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The Pantanal Tropical Wetland, Brazil – August 23rd, 2009

17.7S 57.3W

August 23rd, 2009 Category: Image of the day, Lakes, Rivers

Brazil - July 28th, 2009

Brazil - July 28th, 2009

The Pantanal is a tropical wetland in South America, mostly within the Brazilian states of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul, but also with portions in Bolivia and Paraguay. It is an area consisting of a variety of floodplain sub-regions, each with distinct hydrological, geological and ecological characteristics.

In total the Pantanal covers over 140,000 km², making it the largest wetland in the world. Over 80% of the Pantanal floodplains are submerged during the rainy seasons, nurturing one of the world’s most biologically diverse collection of aquatic plants. It is also dense in animal species.

It is often overshadowed by the neighboring Amazon Rainforest, but is an equally important ecosystem. The name “Pantanal” comes from the Portuguese word pântano meaning wetland, bog, swamp or marsh.

Also visible here are the Paraguay River, running vertically through the upper left quadrant, and Laguna Mandioré, the large tan lake towards the bottom. The lake is located on the border of Brazil and Bolivia, with an elevation of 90 m and a surface area is 152 km².

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