Very often, the question “what is the widest river in Russia?” People answer “of course, the Lena or the Volga,” but the Volga takes 4th place, and Lena takes 3rd place across the width of the rivers of Russia. The width of the Volga ranges from 27.5 km to 10.5. It flows through 15 central regions of the country and is connected to many seas. Up to 60 species of fish inhabit the Volga.
Lena is a Siberian navigable river. Its name means “big river”, indeed, the length of the river is 4400 km, and the width during the flood is 30 km, but this is not much compared to the rivers that we will consider now.
Well, the widest river in Russia is the Ob. It is located in Western Siberia, and its width is as much as 60 km, and during the flood 80 km. It is hard to imagine such a scale, but they are real. Ob eats snows. The most interesting thing is that this river, in spite of its length and width, completely freezes in winter. Ob is rich in valuable species of fish. Like Lena and Amur, the name of the Ob River is translated as “big river”.
All these rivers are connected by the fact that all their names translate as “big river”.
How are rivers divided in width?
The channel of the water artery is formed by the movement of water. The process lasts for centuries, the area often lies due to natural or environmental reasons. Speaking of width, we mean the maximum distance between two points of different coasts, including the zones of the islands. The maximum indicator is taken as a basis. The nature of the current and the water regime are of importance.
Rivers are divided into three types in width:
- narrow (occur mainly in mountainous areas),
The latter include blue highways with a width of over 150 meters. There are water arteries in the world, standing on one side of which, the second shore is difficult to see even with binoculars. Let's start with the Russian.
Ob - 60 km
It is formed at the confluence of the Altai arteries of Katun and Biya. It flows through the West Siberian plain to the north of 3650 kilometers. One of the widest rivers in Siberia. The widest place is the mouth of the Gulf of Ob, where the artery flows into the Kara Sea. The calculation is carried out to places where Nadym and Nyda flow into the lip. Together with the tributary Irtysh form the longest watercourse of the country.
Ob during the flood
Steep waves of irregular shape are formed in the bay, it is difficult to approach the shore of the gulf from the sea, the maritime regime of navigation operates here. The waters are rich in fish: sturgeon, sterlet, peled, whitefish and others. The shores in this place are monotonous, devoid of forests, swampy. The size of the Ob basin is 2990 thousand square meters. km
River vessels move along the Ob in all sections, carrying goods and passengers. Depth varies from 110 to 300 cm (relevant for Salekhard and Khanty-Mansiysk regions).
Cupid - 40-50 km
The water border of Russia and China, Amur, is one of the widest in the country. The number and diversity of ichthyofauna is the first in the country: 139 subspecies of fish are found in the Amur. It is bottled in August and September.
View of the Amur. Embankment of Khabarovsk
The river is navigable from source to mouth, the bottleneck is limited to 300 meters. It is noteworthy that the tributary of the Amur, Zeya, at the place of their confluence is wider than the channel of the main waterway. The upper and middle part of the river is a border zone between China and the Russian Federation. The Russian coast of the Amur requires strengthening, as spills become threatening.
Lena - 20-30 km
The largest river in the center of Siberia, the length is 4400 kilometers. On most of the way from the nameless swamp to the Laptev Sea, Lena surrounded herself with coniferous forests, highlands, meadows. Already in the middle course, the channel expands to 20 kilometers. The source is located in the southern part of the Irkutsk region. On the right side of Baikal is the source of Vitimkan, another major northern river, with which Lena connects through the waters of Vitim.
The mighty river Lena
Lena is known for being completely located in the permafrost region. In the upper reaches, where there are no islands, and the channel is single, the widest place is 3 kilometers; in the places where the islands congregate, the water main spills up to thirty. Freezes in reverse order.
