- Education and Science
The Great River Amazon
Amazon river in South America is the largest ( by volume ) and the second longest river of the world. It contributes about 1/5 of total water of river water from all over the world that flow into the sea. It has a great length of 6,400 km and an average breadth of 11 km. In rainy seasons the maximum breadth of the river would be about 50 km. Average flow of water near the mouth of the river is about 50 lacs cu. ft. per second and in the rainy seasons it turns to about 75 lacs cu. ft. per second. This much huge massive flow of water is coming from snow covered high ranges of Andes Mountains, wide spread heavy equatorial rains along its catchment areas and its thousands of tributaries. The water flow in this great river is more than the total water flow of next top 10 rivers of the world. Its flow rate is 10 times greater than that of Mississippi river. The flow rate of Amazon river is so huge that it clears the salinity of sea water at its mouth upto 300 km into the Atlantic ocean.
There is an interesting story behind this great river. A few decades back a small passenger ship missed it's correct way and got into a great trouble. The passengers of the ship found unavailability of drinking water and became very thirst. They wondered very much when they tasted the sea water which was almost equal to the pure drinking water. Later they realized that they had been floating about 250 km away from the mouth of Amazon.
The magnificent satellite view of River Amazon in Peru, South America.
Three Important Sources of the Great River Amazon
1. Thousands of its Tributaries.
2. Snow covered high ranges of Andes Mountains.
3. Very heavy frequent Equatorial rains along it's catchment areas.
There are about 1,100 tributaries of this Great River Amazon which make it the largest of the world. Of which 17 tributaries are more than 1,600 km long. Some of the important tributaries are Maranon, Japura, Rio Negro, Purus, Madeira, Tapajos and Xingu. It attains the vast appearance by the aggregate of it's tributaries and so called as River Sea and also Sweet Sea.
The river current carries tons of suspended sediments all the way from the Andes and gives the river a muddy white water appearance. It is calculated as 106 million cu. ft. of suspended sediments are swept into the ocean each day. The result from the silt deposited at the mouth of the Amazon is Majaro Island, a river island about the size of Switzerland. The toal area drained by the Amazon and it's tributaries is equal to the area of US.
The snow covered ranges of Andes Mountains in the country Peru ( glacial stream on a peak Nevado Mismi ). 5,600 to 6,000 m high Andes ranges are producing considerable part of water for this great river. Besides the melting of ice from the high ranges of Andes, thick amazon rainforest with rich humidity causes torrential rain falls in the catchment areas of the river. The annual rainfall of the Amazon rainforest is ranging from 3000 mm to 7000 mm. The intensive solar energy of the region makes easy rise of humid rich air and formation of thick clouds resulting into very heavy frequent equatorial rain falls.