Researchers in Zurich have identified one of the darkest rivers in the world. The ETH Zurich announced on Wednesday that the color of the Roque River in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is darker than the famous Rio Negro in the Amazon region. An international research team led by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich) conducted a study to find out why the river is black.
This message has been corrected. This should be stated correctly in the last sentence of the third paragraph: “…the specialized journal ‘Limonology and Oceanography’…” (not: “Limonology and Oceanography”)
According to the university, this is the first study on the forest stream. The result: Rocky waters are very dark because, because of their low gradient, they carry almost no sediment, but rather large amounts of dissolved organic matter. According to the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, its water contains four times more organic carbon compounds than that of the Congo River, and one and a half times more than that of the Rio Negro in the Amazon.
According to the university, carbon-containing materials enter the river mainly in rainwater. The study, published in the journal Limnology and Oceanography, showed that rain falls on dead forest plants, dissolving organic compounds from the dead plant material.
In addition, the river floods the forest in the rainy season. The water often reaches waist level on the forest floor for weeks and only drains very slowly. The water becomes rich in organic matter. “Rocky is actually a forest tea,” ETH researcher Travis Drake explained in the university’s statement.
“Food practitioner. Bacon guru. Infuriatingly humble zombie enthusiast. Total student.”