Brazilian specialists from the National Water Agency (ANA) and researchers from France, Bolivia, and Ecuador began Sunday, November 13, new tests of the water volume and sediments in some portions of Brazil’s Amazon River.
The collection of information is part of the Amazon Basin Hydrology project, which, since 1994, has been studying the water and sediments transported by the river.
Based on previous analyses, the researchers suspect that sediments from the basin accumulate along the river and don’t reach the mouth.
"Just to get an idea, the production of sediment in the basin is greater than what is carried to the ocean. This shows that most of the sediments produced in the upper portions of the basin end up accumulating in the lower portions, that is, in the floodplains," the manager of ANA’s Superintendency of Hydrological Information, Eurides de Oliveira, summarizes.
According to Oliveira, the floodplains are the areas most affected by the drought that has struck the region in recent months. In his view, the collaboration of foreign researchers can be very useful for explaining phenomena such as the drought.
"The French researchers come from the Institute for Development Research (IRD). They are specialists with considerable knowledge obtained from work carried out chiefly in South Africa.
"We also have researchers from other countries that are part of the Amazon Basin, as is the case of Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador. This is important, because there they have information that can help us," he stated.
The study began in the municipality of Manacapuru, which is a six-hour boat trip from the capital of Amazonas, Manaus, and will take two week to be completed in the municipality of Santarém, in Pará.