Application of GPR in the Study of a Modern Alluvial Megafan: The Case of the Taquari River in Pantanal Wetland, West-Central Brazil

  • Jorge Luís PorsaniEmail author
  • Mario Luis Assine
  • Leandro Moutinho


A novel and timely ground penetrating radar (GPR) survey has been carried out in Pantanal from Mato Grosso State, west-central Brazil. Fieldwork was carried out on February/2001 and August/2002 in an attempt to understand avulsion processes that are occurring within Taquari alluvial megafan. The main objectives were to map channel, crevasse and floodplain morphology, as well as active sedimentary bedforms. Many GPR profiles were acquired in the medium and lower Taquari River course. Subaqueous megaripples and exposed sand bars were identified in the medium fan area. Similar features were observed in the lower fan channels, where there were many crevasses in the marginal levees. During the flooding seasons, the flow splays out on to the floodplain, where new distributary channels are being formed. GPR data show that the lower fan, Taquari channel is topographically higher than the adjacent floodplain, thus favoring avulsion as a natural process of river course shifting. GPR data obtained during the wet and dry seasons, together with sedimentology information have been very important in characterizing the fluvial dynamics, and avulsion phenomena.


GPR ground penetrating radar avulsion Taquari river Pantanal wetland Brazil 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Collischonn, W., Tucci, C.E.M., and Clarke, R.T., 2001, Further evidence of changes in the hydrological regime of River Paraguay---part of a wider phenomenon of climate change?: J. Hydrol., v. 245, p. 218--238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ussami, N., Shiraiwa, S., and Dominguez, J.M.L., 1999, Basement reactivation in a sub-Andean foreland flexural bulge --- the Pantanal wetland, SW Brazil: Tectonics, v. 18, p. 25--39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Assine, M.L. and Soares, P.C., 2004, Quaternary of the Pantanal, west-central Brazil: Quaterno Int., v. 114, p. 23--34.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Souza, O.C., Araujo, M.R. and Mertes, L.A.K., 2002, Form and process along the Taquari River alluvial fan, Pantanal, Brazil: Z. Geomorph. N. F. v. 129, p. 73--107.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Assine, M.L., 2005, River avulsions on the Taquari megafan, Pantanal Wetland, Brazil: Geomorphology, Londres.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Sinha, R., 1998, On the controls of fluvial hazards in the north Bihar plains, eastern India: Geohazards Eng. Geol., Spec. Publi. v. 15, p. 35--40.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Sauck, A.W.1998. Long GPR profiles for geologic reconnaissance and mapping, in Proceedings of the 7th Intenational Conference on Ground Penetrating Radar, GPR’98, Kansas, USA, p. 10.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Galli, V.L. and Souza, L.A.P., 1999, GPR-exemplos de aplicaçao, in Proceedings of the 6th Intenational Congress of the Brazilian Geophysical Society, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, p.1–4.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Pipan, M., Baradello, L., and Forte, F., 2000, Ground Penetrating Radar study of the Cheko Lake area (Siberia), in Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Ground Penetrating Radar, GPR’2000, Gold Coast, Australia, p. 6.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Souza, L.A.P., Porsani, J.L., Souza, O.C., and Moutinho, L., 2002, Levantamento experimental GPR no Rio Taquari, Bacia do Pantanal Matogrossense: Revista Brasileira de Geof\'{\i}sica, v. 20, no. 1, p. 67--72.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Fuchs, M., Beres, M., and Anselmetti, F.S., 2004, Sedimentological studies of western Swiss lakes with high-resolution reflection seismic and amphibious GPR profiling, in Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Ground Penetrating Radar, GPR’2004, Delft, The Netherlands, v. II, p. 577–580.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Jol, H.M. and Albrecht, A., 2004, Searching for submerged lumber with ground penetrating radar: Rib lake, Wisconsin, USA, in Proceedings of the 10th Intenational Conference on Ground Penetrating Radar, GPR’2004, Delft, The Netherlands, v. II, p. 601–604.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Assine, M.L., 2003, Late Quaternary alluvial systems in the Pantanal Basin, Brazil, in Proceedings of the 3rd Latinamerican Congress of Sedimentologists, Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi, UFPA, Belém-PA, Brazil, p. 240–241.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Daniels, D.J., 1996, Surface Penetrating Radar, The Institution of Electrical Engineers. London, United Kingdom.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Porsani, J.L., 1999, Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR): Proposta metodológica de emprego em estudos geológico-geotécnicos nas regioes de Rio Claro e Descalvado—SP. Doctorate Thesis, UNESP, Rio Claro, Brazil, 145 pp.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Versteeg, R., 1996, Optimization of GPR acquisition and noise elimination parameters, in Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Ground Penetrating Radar, GPR’96, Sendai, Japan, p. 289–292.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Moutinho, L., 2003, Processamento de dados GPR adquiridos no rio Taquari-planície do pantanal matogrossense, comênfase em deconvolução. MSc. Thesis, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil, 127 pp.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Porsani, J.L., Moutinho, L., and Assine, M.L., 2004, GPR survey in the Taquari River, Pantanal wetland, West-Central Brazil, in Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Ground Penetrating Radar, GPR’2004, Delft, The Netherlands, v. II, p. 593–596.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Yilmaz, O., 1987, Seismic Data Processing, Society of Exploration Geophysics Press, Tulsa.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Coleman, J.M., 1969, Brahmaputra River: channel processes and sedimentation. Sediment. Geol., v. 3, p. 129--239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jorge Luís Porsani
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mario Luis Assine
    • 2
  • Leandro Moutinho
    • 3
  1. 1.Departamento de Geofísica, Instituto de Astronomia Geofísica e Ciências Atmosféricas (IAG)Universidade de São Paulo (USP)São PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Departamento de Geologia Aplicada, Instituto de Geociências e Ciências Exatas (IGCE)Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP)Rio ClaroBrazil
  3. 3.Pós-Graduação em Geofísica, Instituto de Astronomia Geofísica e Ciências Atmosféricas (IAG)Universidade de São Paulo (USP)São PauloBrazil

Personalised recommendations