Rio Paraná, Río Paraná
Map of the Rio de la Plata Basin showing the Paraná River and its major tributaries
|Country||Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay|
|⁃ location||Rio Paranaíba, Minas Gerais, Brazil|
|⁃ elevation||1,148 m (3,766 ft)|
|2nd source||Rio Grande|
|⁃ location||Bocaina de Minas, Minas Gerais, Brazil|
|Source confluence||Paranaíba and Grande|
|Mouth||Rio de la Plata|
|Atlantic Ocean, Argentina, Uruguay|
|0 m (0 ft)|
|Length||4,880 km (3,030 mi)|
|Basin size||2,582,672 km2 (997,175 sq mi)|
|⁃ average||17,290 m3/s (611,000 cu ft/s)|
|⁃ minimum||2,450 m3/s (87,000 cu ft/s)|
|⁃ maximum||65,000 m3/s (2,300,000 cu ft/s)|
The Paraná River (Spanish: Río ParanáSpanish pronunciation: [ˈri.o paɾaˈna] (
The first European to go up the Paraná River was the Venetian explorer Sebastian Cabot, in 1526, while working for Spain.
The course is formed at the confluence of the Paranaiba and Rio Grande rivers in southern Brazil. From the confluence the river flows in a generally southwestern direction for about 619 km (385 mi) before encountering the city of Saltos del Guaira, Paraguay. This was once the location of the Guaíra Falls (Sete Quedas waterfalls, where the Paraná fell over a series of seven cascades. This natural feature was said to rival the world-famous Iguazu Falls to the south. The falls were flooded, however, by the construction of the Itaipu Dam, which began operating in 1984.
For approximately the next 200 km (120 mi) the Paraná flows southward and forms a natural boundary between Paraguay and Brazil until the confluence with the Iguazu River. Shortly upstream from this confluence, however, the river is dammed by the Itaipu Dam, the second largest hydroelectric power plant in the world (following the Three Gorges Dam in the People's Republic of China), and creating a massive, shallow reservoir behind it.
After merging with the Iguazu, the Paraná then becomes the natural border between Paraguay and Argentina. Overlooking the Paraná River from Encarnación, Paraguay, across the river, is downtown Posadas, Argentina. The river continues its general southward course for about 468 km (291 mi) before making a gradual turn to the west for another 820 km (510 mi), and then encounters the Paraguay River, the largest tributary along the course of the river. Before this confluence the river passes through a second major hydroelectric project, the Yaciretá Dam, a joint project between Paraguay and Argentina. The massive reservoir formed by the project has been the source of a number of problems for people living along the river, most notably the poorer merchants and residents in the low-lying areas of Encarnación, a major city on the southern border of Paraguay. River levels rose dramatically upon completion of the dam, flooding out large sections of the city's lower areas.
From the confluence with the Paraguay River, the Paraná again turns to the south for another approximately 820 km (510 mi) through Argentina, making a slow turn back to the east near the city of Rosario for the final stretch of less than 500 km (310 mi) before merging with the Uruguay River to form the Río de la Plata. This flows into the Atlantic Ocean. During the part of its course downstream from the city of Diamante, Entre Ríos, it splits into several arms and it forms the Paraná Delta.
Together with its tributaries, the Rio Paraná forms a massive drainage basin that encompasses much of the southcentral part of South America, essentially including all of Paraguay, much of southern Brazil, northern Argentina, and the southeastern part of Bolivia. If the Uruguay River is counted as a tributary to the Paraná, this watershed extends to cover most of Uruguay as well. The volume of water flowing into the Atlantic Ocean through the Río de la Plata roughly equals the volume at the Mississippi River delta. This watershed contains a number of large cities, including São Paulo, Buenos Aires, Rosario, Asunción, Brasília, and La Plata.
The Paraná and its tributaries provide a source of income and of daily sustenance for fishermen who live along its banks. Some of the species of fish (such as the surubí and the sábalo) are commercially important, and they are exploited for heavy internal consumption or for export. The Parana River delta ranks as one of the world's greatest bird-watching destinations.
