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ROSSETTI, Dilce F. and GOES, Ana M.. Late Quaternary drainage dynamics in northern Brazil based on the study of a large paleochannel from southwestern Marajó Island. An. Acad. Bras. Ciênc. [online]. 2008, vol.80, n.3, pp. 579-593. ISSN 0001-3765. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0001-37652008000300017.
Marajó Island shows an abundance of paleochannels easily mapped in its eastern portion, where vegetation consists mostly of savannas. SRTM data make possible to recognize paleochannels also in western Marajó, even considering the dense forest cover. A well preserved paleodrainage network from the adjacency of the town of Breves (southwestern Marajó Island) was investigated in this work combining remote sensing and sedimentological studies. The palimpsest drainage system consists of a large meander connected to narrower tributaries. Sedimentological studies revealed mostly sharp-based, fining upward sands for the channelized features, and interbedded muds and sands for floodplain areas. The sedimentary structures and facies successions are in perfect agreement with deposition in channelized and floodplain environments, as suggested by remote sensing mapping. The present study shows that this paleodrainage was abandoned during Late Pleistocene, slightly earlier than the Holocene paleochannel systems from the east part of the island. Integration of previous studies with the data available herein supports a tectonic origin, related to the opening of the Pará River along fault lineaments. This would explain the disappearance of large, north to northeastward migrating channel systems in southwestern Marajó Island, which were replaced by the much narrower, south to southeastward flowing modern channels.
Keywords : remote sensing; sedimentology; paleochannel; Marajó Island; Quaternary.