Latin American journal of sedimentology and basin analysis
versión On-line ISSN 1851-4979
STEVAUX, José C. et al. Morphodynamics in the Confluence of large regulated Rivers: the case of Paraná and Paranapanema Rivers. Lat. Am. j. sedimentol. basin anal. [online]. 2009, vol.16, n.2, pp. 101-109. ISSN 1851-4979.
The confluence of the Paraná and Paranapanema Rivers is studied according to morphology and dynamics. It is probably the only example of this type of fluvial environment involving a large, tropical and intensive regulated river. Confluence channels were monitored along a hydrological cycle (high-low water level) in terms of morphology, flow velocity, magnitude, structure, and bedload dynamics. In this case, hydrology is controlled by the flow of the tributary, which develops a continuous and well-defined thalweg since the collector channel (a secondary channel of the Paraná River) that presents relatively large bedforms that reduce stream power by increasing roughness. Although significant differences in channel morphology were not observed along the hydrological year, bed material texture indicates that the channel bottom is suffering a slight armoring process. This is probably the reason for the large asymmetry of channel confluence where the depth of the tributary channel is larger than that of the main collector channel (the Paraná left branch). The Rosana Dam, closed in 1987 and located 26 km upstream from the confluence, is the cause of the changes in sediment transport and the generation of the channel pavement. With the closing of the Porto Primavera Dam (2000) in the Paraná River (27 km upstream from the confluence) a new morphodynamics is foreseen for this environment, and this paper can be seen a relevant pioneer reference for environmental monitoring and management.
Palabras clave : River confluence; Channel morphology; Paraná River; Paranapanema River.