Much of the length of the Paraná is navigable, and the river serves as an important waterway linking inland cities in Argentina and Paraguay with the ocean, providing deepwater ports in some of these cities. The construction of enormous hydroelectric dams along the river's length has blocked its use as a shipping corridor to cities further upstream, but the economic impact of those dams offsets this. The Yacyretá Dam and the Itaipu Dam on the Paraguay border have made the small, largely undeveloped nation of Paraguay the world's largest exporter of hydroelectric power.
Due to its use for oceangoing ships, measurements of the water tables extend back to 1904. The data correlates with the Sun's solar cycle.
The course of the Paraná is crossed by the following bridges, beginning upstream:
|Rodoferroviária Bridge||Aparecida do Taboado-Rubineia||1998|
|Ilha Solteira Dam||Selvíria-Ilha Solteira||1973|
|Engineer Souza Dias Dam||Três Lagoas-Castilho||1968||BR-262|
|Hélio Serejo (Maurício Joppert) Bridge||Bataguassu-Presidente Epitácio||1964||BR-267|
|Sérgio Motta (Porto Primavera) Dam||Rosana||1999|
|Porto Camargo Bridge||Alto Paraíso||BR-487|
|Ayrton Senna Bridge||Mundo Novo-Guaíra||1998||BR-163|
|Friendship Bridge||Ciudad del Este-Foz do Iguaçu||1965||Route 7-BR-277|
|San Roque González de Santa Cruz Bridge||Encarnación-Posadas||1990|
|General Manuel Belgrano Bridge||Resistencia-Corrientes||1973||National Route 16|
|Second Resistencia-Corrientes Bridge||Resistencia-Corrientes||Planned|
|Raúl Uranga - Carlos Sylvestre Begnis Subfluvial Tunnel||Santa Fe-Paraná||1969||National Route 168|
|Second Santa Fe-Paraná Bridge||Santa Fe-Paraná||Planned|
|Rosario-Victoria Bridge||Rosario-Victoria||2003||National Route 174|
|Bartolomé Mitre Bridge||Zárate-Ceibas||1977||National Route 12|
|Justo José de Urquiza Bridge||Zárate-Ceibas||1977||National Route 12|
Iguazú Falls or Iguaçu Falls are waterfalls of the Iguazu River on the border of the Argentine province of Misiones and the Brazilian state of Paraná. Together, they make up the largest waterfall in the world. The falls divide the river into the upper and lower Iguazu. The Iguazu River rises near the heart of the city of Curitiba. For most of its course, the river flows through Brazil; however, most of the falls are on the Argentine side. Below its confluence with the San Antonio River, the Iguazu River forms the border between Argentina and Brazil.
The geography of Argentina describes the geographic features of Argentina, a country located in southern South America. Bordered by the Andes in the west and the South Atlantic Ocean to the east, neighboring countries are Chile to the west, Bolivia and Paraguay to the north, and Brazil and Uruguay to the northeast.
The Itaipu Dam is a hydroelectric dam on the Paraná River located on the border between Brazil and Paraguay. The construction of the dam was first contested by Argentina, but the negotiations and resolution of the dispute ended up setting the basis for Argentine–Brazilian integration later on.
The Río de la Plata —rendered River Plate in British English and the Commonwealth and La Plata River in other English-speaking countries—is the estuary formed by the confluence of the Uruguay and the Paraná rivers. It empties into the Atlantic Ocean, forming a funnel-shaped indentation on the southeastern coastline of South America. Depending on the geographer, the Río de la Plata may be considered a river, an estuary, a gulf or a marginal sea. It is the widest river in the world, with a maximum width of 220 kilometres (140 mi).
Misiones is one of the 23 provinces of Argentina, located in the northeastern corner of the country in the Mesopotamia region. It is surrounded by Paraguay to the northwest, Brazil to the north, east and south, and Corrientes Province of Argentina to the southwest.
Ciudad del Este is the second-largest city in Paraguay and capital of the Alto Paraná Department, situated on the Paraná River. It is located 327 km from Asunción, the capital, and is adjacent to the border with Brazil, to which it is connected by the Friendship Bridge on the Paraná River. It is the largest city within the Triple Frontier region, which borders Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil and Puerto Iguazú, Argentina. The Itaipú Dam, one of the largest hydroelectric power plants in the world, is near Ciudad del Este, as is the Iguazu Falls.
