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Madeira River


Biggest River on Earth ::--|| 1.Nile River|| 2.Amazon River|| 3.Yangtze River|| 4.Missisipi River|| 5.Yenisei River|| 6.Yellow River|| 7.Ob River|| 8.Parana River|| 9.Congo River|| 10.Amur River|| 11.Lena River|| 12.Mekong River|| 13.Mackenzie River|| 14.Niger River|| 15.Murray/Darling River|| 16.Tocantins River|| 17.Volga River|| 18.Purus River|| 19.Madeira River|| 20.Sao Francisco River||List of River's.||


Madeira River

The Madeira River is a major waterway in South America, approximately 3,250 km (2,020) miles long The Madeira is the biggest tributary of the Amazon. A map from Emanuel Bowen in 1747, held by the David Rumsey Map Collection, refers to the Madeira by the pre-colonial, indigenous name Cuyari:

"The River of Cuyari, called by the Portuguese Madeira or the Wood River, is formed by two great rivers, which join near its mouth. It was by this River, that the Nation of Topinambes passed into the River Amazon."

Course

Between Guajará-Mirim and the falls of Teotônio, the Madeira receives the drainage of the north-eastern slopes of the Andes from Santa Cruz de la Sierra to Cuzco, the whole of the south-western slope of Brazilian Mato Grosso and the northern slope of the Chiquitos sierras. In total, the catchment area is 850,000 km2, almost equal in area to France and Spain combined. The waters flow into the Madeira from many large rivers, the principal of which, (from east to west), are the Guaporé or Itenez, the Baures and Blanco, the Itonama or San Miguel, the Mamoré, Beni, and Mayutata or Madre de Dios, all of which are reinforced by numerous secondary but powerful affluents. The climate of the upper catchment area varies from humid in the western edge with the origin of the river's main stem by volume (Río Madre de Dios, Río Beni) to semi arid in the southernmost part with the andine headwaters of the main stem by length (Río Caine, Río Rocha, Río Grande, Mamoré).


All of the upper branches of the river Madeira find their way to the falls across the open, almost level Mojos and Beni plains, 90,000 km2 (35,000 sq mi) of which are yearly flooded to an average depth of about 3 feet (0.91 m) for a period of from three to four months.

 

The falls of Teotônio and of San Antonio are exceeding the more famous Boyoma Falls in Africa by volume and total drop. From these rapids, the Madeira flows northward forming the border between Bolivia and Brazil for approximately 100 km (62 mi). Below the confluence of the Rio Abuna, the Madeira meanders north-eastward through the Rondônia and Amazonas states of north west Brazil to its junction with the Amazon. At its mouth is Ilha Tupinambaranas, an extensive marshy region formed by the Madeira’s distributaries.

Navigation

The Madeira river rises more than 15 m (50 ft) during the rainy season, and ocean vessels may ascend it to the Falls of San Antonio, near Porto Velho, Brazil, 1,070 km (660 mi) above its mouth; but in the dry months, from June to November, it is only navigable for the same distance for craft drawing about 2 m (from 5 to 6 feet) of water. The Madeira-Mamoré Railroad runs in a 365 km (227 mi) loop around the unnavigable section to Guajará-Mirim on the Mamoré River.


Two large dams are under construction as part of the IIRSA regional integration project. The dam projects include large ship-locks capable of moving ocean going vessels between the impounded reservoir and the downstream river. If the project is completed, "more than 4,000 km of waterways upstream from the dams in Brazil, Bolivia, and Peru would become navigable.".

Madeira River
The river in the outskirts of Porto Velho
Name origin: Portuguese, "wood river"
Countries Bolivia, Brazil
Part of Amazon Basin
Tributaries
 - left Madre de Dios River
 - right Mamoré River, Jiparana River, Aripuana River
City Porto Velho
Source Confluence of Madre de Dios and Mamoré
 - location Near Guayaramerín, Bolivia & Brazil
 - elevation 180 m (591 ft)
 - coordinates 10°38′19″S 65°39′20″W
Mouth Amazon River
 - location Amazonas state, Brazil
 - elevation 40 m (131 ft)
 - coordinates 3°22′32″S 58°46′23″W
Length 3,250 km (2,019 mi)
Basin 850,000 km2 (328,187 sq mi)
Discharge for Manicore
 - average 24,397 m3/s (861,572 cu ft/s)
 - max 52,804 m3/s (1,864,756 cu ft/s)
 - min 2,346 m3/s (82,848 cu ft/s)
mederia map
Map of the Madeira River watershed




Dams

In July 2007, plans have been approved by the Brazilian Government to construct two hydroelectric dams on the Madeira River, the Santo Antonio Dam near Porto Velho and the Jirau Dam about 100km downstream. Both the Jirau and Santo Antonio dams are run-of-the-river projects that do not impound a large reservoir. Both dams also feature significant environmental re-mediation efforts (such as fish ladders). As a consequence, there has not been strong environmental opposition to the implementation of the Madeira river complex. However, critics point out that if the fish ladders fail, "several valuable migratory fish species could suffer near-extinction as a result of the Madeira dams." There are also concerns with deforestation and pressure on conservation areas and indigenous peoples' territories. The Worldwatch institute has also criticized the fast-track approval process for "kindler, gentler dams with smaller reservoirs, designed to lessen social and environmental impacts", claiming that no project should "fast-track the licensing of new dams in Amazonia and allow projects to circumvent Brazil's tough environmental laws".

Madeira River Overview

Madeira River, Portuguese Rio Madeira , major tributary of the Amazon. It is formed by the junction of the Mamoré and Beni rivers at Villa Bella, Bolivia, and flows northward forming the border between Bolivia and Brazil for approximately 60 miles (100 km). After receiving the Abuná River, the Madeira meanders northeastward in Brazil through Rondônia and Amazonas states to its junction with the Amazon River, 90 miles (145 km) east of Manaus. A distributary of the Madeira flows into the Amazon about 100 miles (160 km) farther downstream, creating the marshy island of Tupinambarama. The Madeira is 2,082 miles (3,352 km) long from the upper reaches of the Mamoré, and its general width is about one-half mile. It is navigable by seagoing vessels most of the year from its mouth on the Amazon to the Cachoeira (falls) de Santo Antônio 807 miles (1,300 km) upstream, the first of 19 waterfalls or rapids that block further passage, near the town of Pôrto Velho, Brazil. The Madeira-Mamoré Railway, which extended for 228 miles (367 km) between Pôrto Velho and Guajará-Mirim, circumvented the falls and rapids and provided a link with the upper course of the Madeira River. Abandoned in the 1970s, much of the railway’s corridor is now served by highway.
Although exploration of the Madeira valley began in the 16th century, parts of the region were not mapped until the late 1970s, via satellite. The tropical rainforest’s traditional inhabitants, Indians and mestizos, who lived along the riverbanks and gathered forest products such as Brazil nuts and rubber, were joined by farmers and ranchers who settled in the area during the latter half of the 20th century.

 

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