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”.


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.

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.


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).

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