Which country is The Amazon River in? The Amazon River is located in the northern portion of South America, flowing from west to east. The river system originates in the Andes Mountains of Peru and travels through Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Brazil before emptying into the Atlantic Ocean. Roughly two-thirds of the Amazon’s main stream is within Brazil.
Which country is The Amazon River in?
The origin of the world’s largest river—by volume—has been surprisingly hard to pin down. Explorers and scientists have argued over where to locate the start of the Amazon River since at least the mid-1600s, with no fewer than five rivers in southwestern Peru given the honor over the years.
Now the authors of a study published in the journal Area say they’ve located the mighty river’s true source: the Mantaro River in southwestern Peru. If they’re right, their discovery would add 47 to 57 miles (75 to 92 kilometers) to the length of the Amazon, currently measured at about 4,000 miles (6,437 kilometers) by the U.S. Geological Survey.
Using six different methods of measurement—including GPS tracking data and satellite images—professional kayaker James Contos and his team, funded in part by a grant from the National Geographic Society, determined that the Mantaro River is about 10 percent longer than the Apurímac River, which has been considered the Amazon’s source since 1971.
One reason the Mantaro may have been overlooked, say Contos and his anthropologist co-author Nicholas Tripcevich of the University of California, Berkeley: A twisting bend, or kink, in the river’s lower half makes it look much shorter than it really is.
How long is the Amazon River?
Most researchers believe that it is at least 4,000 miles (6,400 km) long. However, no definitive measure is available because no one is entirely sure where the Amazon ends and begins. Given the complexity of the river system, much of which is in remote areas, researchers have proposed several locations in Peru as its source.
As to its end point, the Amazon has three outlets to the Atlantic Ocean: two on the northern side of Marajó Island in Brazil and one to the island’s south that joins the Pará River. Scientists have typically selected one of the northern outlets, since the Pará is an estuary of the Tocantins River, which is technically separate from the Amazon.
Why is the Amazon River famous?
The Amazon is well known for a number of reasons. It is the greatest river of South America and the largest drainage system in the world in terms of the volume of its flow and the area of its basin. While there is some debate about its length, the river is generally believed to be at least 4,000 miles (6,400 km) long, which makes it the second longest river in the world after the Nile River in Africa.
The Amazon is also famous for the rainforest found along its shores. The Amazon Rainforest represents about half of Earth’s remaining rainforest and is the world’s largest biological reservoir, home to more than a million species.
What animals live in the Amazon River?
About 2,500 fish species have been found within the Amazon system, but many more remain unidentified. Among the more important commercial species are the pirarucu, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish, and various giant catfish. The small flesh-eating piranha generally feeds on other fish but may attack any animal or human that enters the water. Other animals include caiman, river turtles, river dolphins, and manatees. The Amazon is also home to the semiaquatic capybara, the largest rodent in the world, and the nutria (or coypu).
Where Does The Amazon River Start?
The question of where the Amazon River starts is one that has been fraught with debate for centuries and is why there is general confusion over the length of the Amazon. Historically five different rivers, all located in the Andes of Peru, have been heralded as its source, the most widely accepted being Lake Ticlla Cocha in the headwaters of the Apurimac River.
Much of the confusion arises from which of the three definitions of a river’s source is used. Is it the farthest point upstream that provides the largest volume of water, of the longest tributary in the river’s drainage basin, or of the longest tributary that flows continuously? The latter is the currently accepted definition, but this has not always been the case.
Throughout the 1700s, the Marañón River in northern Peru was considered the source as it holds the largest volume of water compared to other distant tributaries. Later, the Ucayali River, also in northern Peru, took the crown being a longer tributary than the Marañón.
In the 1930s the headwaters of the Apurimac River was the main focus of attention of many expeditions trying to find the true source, being the Amazon River’s most distant source with an uninterrupted flow. In 1935, Lake Vilafro took that title. By 1971, a National Geographic team had established that the Carhuasanta River flowing down the 5,500m high Nevado Mismi mountain in southwestern Peru was the source, but on a follow-up expedition in 2000 confirmed Lake Ticlla Cocha to be the source of the Carhuasanta River and hence the true source of the Amazon River.
Research published in 2014 in the journal Area put forth a new claim that in fact the Mantaro River, which begins north of Lima, is the source of the Amazon. Despite indeed being the farthest upstream source feeding the Amazon Basin, it does run dry for around five months of the year and so is not regarded as accurately based on the most accepted definition of a river’s source.
Where does the Amazon River End?
Measuring the length of a river might seem like a simple task but the fact of the matter is that the complete opposite is true. The easiest way to approach a question like ‘where does the Amazon River end is’ is to say that it ends in the Atlantic Ocean at Marajó Bay.
The Amazon River pumps so much water into the Atlantic that you could sail from the mouth of the river for dozens of miles in the ocean and still find freshwater, so which point should we use as the endpoint? To complicate matters further, the Amazon River has three main outlets into the Atlantic Ocean: two to the north of Marajó Island – the Northern Channel near Macapá, and the confusingly-named Southern Channel that hugs the northern coast of the island – and one even further south in Marajó Bay, passing through the Breves Channel around the western edge of the island and joining the Pará River estuary along the southern coast of Marajó Island, near Belém. The southernmost channel in Marajó Bay is used as the official endpoint of the Amazon River as it constitutes the longest distance from its source.
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