Relation of hydrological pulse to sediment stratigraphy in the Ayapel Flood Plain Lake, Colombia


  • Alex Rúa University of Antioquia
  • Jaime Palacio Baena University of Antioquia
  • María Teresa Flórez Molina University of Antioquia



hydrological pulse, tributary, sediment, stratigraphy, methanogenesis, Eichhornia crassipes, flood plain lake


The hydrological pulse and matter transfer between tributaries and wetlands link terrestrial and rheotrophic environments. The water-sediment interaction on  multidecadal  scale  within  wetlands  of  Colombian  Atlantic  savannahs  remains   greatly   unknown.   This   study   stratigraphically   correlated   nine   sediment cores (13-30 cm) spanning ca. 110-600 years BP from the Ayapel Flood  Plain  Lake  (AFPL).  These  correlations  framed  (i)  zones  of  high  anthropogenic  pressure,  (ii)  main  hydrodynamics,  and  (iii)  organic  matter  (OM) contributions. More than 84% out of the 150 km2-extension of the AFPL was  comprised  of  oxic  mineral  sediment  that  is  object  to  early  diagenesis.  In contrast, methanogenesis was evinced by reduced sediment of anaerobic strata  in  adjacent  marshes.  The  intensity  of  the  hydrological  pulse  matched  the stratified deposit of the rhizome from Eichhornia crassipes. Whereas sand and gravel were deposited under turbulent flow near the Quebradona tributary, clayish silt deposited at pelagic zones and sandy silt at waterways. The wind drag on the shallow-water surface enhanced resuspension and transport of the sediment that was originally contributed by fluvial inputs. Thus, relatively slow net sedimentation rates were proposed at Quebradona’s mouth (ca. 0.15 cm a-1), channels (ca. 0.1 cm a-1) and temporal marshes (ca. 0.05 cm a-1). In addition, the sediment of the AFPL exported the degradation products of the OM to the lower reaches of the San Jorge River and the atmosphere.

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Author Biographies

Alex Rúa, University of Antioquia

Environmental management and modeling research group [GAIA].

Jaime Palacio Baena, University of Antioquia

Environmental management and modeling research group [GAIA].

María Teresa Flórez Molina, University of Antioquia

Environmental management and modeling research group [GAIA].


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How to Cite

Rúa, A., Palacio Baena, J., & Flórez Molina, M. T. (2014). Relation of hydrological pulse to sediment stratigraphy in the Ayapel Flood Plain Lake, Colombia. Revista Facultad De Ingeniería Universidad De Antioquia, (70), 197–206.

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