Three Rivers of the Amazon

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Amazon River | Facts, History, Animals, & Map |

Suspended load for the world in general perhaps equals two and one-half times dissolved load. Well over half of suspended load is…. The lower Amazon, with a slope of less than 7. According to the assumptions made, an optimal velocity equation in hydraulic geometry can predict a slight increase, constancy,…. The volume of water it carries surpasses that of all other rivers, constituting one-fifth of the total flowing fresh water of the world.

About 6,, cubic feet , cubic metres of water…. In fresh water derivation of name In Amazon properties In river In river: Hydraulic geometry running waters In inland water ecosystem: Drainage Brazil In Brazil: Drainage Colombia In Colombia: Drainage and soils View More. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. Help us improve this article! Contact our editors with your feedback. Introduction Physical features The length of the Amazon Landforms and drainage patterns Physiography of the river course Hydrology Climate Soils Plant life Animal life People Early settlement patterns Contemporary settlement patterns Economy Development of the Amazon basin Agriculture and forestry Mining and energy Ecological concerns Study and exploration Early European exploration Exploration since You may find it helpful to search within the site to see how similar or related subjects are covered.

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Please try again later. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. In fact, true cinnamon Cinnamomum verum is not native to South America. Other related cinnamon-containing plants of the family Lauraceae are fairly common in that part of the Amazon and Pizarro probably saw some of these. The expedition reached the mouth of the Amazon on 24 August , demonstrating the practical navigability of the Great River.

In another Spanish conquistador , Lope de Aguirre , may have made the second descent of the Amazon. Historians are uncertain whether the river he descended was the Amazon or the Orinoco River , which runs more or less parallel to the Amazon further north. Portuguese explorer Pedro Teixeira was the first European to travel up the entire river. He arrived in Quito in , and returned via the same route. In what is currently Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, and Venezuela, a number of colonial and religious settlements were established along the banks of primary rivers and tributaries for the purpose of trade, slaving and evangelisation among the indigenous peoples of the vast rainforest, such as the Urarina.

In the late s Spanish Jesuit Father Samuel Fritz , apostle of the Omaguas, established some forty mission villages. Early scientific, zoological and botanical exploration of the Amazon River and basin took place from the 18th century through the first half of the 19th century. The Cabanagem revolt — was directed against the white ruling class. The total population of the Brazilian portion of the Amazon basin in was perhaps ,, of whom about two-thirds were Europeans and slaves, the slaves amounting to about 25, All the remaining villages, as far up as Tabatinga , on the Brazilian frontier of Peru, were relatively small.

In that same period, the Amazonas Company was increasing its fleet. Meanwhile, private individuals were building and running small steam craft of their own on the main river as well as on many of its tributaries. On 31 July the government of Brazil, constantly pressed by the maritime powers and by the countries encircling the upper Amazon basin, especially Peru, decreed the opening of the Amazon to all countries, but they limited this to certain defined points: The Brazilian decree took effect on 7 September Thanks in part to the mercantile development associated with steamboat navigation coupled with the internationally driven demand for natural rubber , the Peruvian city of Iquitos became a thriving, cosmopolitan centre of commerce.

Foreign companies settled in Iquitos, from whence they controlled the extraction of rubber. In Iquitos had a population of , and by its population reached 20, In the s, approximately 3, tons of rubber were being exported annually, and by annual exports had grown to 44, tons, representing 9. The first direct foreign trade with Manaus commenced around By the turn of the 20th century, the exports of the Amazon basin were India-rubber , cacao beans , Brazil nuts and a few other products of minor importance, such as pelts and exotic forest produce resins , barks, woven hammocks , prized bird feathers , live animals and extracted goods, such as lumber and gold.

Since colonial times, the Portuguese portion of the Amazon basin has remained a land largely undeveloped by agriculture and occupied by indigenous people who survived the arrival of European diseases. Wary of foreign exploitation of the nation's resources, Brazilian governments in the s set out to develop the interior, away from the seaboard where foreigners owned large tracts of land. In the s, economic exploitation of the Amazon basin was seen as a way to fuel the "economic miracle" occurring at the time.

This resulted in the development of "Operation Amazon", an economic development project that brought large-scale agriculture and ranching to Amazonia. This was done through a combination of credit and fiscal incentives. However, in the s the government took a new approach with the National Integration Programme. A large-scale colonization programme saw families from northeastern Brazil relocated to the "land without people" in the Amazon Basin. The Trans-Amazonian Highway's three pioneering highways were completed within ten years but never fulfilled their promise.

Large portions of the Trans-Amazonian and its accessory roads, such as BR Manaus- Porto Velho , are derelict and impassable in the rainy season. Small towns and villages are scattered across the forest, and because its vegetation is so dense, some remote areas are still unexplored. This, although the government believed it could sustain millions, instead could sustain very few. With a population of 1. From these dams, are constructed over six of the main tributary rivers that drain into the Amazon. The most accurate measurement method was direct GPS measurement obtained by kayak descent of each of the rivers from their source points to their confluence performed by Contos.

