Rivers of Brazil

Rivers of Brazil


Brazil has a huge territorial area and has a hydrographic network formed by large rivers and large volumes of water. In the world, the country brings together the largest river basins on the planet.

Brazilian Hydrographic Regions

Brazil has 12 hydrographic regions formed by several watersheds, where are located the main rivers of the country: Amazonas, San Francisco, Tocantins, Araguaia, Parnaíba, Paraguay, Paraná, Uruguay, among others. . See below the main river basins in the country:

Amazon Basin

The Amazon Basin is the largest watershed in the world. It is formed by the Amazon River and its tributaries, extends over an area of ​​7,008,307 km², of this total, 3,843,402 km² are in Brazil. It also occupies lands from Peru, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia and Guyana.

Its main river, the Amazon, is born in Mclntyre Lagoon, Nevado Mismi, Peru's Andes, at 5,600 meters above sea level, according to scientific research by the National Institute for Space Research (INPE).

Then its waters flow through the Apurimac River and other tributaries until it is called Solimões, on the Brazilian border, until the encounter with the Negro River.

From there it receives the name Amazonas, forming the largest watershed in the world. After crossing the extensive Amazon Plain from west to east, the Amazon River flows into the Atlantic Ocean. It is considered the second longest river in the world and the one with the largest volume of water.

The tributary network of the Amazon is made up of extensive rivers such as Purus, Madeira, Tapajós, Xingu, Negro, Juruá, Jari and many others.

Since most of the Amazon region has a very humid climate with rainfall almost every month of the year, most of its rivers have an equatorial regime, where a very prolonged flood period and a small drought predominate. that makes navigation easier.

In a huge region like the Amazon, rivers play an important role in regional human occupation. Inhabitants are scattered along rivers, which are an important source of food, and in much of the region, the only circulation routes.

Tocantins Basin - Araguaia

The Tocantins-Araguaia Basin is the largest totally Brazilian watershed. Offers much of your navigable course. It is the second in energy production in Brazil, and is located in the Eastern Amazon.

It extends over 918,822 km², from the confluence of the Maranhão river with the Rio das Almas in Goiás, to the mouth of the Marajó bay, in the state of Pará.

Its main rivers are the Tocantins and Araguaia, which extend through the states of Tocantins, Goiás, Mato Grosso, Pará, Maranhão, and the Federal District. In its course is the island of Bananal, in the state of Tocantins, the largest river island in the world.

The Tucuruí Hydroelectric Dam, built on the Tocantins River in the municipality of Tucuruí, Pará State, is the largest wholly Brazilian hydroelectric dam. It is responsible for the energy supply of most of the states of Pará, Maranhão and Tocantins. A lock and a 5.5 km canal allows navigation on much of the river.

San Francisco Basin

The São Francisco River Basin, formed by the São Francisco River and 158 tributaries, extends over an area of ​​640,000 km², occupying 8% of the national territory, covering the states of Minas Gerais, Bahia, Pernambuco, Alagoas, Sergipe, Goiás. and the Federal District, bathing 521 municipalities.

The São Francisco River is the main course of the Basin, with a length of 2,700 km. He is born in the Canastra mountain range in Minas Gerais, and after touring the states of Minas Gerais, Bahia, Pernambuco, Alagoas and Sergipe, flows into the Atlantic Ocean, on the border of Alagoas and Sergipe.

The São Francisco River has many waterfalls, which are used to generate electricity. Among the plants in this basin, Paulo Afonso, Sobradinho, Xingó and Luiz Gonzaga, supply energy that supplies the Northeast Region, and Três Marias, which serves part of the Southeast.

The São Francisco River, with over 2,000 km of navigable stretches, is the only perennial (never dry) river that flows through the northeastern semi-arid backwoods, the driest region in Brazil. Its waters are used for irrigation of crops. The other rivers are intermittent (dry for part of the year).

Platinum Basin

The Platinum Basin is formed by the Paraná, Paraguay and Uruguay rivers and their tributaries. In the Brazilian territory they form separate river basins (Paraná Basin, Paraguay Basin and Uruguay Basin), but unite in the La Plata estuary between Uruguay and Argentina.

The Paraná River has 2,400 navigable km and brings Brazil closer to its Mercosur partners. Among the tributaries of the Paraná River stand out the Paranapanema River, Peixe, Grande and Tietê.

The Paraná Basin has the largest hydroelectric potential installed in the country, including the Itaipu Binational Plant, built in partnership between Brazil and Paraguay. With the construction of locks next to the plants, the basin has important sections for navigation, especially the Tietê waterway.

The Paraguay River is a typical lowland river that flows through the Mato-Grossense Pantanal and is used as a waterway to drain the manganese ore from the Urucum Massif. Its largest river port is Corumbá, in Mato Grosso do Sul. The Paraguay River also flows through the countries of Paraguay, Bolivia and Argentina.

The Uruguay River originates from the junction of the Canoas and Pelotas rivers, runs through typical plateau stretches and plain stretches between São Borja and Uruguaiana, in Rio Grande do Sul, where it is used for navigation. In its course stand out the plants of Garibaldi, in the river Canoas, and Machadinho in the river Uruguay.

Deepen your knowledge, also read:

Brazilian Hydrography

Estuaries