Amazonian Floodplain Forests

Volume 210 of the series Ecological Studies pp 27-42


Development of the Amazon Valley During the Middle to Late Quaternary: Sedimentological and Climatological Observations

  • Georg IrionAffiliated withSenckenberg Institute of Marine Science Email author 
  • , José A. S. N. de MelloAffiliated withNational Institute of Amazon Research (INPA)
  • , Jáder MoraisAffiliated withEnvironmental Geology, State University of Ceará (UECE)
  • , Maria T. F. PiedadeAffiliated withNational Institute of Amazon Research (INPA)
  • , Wolfgang J. JunkAffiliated withState University of Amazonas (UEA), National Institute of Amazon Research (INPA)Working Group of Tropical Ecology, Max-Planck-Institute for Evolutionary Biology
  • , Linda GarmingAffiliated withNetherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO)

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


Pleistocene sea-level changes affected the Amazon River as far as 2,500 km inland. This results on one hand with the formation of large floodplains of the Amazon and the lower parts of its tributaries during sea-level heights and on the other hand with a deeply incised river system during low sea-level stages. This was most effective since Mid-Pleistocene when the changes of sea-level got stronger. This could be shown from the deeply incised valleys of Negro and Tapajós Rivers. During Last Glacial Maximum the slope of the Amazon below its junction with Tapajós River increased by the factor 10, resulting probably in a braided River. Paleofactors of sediment cores taken from Central Amazonia lakes and from Tapajós River give no hint for a significant change in climate.