Publication Details

Plotzki, A., May, J. -H., Preusser, F., Roesti, B., Denier, S., Lombardo, U. & Veit, H. (2015). Geomorphology and evolution of the late Pleistocene to Holocene fluvial system in the south-eastern Llanos de Moxos, Bolivian Amazon. Catena, 127 102-115.


In the Bolivian Amazon several paleochannel generations are preserved. Their wide spectrum of morphologies clearly provides crucial information on the type and magnitude of geomorphic and hydrological changes within the drainage network of the Andean foreland. Therefore, in this study we mapped geomorphological characteristics of paleochannels, and applied radiocarbon and optically stimulated luminescence dating. Seven paleochannel generations are identified. Significant changes in sinuosity, channel widths and river pattern are observed for the successive paleochannel generations. Our results clearly reflect at least three different geomorphic and hydrological periods in the evolution of the fluvial system since the late Pleistocene. Changes in discharge and sediment load may be controlled by combinations of two interrelated mechanisms: (i) spatial changes and re-organizations of the drainage network in the upper catchment, and/or (ii) climate changes with their associated local to catchment-scale modifications in vegetation cover, and changes in discharge, inundation frequencies and magnitudes, which have likely affected the evolution of the fluvial system in the Llanos de Moxos. In summary, our study has revealed the enormous potential which geomorphic mapping and analysis combined with luminescence based chronologies hold for the reconstruction of the late Pleistocene to recent fluvial system in a large portion of Amazonia.



Link to publisher version (DOI)