Determining the length of the river is a very difficult task, requiring knowledge of the places where the river begins and ends, as well as an accurate measurement of the length of the river between these points. Because of this, the lengths of many rivers are approximate. Difficulties in determining the beginning of a river can occur due to the large number of tributaries. Of all the tributaries, the one that begins at the farthest point from the mouth is considered the beginning of the river giving the river the maximum total length. However, in practice, the name of this most remote tributary often does not coincide with the name of the river itself. In this case, we are not talking about the length of the river, but about the length of the total watercourse. Seasonal changes also make it difficult to calculate the full length. This list shows the lengths of river systems, that is, taking into account all tributaries. The mouth of the river, in turn, is often an estuary, gradually expanding and opening into the ocean, which also interferes with the precise determination of the end of the river. Some rivers, such as the Kubango, do not have a mouth, but gradually lose volume and eventually evaporate - so their end points also depend on the season.
Determining the length of a river was often determined by the accuracy of its map. After mastering photography from space, making maps became easier, but questions still remained - the length depends on the selected sleeve in the delta or on how the length is calculated over the lake.
Volga - 15-20 km
Once on the Volga, one is struck by the beauty. It is the longest and widest river in Europe. The widest place is located in neighboring Kazakhstan. Delta has 500 sleeves. The river conduit provides fresh water to the Mangistau region of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
The Volga channel expands after the Kama flows into it. The nature of the current is changing. In the Soviet years, dams, reservoirs, and hydroelectric power plants were built here: Volzhskaya, Saratov, Zhigulevskaya.
From the city of Rzhev to the mouth, shipping is developed, fishing is carried out. Today, the water artery is one of the symbols of Russia.
Kama - 15 km
Kama eats melted snow and ice, in the upper reaches has a narrow channel, in the lower reaches it spreads widely, up to 15 kilometers. It falls into the Kuibyshev reservoir, but two more reservoirs have been created on the river. This improved the conditions for the passage of ships.
Bridge over Kama near the village of Sorochi Gory
Better fish breeding conditions. Disappearing taimen, reaching a length of 2 meters and weighing 80 kilograms, is again found in Kama.
The widest river in the world
Waterways of Russia are not the widest in the world. Let's talk about world champions.
The Amazon broke three records at the same time: the largest, deepest, having the largest delta. The Amazon is recognized as a natural wonder of the world. In the middle reaches of the Amazon, the waterway spreads, the width of the delta is 17-20 kilometers.
Amazon is the most amazing river on the planet
The Ganges delta is much wider than the Amazon Delta, but it is formed by the merger with the Brahmaputra (300 km wide). Here is the mangrove forest Sundarban, famous for its size and beauty. Living in the delta of an Indian river is dangerous: floods and cyclones occur in the area.
It's time to find out which river is the widest river in the world. An artery flows through the territory of Argentina and Uruguay. Indigenous peoples called this place a "river plate" or River Plate. The modern name is Rio de La Plata.
It is an estuary at the confluence of the Atlantic Ocean:
Europeans first discovered the estuary in the 16th century, attempting to find a waterway from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. The estuary is the mouth of the river with an extension towards the marine zone. Coastal areas are flooded during floods.
View from a plane to Buenos Aires and Rio de La Plata
La Plata in the narrowest place reaches a width of 48, in the widest - 320 kilometers. On the left bank of the confluence of the rivers is the capital of Argentina, the city of Buenos Aires. The basin area is 3.2 million km 2. A rare river dolphin is found in the waters, named after the name of the estuary, the tortoise.
The width of the water arteries is not significant for geographers, naturalists, ecologists. Much more important is a person’s attitude to water bodies. Going on vacation, fishing, do not forget to clean the garbage.
