The extreme 2014 flood in south-western Amazon basin: The role of tropical-subtropical South Atlantic SST gradient

Jhan Carlo Espinoza, José Antonio Marengo, Josyane Ronchail, Jorge Molina Carpio, Luís Noriega Flores, Jean Loup Guyot

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131 Scopus citations

Abstract

Unprecedented wet conditions are reported in the 2014 summer (December-March) in South-western Amazon, with rainfall about 100% above normal. Discharge in the Madeira River (the main southern Amazon tributary) has been 74% higher than normal (58 000 m3 s-1) at Porto Velho and 380% (25 000 m3 s-1) at Rurrenabaque, at the exit of the Andes in summer, while levels of the Rio Negro at Manaus were 29.47 m in June 2014, corresponding to the fifth highest record during the 113 years record of the Rio Negro. While previous floods in Amazonia have been related to La Niña and/or warmer than normal tropical South Atlantic, the 2014 rainfall and flood anomalies are associated with warm condition in the western Pacific-Indian Ocean and with an exceptionally warm Subtropical South Atlantic. Our results suggest that the tropical and subtropical South Atlantic SST gradient is a main driver for moisture transport from the Atlantic toward south-western Amazon, and this became exceptionally intense during summer of 2014.

Original languageEnglish
Article number124007
JournalEnvironmental Research Letters
Volume9
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 IOP Publishing Ltd.

Keywords

  • Amazon basin
  • Bolivian Amazon
  • Brazilian Amazon
  • Madeira river
  • extreme flood

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