Amazon river

The Amazon is the world's second-longest river, stretching 3,900 miles (6,275 km) from the foothills of the Andes to the Atlantic Ocean. The Amazon begins where the Ucayali and Maranon tributaries merge, and it drains into the Atlantic near the city of Belem. The Amazon carries the most water and has the largest discharge of any river in the world, averaging 150 feet (45 m) deep. Its drainage basin amounts to about 35 percent of south America, covering 2,500,000 square miles (6,475,000 km2). The Amazon lowlands in Brazil include the largest tropical rainforest in the world. In this region, the Amazon is a muddy, silt-rich river with many channels that wind around numerous islands in a complex maze. The delta region of the Amazon is marked by numerous fluvial islands and distributaries, as the muddy waters of the river get dispersed by strong currents and waves into the Atlantic. A strong tidal bore, up to 12 feet (3.7 m) high, runs up to 500 miles (800 km) upstream.

Waters of the Amazon River flow through a sediment-filled rift basin, between the Precambrian crystalline basements of the Brazil and Guiana shields. The area hosts economic deposits of gold, manganese, and other metals in the highlands, and detrital gold in lower elevations. Much of the region's economy relies on the lumber industry, with timber, rubber, vegetable oils, Brazil nuts, and medicinal plants sold worldwide.

Spanish commander Vincent Pinzon in 1500 was probably the first European to explore the lower part of the river basin, followed by the Spanish explorer Francisco de Orellana in 1540-41. Orella-na's tales of tall strong female warriors gave the river its name, borrowing from Greek mythology. Further exploration by Pedro Teixeira, Charles Darwin, and Louis Agassiz led to greater understanding of the river's course, peoples, and environment settlements did not appear until steamship service began in the middle 1800s.

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The Basic Survival Guide

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Responses

  • kedija
    How far is the amazon river from a tectonic plate?
    2 years ago
  • concetta
    Is the amazon river near any plate boundaries?
    1 year ago

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