Publications by authors named "Alberto G Figueiredo"

2 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Amazon Sediment Transport and Accumulation Along the Continuum of Mixed Fluvial and Marine Processes.

Ann Rev Mar Sci 2021 01 7;13:501-536. Epub 2020 Jul 7.

School of Oceanography, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA; email:

Sediment transfer from land to ocean begins in coastal settings and, for large rivers such as the Amazon, has dramatic impacts over thousands of kilometers covering diverse environmental conditions. In the relatively natural Amazon tidal river, combinations of fluvial and marine processes transition toward the ocean, affecting the transport and accumulation of sediment in floodplains and tributary mouths. The enormous discharge of Amazon fresh water causes estuarine processes to occur on the continental shelf, where much sediment accumulation creates a large clinoform structure and where additional sediment accumulates along its shoreward boundary in tidal flats and mangrove forests. Some remaining Amazon sediment is transported beyond the region near the river mouth, and fluvial forces on it diminish. Numerous perturbations to Amazon sediment transport and accumulation occur naturally, but human actions will likely dominate future change, and now is the time to document, understand, and mitigate their impacts.
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January 2021

An extensive reef system at the Amazon River mouth.

Sci Adv 2016 Apr 22;2(4):e1501252. Epub 2016 Apr 22.

Instituto de Biologia, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Rio de Janeiro RJ CEP 21941-599, Brazil.

Large rivers create major gaps in reef distribution along tropical shelves. The Amazon River represents 20% of the global riverine discharge to the ocean, generating up to a 1.3 × 10(6)-km(2) plume, and extensive muddy bottoms in the equatorial margin of South America. As a result, a wide area of the tropical North Atlantic is heavily affected in terms of salinity, pH, light penetration, and sedimentation. Such unfavorable conditions were thought to imprint a major gap in Western Atlantic reefs. We present an extensive carbonate system off the Amazon mouth, underneath the river plume. Significant carbonate sedimentation occurred during lowstand sea level, and still occurs in the outer shelf, resulting in complex hard-bottom topography. A permanent near-bottom wedge of ocean water, together with the seasonal nature of the plume's eastward retroflection, conditions the existence of this extensive (~9500 km(2)) hard-bottom mosaic. The Amazon reefs transition from accretive to erosional structures and encompass extensive rhodolith beds. Carbonate structures function as a connectivity corridor for wide depth-ranging reef-associated species, being heavily colonized by large sponges and other structure-forming filter feeders that dwell under low light and high levels of particulates. The oxycline between the plume and subplume is associated with chemoautotrophic and anaerobic microbial metabolisms. The system described here provides several insights about the responses of tropical reefs to suboptimal and marginal reef-building conditions, which are accelerating worldwide due to global changes.
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April 2016