 




New Publications Summer 2013

3 07 2013

Members of the Latrubesse Research Group have been busy this summer in and out of the field! Here are a few articles we have published so far this year:

Articles In Press 3-July-2013:

Filizola, N., E. M. Latrubesse, P. Fraizy, R. Souza, V. Guimarães, and J. L. Guyot. 2013. Was the 2009 flood the most hazardous or the largest ever recorded in the Amazon? Geomorphology

Montero, J. C., and E. M. Latrubesse. 2013. The igapó of the Negro River in central Amazonia: Linking late-successional inundation forest with fluvial geomorphology. Journal of South American Earth Sciences

Latrubesse, E. M., J. C. Stevaux, and K. R. Young. 2013. Hydro-geomorphologic processes and Quaternary landforms controlling biotic components in South American wetlands: Introduction. Journal of South American Earth Science

Marchetti, Z. Y., E. M. Latrubesse, M. S. Pereira, and C. G. Ramonell. 2013. Vegetation and its relationship with geomorphologic units in the Parana River floodplain, Argentina. Journal of South American Earth Sciences

Valente, C. R., E. M. Latrubesse, and L. G. Ferreira. 2013.Relationships among vegetation, geomorphology and hydrology in the Bananal Island tropical wetlands, Araguaia River basin, Central Brazil. Journal of South American Earth Sciences

Articles In Print 3-July-2013:

Abad, J. D., H. Montoro, and E. Latrubesse. 2013. Assessing the Effects of Climate Change on Tropical River Basins. EOS, Transactions of the American Geophysical Union 94 (3):32-32.

Lafrenz, M. D., R. A. Bean, and D. Uthman. 2013. Soil ripening following dam removal. Physical Geography:1-12.

Valente, C. R., and E. M. Latrubesse. 2012. Fluvial archive of peculiar avulsive fluvial patterns in the largest Quaternary intracratonic basin of tropical South America: The Bananal Basin, Central-Brazil. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 356–357 (0):62-74.

Latrubesse, E. M., J. C. Stevaux, E. H. Cremon, J.-H. May, S. H. Tatumi, M. A. Hurtado, M. Bezada, and J. B. Argollo. 2012. Late Quaternary megafans, fans and fluvio-aeolian interactions in the Bolivian Chaco, Tropical South America. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 356–357 (0):75-88.

Sinha, R., E. M. Latrubesse, and G. C. Nanson. 2012. Quaternary fluvial systems of tropics: Major issues and status of research. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 356–357 (0):1-15.




8th IAG International Conference on Geomorphology Special Session on Tropical Rivers

3 07 2013
Prof. Latrubesse in collaboration with Prof. Jose. C Stevaux (Brazil) and Prof. Rajiv Sinha (India) organized a special session in the 8th IAG International Conference on Geomorphology August, 27th to 31st, 2013,  Paris, France  Session S24A – Tropical Rivers:  Hydro-Physical Processes, Impacts, Hazards and Management (IGCP 582 and IAG Working Group on Tropical rivers)

geomorphology-second-circular_0The overall scope of the IGCP Unesco 582 project Hydro-Physical Processes, Impacts, Hazards and Management and the working group Tropical rivers of IAG is to provide an integrated assessment of long-term direct impacts of climate variability and human-induced change and management of tropical rivers basins by identification, quantification and modeling of key hydro-geomorphic indicators during the past and present times. The potential impacts of global change on fluvial systems and of their socioeconomic implications and flood hazards are also analyzed. Several of the largest and many of the most vulnerable rivers of the world are located in equatorial and monsoonal regions that are also some of the most active areas of fluvial sedimentation and erosion of the planet.This session has many presentations on Quaternary history, morphodynamics, hydro-geomorphology, hazards and management of tropical rivers from experts around the world. See more detailed information at:

http://www.geomorphology-iag-paris2013.com/en/sessions

#geomorphology

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Science Without Borders – Madeira River

24 05 2013

Latrubesse Research Group is in the Brazilian Amazon this summer conducting fieldwork on the Madeira River in collaboration with Jose Steveaux and Mario Assine from UNESP-Rio Claro. Our research here is part of the Science Without Borders Program funded by NSF (US) CAPES (Brazil).




5 New Graduates!

24 05 2013

Congratulations to Christine Bonthius, Richard Knox, Katherine Lininger, Edward Park, M. Anwar Sounny-Slitine for completing their MA in Geography at UT Austin this year.

Richard Knox will be teaching at West Point and Katherine Katherine Liniger will continue as a PhD student at Colorado State University.




Paleo3 Special Issue on Quaternary Fluvial Systems of Tropics

1 01 2013

Professor Latrubesse was a guest editor for this special issue with Rajiv Sinha and Gerald Nanson. This special issue included an article on megafans in the Bolivian Chaco (see reference below).

Latrubesse, E. M., J. C. Stevaux, E. H. Cremon, J.-H. May, S. H. Tatumi, M. A. Hurtado, M. Bezada, and J. B. Argollo. 2012. Late Quaternary megafans, fans and fluvio-aeolian interactions in the Bolivian Chaco, Tropical South America. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 356–357 (0):75-88.

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