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The Amazon Basin in the Brazilian States of Amazonas and Pará

3.1S 60W

October 11th, 2009 Category: Rivers

Brazil - September 29th, 2009

Brazil - September 29th, 2009

The Amazon Basin, the largest drainage basin in the world, covers about 40 percent of South America, an area of approximately 6,915,000 square kilometres (2,670,000 sq mi).

In this image, part of the basin in Brazil is visible, from the confluence of the Negro and Solimões (Upper Amazon) Rivers near Manaus in the state of Amazonas (left), to the confluence of the Tapajós and Amazon Rivers near Santarém in the state of Pará (right). The full image shows more of the Negro River northwest of Manaus as well.

The area covered by the water of the Amazon River and its tributaries more than triples over the course of a year. In an average dry season 110,000 square kilometres (42,000 sq mi) of land are water-covered, while in the wet season the flooded area of the Amazon Basin rises to 350,000 square kilometres (135,000 sq mi) .

The Araguaia River and Protected Areas in the Brazilian Amazon

11.6S 50.6W

June 29th, 2009 Category: Rivers

Brazil - June 11th, 2009

Brazil - June 11th, 2009

The Araguaia River, visible as a vertical tan line on the right side of this image, is one of the major rivers of Brazil, and the principal tributary of the Tocantins. It has a total length of approximately 2,627 km.

Along its course, the river forms the border between the Brazilian federal states of Goiás, Mato Grosso, Tocantins and Pará. Here, most of the land visible is in Mato Grosso, west of the river, and Tocantins, east of the river.

The dark green and brown land around the Araguaia is a protected area for indigenous peoples, part of the Parque Indigena do Araguaia. On the far left, the dark green area of rainforest is also a protected national park, the Parque Nacional Xingu.

The parks were created with the twin objectives of protecting the environment and the indigenous populations of the area.

The land in the center of the image, however, is not protected and has been deforested and exploited for agriculture and grazing.