Monday, February 27, 2017

The effects of deforestation and climate variability on the streamflow of the Araguaia River, Brazil

From the 1970's to the 1990's the Araguaia River in Brazil had a huge increase in water discharge. This large increase was believed to correspond with the deforestation seen in the area.

In Brazil the Araguaia watershed has seen massive amounts of deforestation. The amount of deforestation in the twenty year study period was estimated to be as high as 55%. This amount of deforestation leads to dramatic hydrological changes in the area, such as increased runoff .
The conditions created by the deforestation has lead to a nearly 25% increase in water discharge from the river. This increase is even more astounding when compared to a increase of only 2.5% precipitation. Computer simulations of the changes over the years point to 2/3's of the increase come directly from Deforestation.

Effects of increased runoff.

  • Larger river outputs 
  • Increased erosion of sediment 
  • Increased pollutants in the water 
  • Increased vulnerability of flash flooding   
As a result of this the Brazilian Government has increased protection over deforestation. Proper management of the area along with protecting the area from deforestation will lead to a decline in the increase of runoff, and could even lead to a overall reduction of discharge.

 Coe, M. T., Latrubesse, E. M., Ferreira, M. E., & Amsler, M. L. (2011). The effects of deforestation and climate variability on the streamflow of the Araguaia River, Brazil. Biogeochemistry105(1-3), 119-131.


  1. This data seems extremely important. It seems that it is able to decrease the possibility of flooding and river problems, as well as preventing deforestation. It would be interesting to see if it will be used ore in the future.

  2. I am curious to know what precautions the Brazilian government is now taking to prevent deforestation, considering how important the risks are that are highlighted in this study