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Open AccessArticle

Water and Sediment Budget of Casiquiare Channel Linking Orinoco and Amazon Catchments, Venezuela

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Géosciences Environnement Toulouse—GET (Centre national de la Recherche Scientifique—CNRS, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement—IRD, Université Paul Sabatier—UPS), Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées—OMP, 14 rue Edouard Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France
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Instituto de Mecánica de Fluidos, Universidad Central de Venezuela—UCV, Caracas 1050, Venezuela
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Departamento Manejo de Bosques y Medio Ambiente, Facultad de Ciencias Forestales, Universidad de Concepción—UdeC, Concepción 407374, Chile
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Centro de Mecánica de Fluidos y Aplicaciones—CEMFA, Universidad Simón Bolívar—USB, Edificio Fluidos y Operaciones Unitarias, Caracas 89000, Venezuela
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
This paper was written in tribute to our colleague and friend Paul Georgescu, who passed away shortly before this publication. He supported the development of this work and followed it step by step. As first author, I must thank Paul for inviting me to accompany him in this fantastic adventure in the Casiquiare, carried out in September 2000, in one of the least known and unexplored regions of the planet. Rest in peace, after an exciting existence as an explorer and adventurous scientist, navigating thousands of kilometers of waterways throughout South America.
Water 2019, 11(10), 2068; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11102068
Received: 4 September 2019 / Revised: 25 September 2019 / Accepted: 27 September 2019 / Published: 3 October 2019
The Casiquiare River is a natural channel that connects two of the greatest rivers in the world, the Orinoco and the Amazon in the South American continent. The aim of this paper is to present a review and synthesis of the hydrological and sedimentological knowledge of the Casiquiare River, including the first hydro-sedimentary balance of the Casiquiare fluvial system conducted 9–12 September 2000 at the bifurcation and mouth during the expedition ‘Humboldt-Amazonia 2000’. Bathymetric flow discharge and physico-chemical measurements were made at the inlet and outlet of the Casiquiare Channel. The main conclusions of this study indicate that Casiquiare is taking a significant proportion of flow (20% to 30%) from the Upper Orinoco basin to the Amazon basin. Throughout its 356 km-course, this chameleon channel undergoes significant morphological, hydrological, and bio-geochemical variations between the inlet and outlet, whose most visible witnesses are the increase in its width (3 to 4 times), flow (7 to 9 times), and its change in water color (white to black water), under the influence of tributaries coming from vast forest plains. View Full-Text
Keywords: Casiquiare; Orinoco; Amazon; bifurcation; hydro-sedimentary budget Casiquiare; Orinoco; Amazon; bifurcation; hydro-sedimentary budget
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Laraque, A.; Lopez, J.L.; Yepez, S.; Georgescu, P. Water and Sediment Budget of Casiquiare Channel Linking Orinoco and Amazon Catchments, Venezuela. Water 2019, 11, 2068.

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