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.


Latrubesse’s group students win awards

3 04 2012

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program  (GRFP)

Master’s student Katherine Lininger received the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees in fields within NSF’s mission. 

AAG Specialty Groups Award Field Research Grants to Graduate Students

Master’s student Christine Bonthius received the Field Study Travel Award (Master’s level) from the AAG Latin American Specialty Group, which is intended to support preliminary or reconnaissance fieldwork for research in Latin America. Christine will use the award to support her master’s thesis research on the Madeira River in Brazil.

Graduate Students Win Awards from the Korean-American Association for Geospatial and Environmental Sciences

Edward Park, UT Geography master’s student, won the Pixoneer Scholarship from the Korean-American Association for Geospatial and Environmental Sciences for his paper presentation at the 2012 annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers (AAG). The scholarship was established in 2008 by Pixoneer Geomatics, Inc. to provide financial assistance to graduate students in the research field of Geography, Geospatial Technologies and Environmental Sciences. Pixoneer Geomatics, Inc. is a GIS and remote sensing firm located at Daejon, South Korea, and the scholarship is awarded annually to students through the generous sponsorship of its CEO Jong Sik Yoon. Only two scholarships were awarded at the AAG annual meeting.

Departmental Awards Given to Graduate Students

Vince Clause, who will be a geography graduate student in the fall of 2012, received the Undergraduate Award, which is given to a major in the department who excels through a combination of academic excellence and leadership.

AAG Annual Meeting New York

25 02 2012

Many of the research group’s members are participating in paper sessions, panels, and poster sessions at the annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers (AAG) in New York City.

Topics range from Morphodynamics of an anabranching mega-river to river responses from man made structures to remote sensing.

Links to abstracts from AAG:

Edgardo Latrubesse, Maria S Pereira, Carlos G Ramonel, and Ricardo N Szupiany

Christine Bonthius

Katherine Lininger

Edward Park

Anual Symposium of IGCP 582 – Tropical Rivers

25 02 2012

The IGCP 582-Tropical Rivers comittee is pleased to announce the 2012 Annual Symposium. The symposioum will be held in the city of Iquitos, Peru from August 9 to August 11 of 2012. The meeting will cover hydrophysical processes, impacts, hazards and management of tropical rivers.

Visit website for more details:

Fluvial Morphodynamics and Channels Patterns

25 02 2012

During the Fall meeting 2011 of American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, Dr. Latrubesse in collaboration with Dr. Jorge Abad (University of Pittsburgh and Dr. Stefano Lanzoni (University of Padua-Italy) organized a special session EP08: Fluvial Morphodynamics and Channels Patterns. This session intended to bridge the gap between the different disciplinary and methodological approaches to address the characterization, classification, space-time evolution and geological interpretation of fluvial channel patterns. The session had as invited speakers to Jim Best, Professor, Department of Geology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA;  Paul Carling, Professor, Physical Geography, University of Southampton, UK Maarten Kleinhans, Lecturer, Fac. of Geosciences, Utrecht University the Netherlands;  Huang,  At total 60 papers were presented by researchers from North America, Asia, Europe and South America and Abad, Latrubesse and Lanzoni are acting as Guest Editors of a Special Issue of the prestigious journal Earth Surface Processes and Landforms that will be edited with the contributions of this meeting.

Latrubesse’s Reserach Group hosts Dr. Juan Restrepo, the LLILAS Tinker Visiting Professor

25 02 2012

During the Fall 2011 Latrubesse’s Reserach Group hosted Dr. Juan Restrepo, the LLILAS Tinker Visiting Professor. Prof Restrepo is also a member of  project IGCP 582-Unesco, Tropical rivers: hydro-physical processes hazard, impacts,  and management lead by E. Latrubesse.

During his stay at Austin Prof. Restrepo offered Graduate courses at LLILAS and developed research in collaboration with Prof. Latrubesse analyzing The Role of Andean Rivers on global sediment yield.

Juan Darío Restrepo holds a PhD from the Marine Science Program at the University of South Carolina. In his work since then, he has continued to carry out research on the environmental oceanography of deltas, estuaries, and coastal lagoons waters, especially on the factors controlling water discharge, sediment load, and dissolved load to the ocean from the Pacific and Caribbean rivers of Colombia. His research focuses on improving the understanding of the natural and anthropogenic causes affecting denudation rates and sediment transport to the Caribbean Sea from the largest fluvial system of Colombia, the Magdalena River. Dr. Restrepo has been head of the Magdalena River Science Initiative in Colombia and is currently a full Professor of Geological Sciences at EAFIT University, Colombia. He has been involved as a resource scientist for the sub-programs of LOICZ-IGBP Basins, SAmBas (South American Basins), and CariBas (Caribbean Basins), and also as a member of the Scientific Steering Committees of LOICZ-IGBP and Colciencias (Colombia) in the Marine Science Program. Dr. Restrepo is a coauthor of the Coastal Communities and Systems and Caribbean Assessment chapters of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) and a visiting professor of the European Union in the master’s program Water and Coastal Management. He is also a visiting scientist at the University of Colorado at Boulder (2009–2011), and a consultant of the International Water Project (United Nations University and Global Environmental Fund, GEF).

