Articles | Volume 14, issue 2
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 14, 351–364, 2010
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-14-351-2010
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 14, 351–364, 2010
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-14-351-2010

  22 Feb 2010

22 Feb 2010

A contribution to understanding the turbidity behaviour in an Amazon floodplain

E. Alcântara1, E. Novo1, J. Stech1, J. Lorenzzetti1, C. Barbosa2, A. Assireu1, and A. Souza2,3 E. Alcântara et al.
  • 1Brazilian Institute for Space Research, Remote Sensing Division, P.O. Box 12227-010, São José dos Campos, SP, Brazil
  • 2Brazilian Institute for Space Research, Image Processing Division, P.O. Box 12227-010, São José dos Campos, SP, Brazil
  • 3ETEP Faculdades, P.O. Box 12242-800, São José dos Campos, SP, Brazil

Abstract. Observations of turbidity provide quantitative information about water quality. However, the number of available in situ measurements for water quality determination is usually limited in time and space. Here, we present an analysis of the temporal and spatial variability of the turbidity of an Amazon floodplain lake using two approaches: (1) wavelet analysis of a turbidity time series measured by an automatic monitoring system, which should be improved/simplified, and (2) turbidity samples measured in different locations and then interpolated using an ordinary Kriging algorithm. The spatial and temporal variability of turbidity are clearly related to the Amazon River flood pulses in the floodplain. When the water level in the floodplain is rising or receding, the exchange between the Amazon River and the floodplain is the major driving force in turbidity variability. At high-water levels, turbidity variability is controlled by Lake Bathymetry. When the water level is low, wind action and Lake Morphometry are the main causes of turbidity variability. The combined use of temporal and spatial data shows a good potential for better understanding of the turbidity behaviour in a complex aquatic system such as the Amazon floodplain.

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