Agusan Marsh Conference 2007 Siringan-AM2 | River | Drainage Basin

Agusan Marsh

Butuan Plain

What is the origin of the Butuan plain ?. What is the influence of Agusan Marsh on the geomorphology of Butuan Plain?

Indicators and possible driving mechanisms of shifts in the position of Agusan River along the Butuan coastal plain
Fernando P. Siringan Marine Science Institute University of the Philippines Diliman

Fan-Delta

Fan-Delta? Alluvial Fan
fan-shaped accumulation of sediment at a point along a river where there is a decrease in gradient or when a river emerges from an incised channel

Alluvial Fans or Fan-Deltas
are characterized by a distributary river system with one or several active channels at a time

Alluvial Fans or Fan-Deltas
Are characterized by switching of active channel or channels and by lateral shifting of channels

Switching or shifting of channels can be… …self driven …caused by floods …induced by elevated sediment load which in turn can be due to an earthquake or a heavy rainfall …or induced by land tilting due to tectonism

Tagudin, Ilocos Sur Amburayan River FanDelta

Vigan, Ilocos Sur Abra River Fan-Delta
Submarine canyon

Agusan River FanDelta

This map suggests that the present downstream Agusan River and Masao River used to be both active distributary channels of the Agusan Fan Delta

from J. Primavera

This map also suggests that the amount of water flowing down Agusan River used to be higher …this implies wetter conditions than the present

The fit suggests that the positions of the shorelines and the distributary rivers have not changed much in the past 350 years. However, it implies switching of the active distributary channel

Possible paleoshoreline trace

(from Pirazzoli, 1991)

from Maeda et al., 2003

Marine Notches

Lingayen Gulf

Paleoshoreline during the highstand was about 16 km inland of present shoreline

Paleoshoreline during the highest sea level stand may have been more inland but its trace may now be covered by younger fan-delta deposits.

Agusan River FanDelta

Epicenters of earthquakes from 1907 to 2001 with magnitude greater than 4

Shows frequent occurrence of deep to shallow earthquakes along the eastern side of Mindanao.

Annual Rainfall Distribution in the Philippines
The Agusan River Basin lies in an area with annual rainfall ranging from 2000 to 4000 mm. For the east side, most rains come during the months of October to March.
(from accompanying data CD in Ohmachi and Roman (2002))

The watershed of Agusan River is characterized by …
•Steep gradients •Highly fractured rocks •Frequent large magnitude earthquakes •High and seasonal precipitation

Agusan watershed is likely to have a high sediment yield. Occurrence of episodic, elevated sediment discharges by the rivers are likely to be frequent.

Switching or shifting of the Agusan River Fan-Delta channels can be… …self driven …caused by floods …induced by elevated sediment load which in turn can be due to an earthquake or a heavy rainfall …or induced by land tilting due to tectonism

What is the influence of Agusan Marsh on the geomorphology of Butuan Plain?
Butuan Plain

Agusan Marsh serves as a buffer of flashy river discharges from upstream.

During downpours in the upstream, parts of the surface runoff and sediment load gets retained in the marsh. The marsh also slows down material transfer downstream

Agusan Marsh

Agusan Marsh and its floodplain lakes are in the pull-apart basin of the Philippine Fault Zone

The marsh is created and maintained by tectonism.
(from Punongbayan (2003))

Summary and Implications

The Butuan coastal plain is a fan-delta. This origin implies that channel switching is a normal process within the plain. Channel switching is likely influenced by tectonism. Tectonism created and to a large extent, maintains the Agusan Marsh. The Agusan Marsh protects the Butuan plain from the impact of flashy river discharges. Present-day elevated sediment loads of rivers upstream is a threat to the longevity of Agusan Marsh.

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