Key Facts about Amazon River

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The Amazon River fell to its lowest level in over a century recently.

About Amazon River:

  • It is the world's largest river by water volume and width.
  • It is the second-longest river in the world after the Nile.
  • Course:
    • Its journey begins high in the Andes Mountains.
    • The river then makes its way east through thousands of miles of rainforests and lowlands until it empties into the Atlantic Ocean on the northeastern coast of Brazil.
  • Length: 6,400 km
  • Width: During the dry season, the width of the Amazon River can be 4 km to 5 km in places – and in the wet season, this can increase to 50 km.
  • Drainage:
    • It has the largest drainage area of any river system.
    • Its watershed spans the countries of Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, and Bolivia.
    • Roughly two-thirds of the Amazon’s main stream and by far the largest portion of its basin are within Brazil.
  • Water Discharge:
    • The Amazon releases high amounts of freshwater into the Atlantic Ocean at 300,000 m3 per second.
    • It accounts for one-fifth of the total volume of freshwater entering the oceans globally.
  • Tributaries:
    • It has more than 1,100 tributaries, of which seventeen measures over 1,500-kilometers long.
    • Notable tributaries include the Rio Negro, the Madeira River, and the Xingu River, among many others.
  • The Amazon Rainforest, which represents about half of the Earth’s remaining rainforest, also constitutes its single largest reserve of biological resources.
  • It is sometimes referred to as the "lungs of the Earth" due to its role in regulating the planet's oxygen and carbon cycles.

Q1) What is a drainage basin?

A drainage basin is an area of land where water from rain or snow melt drains downhill into a body of water such as a river, lake, wetland or ocean. The drainage basin includes both the streams and rivers that convey the water as well as the land surface from which water drains into those channels.

Source:Amazon River falls to lowest in over a century amid Brazil drought