The Iguazu River is a river in Brazil and Argentina. It is an important tributary of the Paraná River. The Iguazu River is 1,320 kilometres (820 mi) long, with a drainage basin of 62,000 square kilometres (24,000 sq mi).
The Uruguay River is a major river in South America. It flows from north to south and forms parts of the boundaries of Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay, separating some of the Argentine provinces of La Mesopotamia from the other two countries. It passes between the states of Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil; forms the eastern border of the provinces of Misiones, Corrientes, and Entre Ríos in Argentina; and makes up the western borders of the departments of Artigas, Salto, Paysandú, Río Negro, Soriano, and Colonia in Uruguay.
The Paraguay River is a major river in south-central South America, running through Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay and Argentina. It flows about 2,695 kilometres (1,675 mi) from its headwaters in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso to its confluence with the Paraná River north of Corrientes and Resistencia.
Foz do Iguaçu is the Brazilian city on the border of Iguaçu Falls. The city is the 7th largest in the state of Paraná. The city's population is approximately 265,000. It is approximately 650 km (400 mi) west of the capital of the state, Curitiba, being the westernmost city in that state.
Rio Grande is a river in south-central Brazil. It rises in the Mantiqueira Mountains in the state of Minas Gerais and descends inland, west-northwestward. Its lower course marks a portion of the Minas Gerais-São Paulo border. At the Mato Grosso do Sul state border, after a course of 1,090 km (677 mi), it joins the Paranaíba River to form the Upper Paraná River.
Iguaçu National Park is a national park in Paraná State, Brazil. It comprises a total area of 185,262.5 hectares and a length of about 420 kilometres (260 mi), 300 kilometres (190 mi) of which are natural borders by bodies of water and the Argentine and Brazilian sides together comprise around 260,000 hectares. Iguaçu National Park was created by federal decree nr. 1035 of January 10, 1939, and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986. The park is managed by Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio).
The Paranaíba River is a Brazilian river whose source lies in the state of Minas Gerais in the Mata da Corda mountains, municipality of Rio Paranaíba, at an altitude of 1,148 meters; on the other face of this mountain chain are the sources of the Abaeté river, tributary of the São Francisco River. The length of the river is approximately 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) up to the junction with the Grande River, both of which then form the Paraná River, at the point that marks the borders of the states of São Paulo, Minas Gerais, and Mato Grosso do Sul.
The Río Negro is the most important river in Uruguay. It originates in the southern highlands of Brazil, just east of Bagé, and flows west across the entire width of Uruguay to the Uruguay River. The course of the Río Negro across Uruguay effectively divides the south of the country from the north. The Río Negro's principal tributaries are Yí River and Tacuarembó River.
The Río de la Plata basin, more often called the River Plate basin in scholarly writings, sometimes called the Platine basin or Platine region, is the 3,170,000-square-kilometre (1,220,000 sq mi) hydrographical area in South America that drains to the Río de la Plata. It includes areas of southeastern Bolivia, southern and central Brazil, the entire country of Paraguay, most of Uruguay, and northern Argentina. Making up about one fourth of the continent's surface, it is the second largest drainage basin in South America and one of the largest in the world.
Guairá Falls were a series of immense waterfalls on the Paraná River along the border between Brazil and Paraguay. The falls ceased to exist in 1982 when they were inundated by the impoundment of the Itaipu Dam reservoir. While published figures vary, ranging from 13,000 m3 (470,000 cu ft) per second to 50,000 m3 (1,750,000 cu ft) per second, Guaíra's flow rate was among the greatest of any then-existing falls on Earth.
The short-tailed river stingray is a species of river stingray native to the Río de la Plata Basin in South America. It is sometimes known as the giant freshwater stingray, but this name is typically used for the southeast Asian Himantura polylepis.
The Paraná River is the second longest river in South America. Rising in Brazil, the river winds from the coastal mountains through tributaries and travels near Iguazu Falls 4,800 kilometres (3,000 mi) into Paraguay, Argentina and the Rio de la Plata at Uruguay. The river allowed for transport and exploration of the continent. It also was the scene of some terrible wars, including naval.
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