The Amazon River Length
The Amazon River is one of the world’s most important rivers, responsible for about one-fifth of the total volume of freshwater entering the ocean.
But the question of where the Amazon River begins and ends can be difficult to answer. Geographers have long argued over the origin of these rivers, and they are notoriously difficult to measure.
The Amazon River in South America is the second-largest river in the world and the disputed longest next to the Nile. It starts in Peru and flows through Brazil and Colombia.
It’s not just the size that makes it unique; it’s also the fact that it flows through the Amazon rainforest, an area that is renowned for its biodiversity. It’s home to a wide variety of animals and plants, including many that are not found anywhere else on earth.
In the past, the Amazon River flowed in a westward direction; however, the rise of the Andes Mountains forced it to reverse course. This was during the period of time when all the continents were part of Gondwana – a supercontinent that included Africa, Antarctica and parts of Asia.
The Amazon River length reaches more than 6.400 kilometers (4.000 miles) from its headwaters in the Andes Mountains of Peru to the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of Marajo Bay, Brazil. Its drainage basin is the world’s largest, occupying 40% of South America.
It is also the largest river by volume, with six times more water than the next three biggest rivers combined. The river is sometimes called The River Sea and it is the lifeblood of the world’s largest rainforest, which spans two-fifths of a continent.
The mouth of the Amazon is a very wide estuary, 202 km (325 mi) wide. It is generally measured from Cabo Norte, the cape straight east of Pracuuba in the Brazilian state of Amapa, to Ponta da Tijoca near the town of Curuca, in the state of Para; this includes the 40-mile (60-kilometer) ocean outlet of the Para river and the ocean frontage of Marajo, an island about the size of Denmark that lies within the mouth of the Amazon.
The Amazon river length is over 4,000 miles long, but in dry times its width averages 2 to 6 miles (3.2 to 9.6 km) depending on the region. During the wet season, its width can reach 30 miles (48 kilometers).
The size of a river is largely a result of its geography: where it springs, where it flows out to sea and what terrain lies between these points. But a river’s width can be tricky to measure because it changes over time.
One of the most notable aspects of the Amazon is that it arises in the Andes Mountains of South America and subsequently flows east with little or no north/south migration, creating a very unique ecosystem. It has zones of flooded forest and is home to an amazing variety of animals.
The Amazon River is one of the world’s great rivers, discharging an incredible 200,000 cubic metres into the Atlantic every second. It cuts across South America, twisting and turning through the rainforests of Brazil before it empties into the ocean at Marajo Bay.
The river has 15,000 tributaries, and it flows through parts of Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guyana, Guyana, Peru and Suriname. This vast drainage system covers about a third of all of South America.
As the Amazon River flows over and through the Amazon rainforest it forms a vast, diverse ecosystem populated with thousands of different animals. Its rich biodiversity includes a huge variety of fish, insects and crustaceans as well as hundreds of varieties of birds.
As the Amazon River is one of the world’s biggest rivers, it is often difficult to navigate it. Fortunately, there are many ways to experience this unique natural phenomenon and there are many Amazon River cruises that allow you to enjoy it in all its glory.