The Amazon River is the world’s largest river and it flows through tropical rainforests in South America. Its origins are high in the Andes Mountains of Peru and it flows eastward on a meandering journey, eventually emptying into the Atlantic Ocean in Brazil.
Its vast drainage basin covers 40 percent of South America and the Amazon River is responsible for releasing a fifth of all fresh water entering the oceans worldwide where is the amazon river located is also home to a number of rare fish species.
The Amazon River is a mighty and complex water system that originates in the Andes Mountains in South America. It flows a great distance across South America through Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela and Bolivia before emptying into the Atlantic Ocean.
It is estimated that up to 20% of the world’s fresh water enters the ocean via the Amazon. This means that the Amazon is one of the most important rivers on Earth, contributing to global climate and environmental changes.
A major bone of contention has been the location of its source. Scientists have long debated the answer, but in 2007 a team of Brazilian researchers determined that the Amazon River comes from a glacial stream on a snow-capped peak called Nevado Mismi in the Peruvian Andes.
The Amazon river, rising in Arequipa, Peru and emptying into the Atlantic Ocean, discharges more freshwater than any other river on Earth. It flows through the countries of Peru, Bolivia, Venezuela, Colombia and Brazil before entering the ocean 6, 437 kilometers (4,000 miles) from its headwaters in the Andes mountains.
The river consists of a vast basin encompassing 2,722,000 square miles, or 40% of South America. This watershed engulfs the world’s largest tropical rainforest as well as areas of dry grassland and savannah, making it one of the most vital ecosystems in the world.
In the lower reaches of the river, microbial respiration is the primary pathway for organic matter decomposition. However, constant input of reactive organic matter from surrounding land and floodplains keeps levels high upriver, until the source is cut off in the inner sectors of the Atlantic Ocean plume.
The Amazon River, which is second only to the NILE in length, starts in Peru and flows northward. Its source lies in the Apacheta valley, a small spring at the slopes of Mount Quehuisha (about 5,170 m above sea level).
During the dry season, it narrows to about 7 miles, but broadens to 25 miles during the rainy season. The average depth of the river is 66ft (21m) but is much deeper in some parts of the basin.
Its discharge is the largest in the world. In the rainy season, the river releases up to 300,000 m3 per second.
The mouth of the river is in the Atlantic Ocean, near Belem. Its size and shape are disputed, but it is generally considered to be about 325 km (202 mi) wide.
It has an enormous delta before it hits the sea. The waters here are mostly fresh water, but they mix with seawater offshore. This mixture of fresh and salt is called brackish water, and can be filtered to drink.
The Amazon River and its tributaries (which make up the world’s biggest river system) span South America from West to East, crossing Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Venezuela. It is a vast basin that also forms the world’s largest rainforest.
The river’s name is derived from stories of fierce battles between Spanish conquistadors and tribes of female warriors, a popular theme in pre-Columbian literature.
In a more modern context, the Amazon is a vast equatorial basin that encompasses almost all of South America from Brazil to Peru and beyond. It is home to a staggering variety of wildlife, as well as a number of human habitations.
Many tribes now reside in the heart of the rainforest, where they abide by a blend of traditional and modern methods. But others remain completely shut off from the modern world, a phenomenon known as ‘uncontacted tribes’. In the past decade, we’ve launched campaigns to protect these people from oil companies, loggers, and local landowners who want to rip out their rainforest homes and replace them with mining projects.