Obtaining these measurements was difficult given the class IV—V nature of each of these rivers, especially in their lower "Abyss" sections. Contos continued downstream to the ocean and finished the first complete descent of the Amazon river from its newly identified source finishing November , a journey repeated by two groups after the news spread. From the town of Canaria at the great bend of the Amazon to the Negro, vast areas of land are submerged at high water, above which only the upper part of the trees of the sombre forests appear.

Near the mouth of the Rio Negro to Serpa, nearly opposite the river Madeira, the banks of the Amazon are low, until approaching Manaus, they rise to become rolling hills. These hills are cut down to a kind of terrace which lies between them and the river. The definition of where exactly the mouth of the Amazon is located, and how wide it is, is a matter of dispute, because of the area's peculiar geography. The plume generated by the river's discharge covers up to 1.

Three Rivers

While debate as to whether the Amazon or the Nile is the world's longest river has gone on for many years, the historic consensus of geographic authorities has been to regard the Amazon as the second longest river in the world, with the Nile being the longest. A study by Brazilian scientists concluded that the Amazon is actually longer than the Nile.

The Amazon river is BIGGER than you think.

Using Nevado Mismi , which in was labelled by the National Geographic Society as the Amazon's source, these scientists made new calculations of the Amazon's length. However, other geographers have had access to the same data since , and a consensus has yet to emerge to support the claims of these Brazilian scientists. The length of both the Amazon and the Nile remains open to interpretation and continued debate.

It drains from west to east, from Iquitos in Peru, across Brazil to the Atlantic. It gathers its waters from 5 degrees north latitude to 20 degrees south latitude. Its most remote sources are found on the inter- Andean plateau, just a short distance from the Pacific Ocean. The Amazon River and its tributaries are characterised by extensive forested areas that become flooded every rainy season. The Amazon's flooded forests are the most extensive example of this habitat type in the world. The quantity of water released by the Amazon to the Atlantic Ocean is enormous: For centuries ships have reported fresh water near the Amazon's mouth yet well out of sight of land in what otherwise seemed to be the open ocean.

The Atlantic has sufficient wave and tidal energy to carry most of the Amazon's sediments out to sea, thus the Amazon does not form a true delta. The great deltas of the world are all in relatively protected bodies of water, while the Amazon empties directly into the turbulent Atlantic. There is a natural water union between the Amazon and the Orinoco basins, the so-called Casiquiare canal.

The Casiquiare is a river distributary of the upper Orinoco, which flows southward into the Rio Negro, which in turn flows into the Amazon. The Casiquiare is the largest river on earth that links two major river systems, a so-called bifurcation. Not all of the Amazon's tributaries flood at the same time of the year. Many branches begin flooding in November and might continue to rise until June. The Madeira River rises and falls two months earlier than most of the rest of the Amazon river. More than half of the water in the Amazon downstream of Manacapuru is below sea level.

Smaller ocean vessels of 3, or 9, tonnes 3, or 8, long tons; 3, or 9, short tons and 5. Beyond that, small boats frequently ascend to the Pongo de Manseriche , just above Achual Point in Peru. Annual flooding occurs in late northern latitude winter at high tide when the incoming waters of the Atlantic are funnelled into the Amazon delta. The resulting undular tidal bore is called the pororoca , with a leading wave that can be up to 25 feet 7. The Amazon River originated as a transcontinental river in the Miocene epoch between The proto-Amazon during the Cretaceous flowed west, as part of a proto-Amazon-Congo river system, from the interior of present-day Africa when the continents were connected, forming western Gondwana.

Fifteen million years ago, the main tectonic uplift phase of the Andean chain started. This tectonic movement is caused by the subduction of the Nazca Plate underneath the South American Plate. The rise of the Andes and the linkage of the Brazilian and Guyana bedrock shields, [ clarification needed ] blocked the river and caused the Amazon Basin to become a vast inland sea.

Gradually, this inland sea became a massive swampy, freshwater lake and the marine inhabitants adapted to life in freshwater. For example, over 20 species of stingray, most closely related to those found in the Pacific Ocean, can be found today in the freshwaters of the Amazon. Eleven to ten million years ago, waters worked through the sandstone from the west and the Amazon began to flow eastward, leading to the emergence of the Amazon rainforest.

During glacial periods , sea levels dropped and the great Amazon lake rapidly drained and became a river, which would eventually become the world's largest, draining the most extensive area of rainforest on the planet. Paralleling the Amazon River is a large aquifer, dubbed the Hamza River , the discovery of which was made public in August It is the richest tropical forest in the world in terms of biodiversity. There are over 3, species of fish currently recognised in the Amazon basin, with more being discovered every year. Along with the Orinoco, the Amazon is one of the main habitats of the boto , also known as the Amazon river dolphin Inia geoffrensis.

It is the largest species of river dolphin , and it can grow to lengths of up to 2. The colour of its skin changes with age; young animals are gray, but become pink and then white as they mature. The dolphins use echolocation to navigate and hunt in the river's tricky depths. The tucuxi Sotalia fluviatilis , also a dolphin species, is found both in the rivers of the Amazon basin and in the coastal waters of South America.

The Amazonian manatee Trichechus inunguis , also known as "seacow", is found in the northern Amazon River basin and its tributaries.