The Amazon is home to a true underground ocean

The Amazon is home to a true underground ocean

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This volume is 3.5 times greater than that of the Guaraní Aquifer, an underground reservoir of fresh water that covers the territories of Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay and mainly Brazil, with 1,200,000 square kilometers (km²) of extension.

“This underground reserve represents more than 80% of the total water in the Amazon. The water of the Amazonian rivers, for example, represents only 8% of the hydrological system of the biome, and the atmospheric waters have approximately the same percentage of participation ”, Abreu said during the event.

However, knowledge about this "underground ocean" is still very scarce and must be improved, both to evaluate the possibility of use for human supply and to preserve it, due to its importance for the balance of the regional hydrographic cycle.

According to Abreu, research on the Amazon Aquifer began only 10 years ago, when he and other scientists from UFPA and the Federal University of Ceará (UFC) conducted a study on the Alter do Chão Aquifer, in the district of Santarém (state of Pará). This study indicated that the aquifer, located in the middle of the scene of one of the most beautiful river beaches in the country, would have a reservoir of fresh underground water with an estimated volume of 86.4 billion cubic meters.

“We were greatly surprised by the results of the study and so we decided to deepen them. To our amazement, we discovered that the Alter do Chão Aquifer integrates a hydrogeological system that includes the sedimentary basins of the Acre, Solimões, Amazonas and Marajó. Together, these four basins have an area of ​​approximately 1,300,000 square kilometers, ”Abreu said.

This hydrogeological system, called by the researcher and his collaborators the Grande Amazonia Aquifer System (Saga), began to form from the Cretaceous period, around 135 million years ago. Due to the geological processes that occurred during that period, an extensive sedimentary coverage was deposited in the four basins, with thicknesses of the order of thousands of meters, Abreu explained.

“The Saga is a transboundary hydrogeological system, since it encompasses other countries in South America. But in Brazil, 67% of the system is located ”, he said.

However, one of the limitations for the use of the water available in the reservoir lies in the precariousness of the knowledge concerning its quality, the researcher pointed out. "We intend to collect information on the quality of the water found in that reservoir to verify if it is appropriate for consumption.

“We estimate that the volume of water from the Saga that can be used in the medium term for human and industrial supply, or for agricultural irrigation, will be very small, due to the size of the reserve and the depth of the wells currently built in the region, which do not exceed 500 meters and have a high flow, from 100 to 500 cubic meters per hour, "he said.

In Abreu's opinion, because this underground reservoir represents 80% of the water in the hydrological cycle of the Amazon, it is urgent to have it as a strategic reserve for the country.

“In the interaction between the forest and water resources, associated with the rotation of the Earth, the Amazon transfers around 8 billion cubic meters of water annually to other regions of Brazil.

The population that lives here in the region does not use this water, which represents a colossal environmental service that this biome provides to the country, since it supports the Brazilian agribusiness and the rain regime, which in turn is in charge of filling the reservoirs that produce water. hydroelectricity in the southern and southeastern regions of the country ”, he analyzed. VULNERABILITIES ...

According to Ingo Daniel Wahnfried, a professor at the Federal University of Amazonas (Ufam), one of the main obstacles to studying the Amazon Aquifer lies in the complexity of the system.

As the reservoir is made up of large rivers, with sedimentary layers of different depths, it is difficult to define groundwater flow data for the entire Amazon hydrogeological system, for example.


Video: Whats Hidden Behind 2,124,000 Square Miles of the Unexplored Amazon Forest? (June 2022).


  1. Loman

    Also that we would do without your magnificent phrase

  2. Nachton

    and where at you the logic?

  3. Peirce

    I totally agree.

  4. Cyrus

    Why did you raise the panic here?

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