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Lagoa dos Patos, Brazil

May 15th, 2009 Category: Lakes

Lagoa dos Patos, Brazil - May 11th, 2009

Lagoa dos Patos, Brazil - May 11th, 2009

Lagoa dos Patos is the second largest lagoon in Latin America and the biggest in Brazil. It is located in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, southern Brazil. It is 174 miles (280 km) long, has a maximum width of 44 miles (70 km), and a total area of 3,803 sq. mi. (9,850 km).

It is separated from the Atlantic Ocean by a sandbar about 5 miles (8 kilometers) wide. The navigable São Gonçalo Channel, which enters Lagoa dos Patos near the town of Pelotas, connects Lagoa dos Patos to Lagoa Mirim to the south. The Rio Grande, at the south end of Lagoa dos Patos, forms the outlet to the Atlantic.

This lagoon is evidently the remains of an ancient depression in the coastline shut in by sand beaches built up by the combined action of wind and current. It is at sea level, but its waters are affected by the tides and are brackish only a short distance above the Rio Grande outlet.

Here, its brackish waters indeed appear green, as sediments are present throughout the lagoon and then spread along the coast on the other side of the sandbar.

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