Spatial and temporal complexity of the Amazon flood measured from space

  • Alsdorf D
  • Bates P
  • Melack J
 et al. 
  • 125

    Readers

    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 92

    Citations

    Citations of this article.

Abstract

Floodplain processes are driven by water flows that seasonally change in direction and consist of a myriad of interacting streams of varying depth, velocity, source, sediment concentration and chemistry. Here we show, using spaceborne interferometric synthetic aperture radar (SAR) JERS-1 measurements, the first spatially dense hydraulic mapping of the passage of a flood wave through a large, topographically complex floodplain. We find that temporal changes in flood water heights (h/t) are more complex than typically assumed. During the passage of a flood wave, sharp variations in h/t are localized along some floodplain channels. These channels separate adjacent locations with different rates of infilling. Near the peak of the flood wave, some of the channels are no longer evident as controls on h/t. During the passage of the flood wave, flow paths change from bathymetrically influenced to hydraulically controlled (and back again), thus it is difficult to know the flow path a-priori from bathymetry alone.

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document

Authors

  • Matthew WilsonUniversity of Canterbury Department of Geography

    Follow
  • Doug Alsdorf

  • Paul Bates

  • John Melack

  • Thomas Dunne

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free