A study on fish eggs and larvae drifting in the Jirau reservoir, Brazilian Amazon

  • Maria de Lourdes Cavalcanti Barros
  • Paulo Cesar Colonna Rosman
Technical Paper


Jirau hydropower plant (Jirau HPP) is one of the largest scale run-of-river hydro-projects in the Madeira River, Brazilian Amazon. This project has attracted strong national and international attention, especially with respect to environmental issues, because the Madeira River supports a diverse fish species. Many of these are migratory species and impact the reproductive stocks of the fishes that live in the Amazon River. Numerical simulations to predict fish eggs and larvae drift have been scarce in hydropower plant studies in the Amazonian rivers. In this paper, we investigate the fish eggs and larvae drifting behavior in the backwater of the Jirau HPP. The model used simulates the fish eggs as passive particles, and adopts a second-order Lagrangian scheme coupled with a hydrodynamic model of SisBaHiA. The results obtained show that the transport of fish eggs in the Jirau reservoir is controlled mainly by hydrodynamic and the morphology of the run-of-river reservoir and that the fish eggs and larvae in the reservoir have a short residence time, and that the drift is continuing and unhindered. We observe, however, more studies are needed to have a whole understanding of eggs and larvae drifting in the Jirau reservoir.


Fish eggs and larvae drift Jirau reservoir Madeira River 

List of symbols


Water depth


The bottom elevation from a reference level


Chézy coefficient

\(C_{\mathrm {D}}\)

Wind drag coefficient


Depth averaged velocity components


Velocity components in x direction


Velocity components in y directions


Wind speed 10 m above the free surface


Depth-averaged turbulent viscosity coefficient in the horizontal plane


Horizontal dispersion coefficient of momentum


Coriolis parameter


Gravitational acceleration



Greek symbols

\(\varDelta t\)

Time step


Free surface elevation


Amplitude of the equivalence bottom roughness


Boundary of the spatial domain

\(\bar{\rho }\)

Average density in the water column

\(\rho _{\mathrm{air}}\)

Density of air

\(\rho _{\mathrm{r}}\)

Reference density

\(\varLambda _{k}\)

Widths of the spatial and temporal Gaussian filters


von Karman’s constant

\(\tau _{ij}\)

Turbulent stress tensor

\(\tau ^{\mathrm{b}}\)

Bottom shear stress

\(\tau ^{\mathrm{s}}\)

Surface shear stress



The author MLCB grateful acknowledges the financial support provided by CNPq (Grant No. 160059/2012-7). This study is part of the project “Modelagem de hidrodinâmica e de deriva de ovos, larvas e juvenis no reservatório de aproveitamento hidrelétrico de Jirau - RO”, (Grant No. PENO11920). The authors would like to thanks Energia Sustentável do Brasil S.A., responsible for the Jirau HPP, in particular, the engineers J.A.G. Eraz and A.L.F.A. Jorge for providing field data and for their friendly cooperation.


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Copyright information

© The Brazilian Society of Mechanical Sciences and Engineering 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria de Lourdes Cavalcanti Barros
    • 1
    • 2
  • Paulo Cesar Colonna Rosman
    • 1
  1. 1.Ocean Engineering Program, COPPEUniversidade Federal do Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil
  2. 2.Centro de Energia Nuclear na AgriculturaUniversidade de São PauloPiracicabaBrazil

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