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.

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 July 23, 2014 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 July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts

New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts

AP (July 21, 2014) New Orleans is the first U.S. city to participate in a large-scale recycling effort for cigarette butts. The city is rolling out dozens of containers for smokers to use when they discard their butts. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

AP (July 21, 2014) A rise in shark sightings along the shores of Chatham, Massachusetts is driving a surge of eager vacationers to the beach town looking to catch a glimpse of a great white. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spectacular Lightning Storm Hits London

Spectacular Lightning Storm Hits London

AFP (July 19, 2014) A spectaCular lightning storm struck the UK overnight Friday. Images of lightning strikes over the Shard and Tower Bridge in central London. Duration: 00:23 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
A Centuries' Old British Tradition Is Far from a Swan Song

A Centuries' Old British Tradition Is Far from a Swan Song

AFP (July 19, 2014) As if it weren't enough that the Queen is the Sovereign of the UK and 15 other Commonwealth realms, she is also the owner of all Britain's unmarked swans. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
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:
from the past week

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