Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Amazon River Is 11 Million Years Old, Drilling Study Finds

Date:
July 8, 2009
Source:
Universiteit van Amsterdam (UVA)
Summary:
The Amazon River originated as a transcontinental river around 11 million years ago and took its present shape approximately 2.4 million years ago. These are the most significant results of a study on two boreholes drilled in proximity of the mouth of the Amazon River by Petrobras, the national oil company of Brazil. Scientists used this new oceanic record to reconstruct the history of the Amazon River.

The Amazon River originated as a transcontinental river around 11 million years ago and took its present shape approximately 2.4 million years ago.
Credit: iStockphoto

The Amazon River originated as a transcontinental river around 11 million years ago and took its present shape approximately 2.4 million years ago. These are the most significant results of a study on two boreholes drilled in proximity of the mouth of the Amazon River by Petrobras, the national oil company of Brazil.

Related Articles


A team formed by the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED) of the University of Amsterdam, the University of Liverpool and Petrobras used this new oceanic record to reconstruct the history of the Amazon River.

Until recently the Amazon Fan, a sediment column of around 10 kilometres in thickness, proved a hard nut to crack, and scientific drilling expeditions such as Ocean Drilling Program could only reach a fraction of it. Recent exploration efforts by Petrobras lifted the veil, and sedimentological and paleontological analysis on samples from two boreholes, one of which 4.5 kilometres below sea floor, now permit an insight into the history of both Amazon River and Fan.

Prior to this publication the exact age of the Amazon River was unknown. This research has large implications for our understanding of South American paleogeography and the evolution of aquatic organisms in Amazonia and the Atlantic coast. It is a defining moment as a new ecosystem originates which at the same time forms a geographic divisor.

The importance of river sediment

Sediment aprons in the proximity ofmajor rivers often hold continuous records of terrestrial material accumulated by the river over time. These records provide a unique insight into the historic climate and geography of the land. The information released from this 4.5 kilometre borehole is a scientific breakthrough and stresses the value of cooperation between academia and industry.

The study was published in the scientific journal Geology in July 2009.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Universiteit van Amsterdam (UVA). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Universiteit van Amsterdam (UVA). "Amazon River Is 11 Million Years Old, Drilling Study Finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090707155827.htm>.
Universiteit van Amsterdam (UVA). (2009, July 8). Amazon River Is 11 Million Years Old, Drilling Study Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 2, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090707155827.htm
Universiteit van Amsterdam (UVA). "Amazon River Is 11 Million Years Old, Drilling Study Finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090707155827.htm (accessed March 2, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Monday, March 2, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Solar Plane Passes New Test Ahead of World Tour

Solar Plane Passes New Test Ahead of World Tour

AFP (Mar. 2, 2015) A solar-powered plane made a third successful test flight in the United Arab Emirates on Monday ahead of a planned round-the-world tour to promote alternative energy. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Heavy Toll as Australian Farmers Struggle Through Drought

Heavy Toll as Australian Farmers Struggle Through Drought

AFP (Mar. 2, 2015) Mounting debts, despair and forced repossessions are taking a heavy toll on farmers in parts of Australia suffering from its worst drought in 100 years. Duration: 02:16 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Doomsday' Vault Stores Tree Seeds In Case Of Armageddon

'Doomsday' Vault Stores Tree Seeds In Case Of Armageddon

Newsy (Mar. 2, 2015) The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, also known as the "doomsday" vault, took its first contribution of tree seeds this week. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chile on Alert as Volcano Spews Smoke and Ash

Chile on Alert as Volcano Spews Smoke and Ash

Reuters - News Video Online (Mar. 2, 2015) Chile&apos;s massive Villarrica volcano remains on yellow alert as it belches out incandescent fragments at night with nearby communities placed on alert. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins