June 23, 2024

The blackest river in the world flows in the Congo

Many rivers in the tropics have very dark, coffee-like water. The colors of so-called black water rivers are due to organic acids that are formed when organic substances decompose – for example humic acids. Now, experts at ETH Zurich say they have discovered what may be the blackest river in the world. It is probably the Rocky River, a tributary of the Congo – comparisons with other tropical rivers show this. The institute writes on its website. A team led by ETH researcher Travis Drake became aware of the unusually dark river water while researching the carbon balance of the Rockies. Because of its high organic matter content, the river plays an important role in the carbon balance in the Congo Basin. The group reports in the journal Limonology and Oceanography.