Rivers of South America

Since South America is the wettest continent of the world, the river network here is very dense. On the mainland, the longest and deepest rivers of the planet flow.

The main watershed in South America is the Andes. Since the mountains lie in the extreme west of the continent, most rivers of South America belong to the Atlantic Ocean basin of 90% of the territory. Only short rivers flow from the Andes to the Pacific Ocean. Due to the humid climate of the continent and the features of its relief, the area of ​​the basin of the internal drain, unlike in Africa and Australia, is small.

The largest river in South America is the Amazon. Queen of the rivers, a miracle of nature, mysterious, unique – as soon as they do not call her. It originates high in the Andes in the west and, crossing the 6400 km path, flows into the Atlantic Ocean in the east. On the way to the ocean, the Amazon receives about 500 tributaries, 17 of which are over 1,500 km in length. The area of

​​its basin is the largest in the world and exceeds 7 million km2. This area can accommodate 11 such countries as Ukraine. At the same time, it is the most full-flowing river in the world. It takes 15% of the entire river water of the planet into the ocean. For such a quantity of water, 130 such rivers would be needed, such as the Dnieper.

Amazon is also the widest and deepest river of the planet. It is formed by the confluence of two rivers – the Ucayali and the Maraion. Already at the confluence, the width of the river reaches 2 km. On the Amazonian lowland, it is divided into many branches and channels. Not every pilot, even very experienced, can understand this water lace. In the lower reaches the Amazon reaches 20 km. In its mouth there are many islands, of which the largest is Marazho. The river is so wide and deep that ocean ships climb along it for 1,700 km.

Since the Amazon mostly flows through the equatorial climatic belt, it has rainwater and is full of water all year round. But in summer and in winter it even more comes out of the coast, as it is fed by tributaries originating in the

Northern and Southern hemispheres. In December and February, a lot of water comes from the tributaries of the Southern Hemisphere, where at this time the rain period, and in June-August – the North, when rain falls there. Since there are more right tributaries, at the end of the summer of the Southern Hemisphere there is a “peak” of the river’s full water: it leaves the coast and spills 80-100 km. In the lower reaches of the Amazon there are tides. Twice a day from the ocean in the mouth comes so much water that there is a wave of height up to 4 m, the so-called “Amazon”, which with great speed and noise moves up the river.

In the waters of the Amazon and its tributaries, there are many fish, live turtles, dolphins and crocodiles.

The second longest river on the mainland is Parana, its locals call the “mother of the sea”. The total length of the river is 4700 km, which is twice the length of the Dnieper. The origins of Parana are on the Brazilian plateau. Falling into the Atlantic Ocean, the river forms the wide mouth of La Plata. Crossing the hard crystalline rocks of the shield of the South American platform, Parana created picturesque waterfalls. The most famous among them is Iguaçu, with a height of 72 m, and perhaps the widest in the world is -4 km. Surrounded by tropical forests full of amazing plants and animals, this waterfall is the most exotic place in South America.

The Great River of South America is also Orinoco. Not a little longer than the Dnieper 2740 km. The tributaries of the Orinoco, originating in the Andes, leave a fertile silt in the valley. The mouth of the Orinoco is a complex network of small arms and numerous islands. On the tributary Orinoco – the Churun ​​River – in 1935 the highest waterfall of the world was discovered – Angel.

Paraná and Orinoco, which because of their considerable extent cross the subequatorial climatic belt, have mainly rain feeding and sharp fluctuations in the water level throughout the year. During the rainy season, the vast expanses of their valleys are flooded with water. In the dry season, small tributaries of these rivers turn into a chain of small standing lakes.

The rivers of South America are rich in energy resources, which are not used actively. In some areas of the Amazon River – the only way to communicate. In arid areas, rivers are used for irrigation. Fishing is developed on all rivers.

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Rivers of South America