Articles | Volume 14, issue 2
22 Feb 2010
 | 22 Feb 2010

A contribution to understanding the turbidity behaviour in an Amazon floodplain

E. Alcântara, E. Novo, J. Stech, J. Lorenzzetti, C. Barbosa, A. Assireu, and A. Souza

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.