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Journal Article

Amounts of suspended solids and dissolved substances in the middle reaches of the Amazon over the course of one year (August, 1969 - July, 1970)


Schmidt,  Gottfried W.
Working Group Tropical Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Limnology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Schmidt, G. W. (1972). Amounts of suspended solids and dissolved substances in the middle reaches of the Amazon over the course of one year (August, 1969 - July, 1970). Amazoniana: Limnologia et Oecologia Regionalis Systematis Fluminis Amazonas, 3(2), 208-223.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0004-5110-E
Monthly surface samples have been taken from the middle reaches of the Amazon (Solimoes) near Manaus above the mouth of the Rio Negro from August, 1969
July, 1970, a full year. The content of these samples in suspended solids and
the concentrations of several important dissolved substances in the water were investigated.
The results were compared with the water levels in the river and local patterns of
precipitation, which define the seasons in this region.
The results of the analyses showed that the central Amazon River, too, has a relatively
low total salt concentration,corresponding to electrical conductivity values
from 44.8 to
83.8 us20/cm. This was combined with a buffering capacity of the water. Most of the total salts consisted of bicarbonates.
Despite the weak buffering capacitv of the
water, pH values stayed within the range 6.5. to 7.5, very close to neutrality, over the
whole year.
The results also showed that almost all of the factors investigated were subject to
rather large fluctuations in concentration during the year. For a few factors,
the variations were not related in any recognizable way to the other parameters
in the study.
For others, however, quite distinct relationships to each other, and to water level and precipitation conditions, were obvious.
This was especiallv true for suspended solids,
suspended iron and phosphorus, and the total salt content. All these
factors had a decided
maximum at the start of the rainy season when the river still stood at a very low level,
near the annual minimum, but had just begun to rise again. The concentrations of most
investigated substances had their maximum during rising water levels. This situation was
naturally very beneficial in the provision of nutrients for the numerous lakes of the
vârzea, which are directly connected with the river.
In addition, the results of this investigation were compared with other data reported
previously for Amazonian water, and new explanations for the decreasing concentrations
of many substances in the lower reaches of the river were proposed. Finally, several other
important relationships which exist between the river and the lakes, lagoons, etc.
conncected with it were briefly discussed.