The Quaternary alluvial systems tract of the Pantanal Basin
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The Pantanal Basin is an active sedimentary basin in central-west Brazil that consists of a complex alluvial systems tract characterized by the interaction between different river systems developed in one of the largest wetlands in the world. The Paraguay River is the trunk river system that drains the water and part of the sediment load received from areas outside of the basin. Depositional styles vary considerably along the river profiles throughout the basin, with the development of entrenched meandering belts, anastomosing reaches, and floodplain ponds. Paleodrainage patterns are preserved on the surface of abandoned lobes of fluvial fans, which also exhibit many degradational channels. Here, we propose a novel classification scheme according to which the geomorphology, hydrological regime and sedimentary dynamics of these fluvial systems are determined by the geology and geomorphology of the source areas. In this way, the following systems are recognized and described: (I) the Paraguay trunk-river plains; (II) fluvial fans sourced by the tablelands catchment area; (III) fluvial fans sourced by lowlands; and (IV) fluvial interfans. We highlight the importance of considering the influences of source areas when interpreting contrasting styles of fluvial architectures in the rock record.