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Deforestation Between Río Grande and Río Piray near Santa Cruz, Bolivia

17.7S 63.1W

July 5th, 2010 Category: Climate Change, Mountains, Rivers

Brazil - April 16th, 2010

Brazil - April 16th, 2010

Several rivers flow down from the foothills of the Andes Mountains and across a wide plain in Bolivia. The most prominent are the Río Grande (or Río Guapay), the widest visible, and the Río Piray, parallel to the former, left.

The Río Grande rises on the southern slope of the Sierra de Cochabamba. At its source it is known as the Río Rocha and crosses the Cochabamba valley basin in a westerly direction. After 65 km the river turns southeast and after another 50 km joins the Río Arque at an elevation of 2.350 m.

From this junction the river is given the name Río Caine for 162 km and continues to flow in a southeasterly direction, before it is called Río Grande. After a total of 500 km the river turns northeast and in a wide curve flows round the lowland city of Santa Cruz. The city, however, is located nearer to the banks of the Río Piray, and is easily spotted as a circular tan area.

The rest of the valley is dotted with small towns. Square and rectangular agricultural fields can be seen all around. Much deforestation is also present, easily identifiable by its typical herringbone pattern.

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