Thriving reef system discovered in the most unlikely of places: the dirty mouth of the Amazon river


Watts Up With That?

Reef system with 10,000 km2 found at the Amazon River mouth

Researchers mapped a reef system in the most unlikely area of the Brazilian coast; River plume affects sunlight, pH, temperature and salinity; chemosynthesizing microorganisms support the ecosystem — oil and gas companies operate close to the reefs


From the UNIVERSITY OF SAO PAULO SCIENTIFIC OUTREACH UNIT and the “soon to be complaining we must save the reef” department:

The changes that the Amazon River promotes in the tropical North Atlantic ocean water make an unfavorable environment for reef development. Every second, 175 million liters of water mixed with sediments are brought to the ocean. The result is low sunlight penetration, variability in nutrient concentration, salinity and pH, extensive moody bottoms and significant changes in temperature and oxygenation levels towards the bottom – conditions not associated with reefs. The plume generated by the Amazon River has 1.3 million km2 and flows…

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