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São Francisco River Between Bahia and Pernambuco States, Brazil

8.7S 38.9W

December 21st, 2009 Category: Rivers

Brazil - November 28th, 2009

Brazil - November 28th, 2009

The São Francisco River runs along part of the border between the Brazilian states of Bahia (below) and Pernambuco (above). The 3,160 kilometre-long river is the longest river located entirely within Brazil.

The segment of the river on the right side of the image appears much wider than that on the left side due to water held behind several dams. Four hydroelectric plants and dams are located along the river’s course: the Paulo Afonso Dam, Três Marias, Sobradinho and Luiz Gonzaga (Itaparica)

In addition to being used for hydroelectric power, in 2005, the Brazilian government proposed a controversial irrigation project called the “Transposition of the São Francisco” that would bring water from the river to semiarid areas of four Brazilian states.

Environmentalists argue that the project will do more harm than good, benefitting only large landowners and a very small population, while bringing considerable ecological impact. The government, on the other hand, insists that the project will give the people in the four states a much-needed water supply.

Sediments from the São Francisco River Enter Sobradinho Lake

9.9S 42.1W

December 14th, 2009 Category: Lakes, Rivers

Brazil - November 28th, 2009

Brazil - November 28th, 2009

The São Francisco River empties tan sediments into Sobradinho Lake in the Brazilian state of Bahia. The sediments gradually diffuse into the lake, such that the waters near the inflow appear tan and those near the outflow appear dark green.

The lake itself is one of the largest artificial reservoirs in the world, with an area of 4,214 square kilometres (1,627 sq mi). The Sobradinho Dam, one of four hydroelectric plants built along the São Francisco River, has a storage capacity of 34.1 billion m3 of water.

Sobradinho Reservoir on the São Francisco River, Brazil

9.6S 41.5W

November 29th, 2009 Category: Lakes, Rivers

Brazil - November 15th, 2009

Brazil - November 15th, 2009

Sobradinho Lake is one of the largest artificial reservoirs in the world, with an area of 4,214 square kilometres (1,627 sq mi). It lies along the São Francisco River, in the Brazilian state of Bahia.

The Sobradinho Dam, built in 1977 and one of four hydroelectric plants along the course of the river, has storage capacity of 34.1 billion m3 of water.

The lower end of the reservoir appears tan in color, as it is filled with sediments where the São Francisco River spills into it. The color appears more greenish where the river exits after flowing through the dam.

São Francisco River, Brazil

January 28th, 2009 Category: Rivers

Sao Francisco River - January 20th, 2009

São Francisco River - January 20th, 2009

A particularly wide segment of the São Francisco River in Brazil is visible in this image. The São Francisco River has a length of 3,160 kilometres. It is the fourth largest river system in South America and the longest river wholly within Brazil.

As we can tell from the light green and tan terrain near the river, it does not run through the luscious Amazon Rainforest but rather lies towards the drier east coast. The water appears light tan, partially from sediments and partially from sun glint.

Beginning in the state of Minas Gerais, the São Francisco River runs generally north behind the coastal range draining an area of over 630,000 square kilometers before turning east to form the border between the state of Bahia and the states of Pernambuco and Alagoas. It then enters the Atlantic Ocean between the states of Alagoas and Sergipe.

The area crossed by the river is vast, dry and sparsely populated, but several towns do lie along the river.

source Wikipedia

Agriculture Near Sobradinho Lake, Brazil – May 19th, 2009

May 19th, 2009 Category: Image of the day, Lakes, Rivers

Sobradinho Lake, Brazil - May 11th, 2009

Sobradinho Lake, Brazil - May 11th, 2009

Sobradinho Lake lies in the São Francisco River Basin, in one of the most arid regions in Northeastern Brazil, within a land stretch categorized as the Lower-middle São Francisco, in the state of Pernambuco.

The dam, in its full capacity, consists of a lake of approximately 4,214 km2; 280 km in length, the width of which varies from 5 to 50 km, according to the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. The dam storage capacity is that of 34.1 billion m3 of water.

Here, the lake appears  strikingly bright yellow-green due to sediments from the São Francisco River.

Being situated in a semi-arid region, the dam brought about significant development to local irrigated agriculture. Many fields can be seen east of the river in the full image.

The Caatinga ecosystem (xeric shrubland and thorn forest) has also, for that matter, undergone considerable changes. Stastical analysis of data collected before and after the filling of the lake showed that the dam has brought about considerable changes to regional meteorology, particularly concerning atmospheric humidity and wind speed.