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Light Absorption Budget in a Reservoir Cascade System with Widely Differing Optical Properties

Department of Cartography, São Paulo State University—UNESP, Presidente Prudente, SP 19060-100, Brazil
Department of Environmental Engineering, São Paulo State University—UNESP, São José Dos Campos, SP 12245-000, Brazil
Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of Pará State—IFPA, Castanhal, PA 68740-970, Brazil
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(2), 229;
Received: 9 October 2018 / Revised: 15 January 2019 / Accepted: 23 January 2019 / Published: 29 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Water Quality and Ecosystems)
PDF [5532 KB, uploaded 31 January 2019]


Aquatic systems are complex systems due to the environmental pressures that lead to water quality parameter changes, and consequently, variations in optically active compounds (OAC). In cascading reservoir systems, such as the Tietê Cascade Reservoir System (TCSR), which has a length of 1100 km, the horizontal gradients are expressive due to the filtration process that is caused by the sequence of dams affecting the light absorption throughout the cascade. Our new observations showed that colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) dominate two reservoirs; non-algae particles (NAP) dominate one, and phytoplankton dominates the other. The variability of light absorption along the cascade indicates the influence of watershed dynamics in the reservoirs as much as the flow driven by previous reservoirs. Despite the effect of the variability of light absorption, light absorption by phytoplankton strongly affects the total absorption in the four reservoirs in TCSR. The results obtained in this work may enable a better understanding of how the gradient pattern changes primary production and indicates a challenge in retrieving OAC concentrations using a bio-optical model for an entire cascade composed of different optical environments. View Full-Text
Keywords: light absorption; inland water; water quality monitoring; bio-optical characterization light absorption; inland water; water quality monitoring; bio-optical characterization

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Bernardo, N.; Alcântara, E.; Watanabe, F.; Rodrigues, T.; Carmo, A.; Gomes, A.C.C.; Andrade, C. Light Absorption Budget in a Reservoir Cascade System with Widely Differing Optical Properties. Water 2019, 11, 229.

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