Information on Prof. Restrepo and lectures offered ad UT can be visualized in the following videos

Geomorphologist help evaluate Amazon Environmental Change

14 09 2011

The Madeira River is the most important tributary of the Amazon in water discharge and sediment load. With water flow twice that of the Mississippi and similar to that of the Yangtze River, the Madeira is the 4rd largest river of the world and because the particular geomorphologic dynamics is one of the rivers that were classified as megarivers (Latrubesse, 2008).

The upper Madeira has created some of the world’s most spectacular and beautiful rapid sequences between Porto Velho and Guajara Mirim. Because of this hydropower potential, the Brazilian government is building two hydroelectric plants to a cost of more than $14 billion and that could generate 6,450 MW. The enterprise is one of the largest in development for the Brazilian government. The environmental damage that may occur is still unknown, although the official governmental agencies claim that it will be insignificant.

With a project funded by National Geographic Society, a team of researchers of the Department of Geography of UT-Austin, Universidade do Amazonas and UNESP-Brazil conducted field-based fluvial research in the area during forty days rescuing paleontological and archeological information, and surveying the river morphodynamics with equipment such as ADCP, echosound and geophysics instruments.

The area is rich in paleontological and archeological remains and it is considered a key area to understand the climatic changes the forest underwent during of the Last Glaciation and the human occupation of the Amazon rainforest.

The UT team was formed by PI-Prof. Latrubesse and Co-PI Dr. Samia Aquino. The local partners were renowned Brazilian scientists such as Prof. J.C. Stevaux (UNESP) and Naziano Filizola (UFAM). Paleoecological and geoarcheological analysis are being developed in INPA, UFMT and UFMG, Brazil. The team also had the participation of several Brazilian graduate students from UNESP including M. Tizuka (advised by E. Latrubesse) and H. Fujita.

tree Fieldwork IMG_3123

Deforestation and climate variability effects on the Araguaia River in Brazil

3 05 2011

Deforestation is impacting river systems like the Araguaia, which forms a natural border between the Brazilian states of Goias, Mato Grosso, Tocantins, and Pará.  The Araguaia River is a rare example of rapid geomorphologic response of a large alluvial river to land cover and land use change.  Deforestation alters the hydrological, geomorphological, and biochemical states of streams.  This occurs due to decrease evapomederatranspiration and increased runoff, river discharge, erosion and sediment fluxes from the land surface.  Over the past 4 decades, Brazil has experienced rapid regional development and land use change due to high demand of cattle feed, beef, and other agricultural commodities like sugar cane.  At the same time during the 1990s parts of Brazil has experienced increases in precipitation.  Determining how river systems respond to multiple changes require further study to link and quantify land use change and geomorphic responses.

Professor Edgardo Latrubesse was a Co-Principal Investigator (co-PI)  of an international project in Brazil entitled “Land use Impacts on the Water Resources of the Cerrado Biome” which was supported by NASA, Earth Science Enterprises and developed in collaboration  the Wood Hole Research Center, University of Goias Brazil,  and University of Brasilia.  Professor Latrubesse, with an international team of researchers, studied the river’s watershed, relating land use change to geomorphic response in the river system.  Their results are reported in the Journal of Biogeochemisty which shows that agricultural expansion has impacted the system. The team used modeling methods to simulate the watershed without land cover change, which suggested that about 1/3 of the observed discharge increase in the 1990s can be attributed to the observed increase in precipitation (Climate Variability). The simulation with land cover change compared to that without land cover change in the 1990s suggested that the remaining 2/3 of the observed discharge increase was most likely the result of some other factor such as a net decrease in evapotranspiration that occurred when native vegetation was replaced with more shallow rooted, less water-demanding pastures and crops.

Their paper can be found at:

Coe, M. T., E. M. Latrubesse, M. E. Ferreira, and M. L. Amsler (2011), The effects of deforestation and climate variability on the streamflow of the Araguaia River, Brazil, Biogeochemistry, 1–13.

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