Year Two: Geo-Environmental Characterization of the Delta del Orinoco, Venezuela


This report summarizes the results of research conducted at The University of Texas at Austin (UT), Bureau of Economic Geology (BEG), for the project titled "Geo-Environmental Characteristics of the Delta del Orinoco, Venezuela-Integrated Studies of the Environmental Characteristics, Active Processes, and Depositional Systems of the Delta del Orinoco Region, Northeastern Venezuela." It contains results of BEG activities, analyses, and interpretations for the period December 1997 through November 1999. In this study, we integrated information generated by satellite image processing and analysis, four field expeditions to the delta, and an extensive literature review.

The main objectives of our investigations are to (1) characterize the physical setting of the Orinoco Delta; (2) identify, evaluate, and describe the physical processes active in the delta; and (3) define and evaluate the relationships between active physical processes and delta-ecosystem composition and long-term stability. Our efforts in 1999 focused on analyses of (1) remote-sensing data and historical aerial photomosaics available to the project; (2) field data acquired in four field expeditions conducted in 1998 and early 1999; (3) environmental reports by petroleum companies operating in the delta area; and (4) publications and reports describing the Holocene and Recent physical setting of northeastern South America, including climatology, ecology, river and coastal hydrology, oceanography, and geology.


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