List of rivers longer than 1000 km
|River||Length (km)||Water catchment basin (km²)||Average water consumption (m³ / s)||Pool||Countries in the catchment area|
|1.||Nile||6852||3349000||5100||Mediterranean Sea||Burundi, Egypt, Kenya, Congo, Rwanda, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Eritrea, Ethiopia|
|2.||Amazon||6400||6915000||219000||Atlantic Ocean||Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Guyana|
|3.||Mississippi - Missouri - Jefferson||6275 (according to other sources, 6420)||2980000||16200||Gulf of Mexico||USA (98.5%), Canada (1.5%)|
|4.||Yangtze||5800 (according to others |
|1800000||31900||East China Sea||PRC|
|5.||The yellow river||5464||745000||2110||Gulf of bohai||PRC|
|6.||Ob - Irtysh||5410||2990000||12800||Gulf of Ob||Russia, Kazakhstan, China|
|7.||Yenisei - Angara - Selenga - Ider||5238||2580000||18600||Kara Sea||Russia, Mongolia|
|8.||Lena - Vitim||5100 (4692)||2490000||17100||Laptev sea||Russia|
|9.||Cupid - Argun - Muddy duct - Kerulen||5052||1855000||11400||Sea of Japan or Sea of Okhotsk||Russia, China, Mongolia|
|10.||Congo - Lualaba - Luvois - Luapula - Chambesi||4700||3680000||41800||Atlantic Ocean||DRC, CAR, Angola, Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Cameroon, Zambia, Burundi, Rwanda|
|11.||Mekong||4350||810000||16000||South China Sea||Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar, China|
|12.||Mackenzie - Slave - Peace - Finlay||4241||1790000||10300||Beaufort Sea||Canada|
|13.||Niger||4200||2090000||9570||Gulf of guinea||Nigeria (26.6%), Mali (25.6%), Niger (23.6%), Algeria (7.6%), Guinea (4.5%), Cameroon (4.2%), Burkina Faso (3.9%), Côte d'Ivoire, Benin, Chad|
|14.||La Plata - Parana - Rio Grande||3998||3100000||25700||Atlantic Ocean||Brazil (46.7%), Argentina (27.7%), Paraguay (13.5%), Bolivia (8.3%), Uruguay (3.8%)|
|15.||Volga - Oka||3731||1380000||8080||Caspian Sea||Russia (99.8%), Kazakhstan (0.2%)|
|16.||Araguaya - Tokantins||3650*||1400000||13598||Rio Para, Amazon||Brazil|
|17.||Shatt al-Arab - Euphrates - Murat||3617 (3596)||884000||856||Persian Gulf||Iraq (40.5%), Turkey (24.8%), Iran (19.7%), Syria (14.7%)|
|19.||Murray - Darling||3370||1061000||767||South ocean||Australia|
|20.||Madeira - Mamor - Rio Grande - Rio Kane - Rocha||3239||850000||17000||Amazon||Brazil, Bolivia, Peru|
|21.||Yukon||3184||850000||6210||Bering Sea||USA (59.8%), Canada (40.2%)|
|22.||Indus||3180||960000||7160||Arabian Sea||Pakistan (93%), India, China, disputed territories (Kashmir), Afghanistan|
|24.||Syrdarya - Naryn||3078||219000||703||Aral Sea||Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan|
|3060||324000||3153||Andaman Sea||China (52.4%), Myanmar (43.9%), Thailand (3.7%)|
|26.||St. Lawrence River - Niagara - Detroit - St. Clair - St. Marys - St. Louis||3058||1030000||10100||St. Lawrence Bay||Canada (52.1%), USA (47.9%)|
|570000||160||Gulf of Mexico||USA (52.1%), Mexico (47.9%)|
|29.||Brahmaputra||2948 *||1730000||19200||Bay of Bengal||India (58.0%), China (19.7%), Nepal (9.0%), Bangladesh (6.6%), disputed territories India / China (4.2%), Bhutan (2.4%) )|
|30.||Danube - Breg||2850 *||817000||7130||Black Sea||Romania (28.9%), Hungary (11.7%), Austria (10.3%), Serbia (10.3%), Germany (7.5%), Slovakia (5.8%), Bulgaria ( 5.2%), Bosnia and Herzegovina (4.8%), Croatia (4.5%), Ukraine (3.8%), Moldova (1.7%).|
|31.||Tocantins||2699||1400000||13598||Atlantic ocean, amazon||Brazil|
|32.||Zambezi||2693 *||1330000||4880||Strait of mozambique||Zambia (41.6%), Angola (18.4%), Zimbabwe (15.6%), Mozambique (11.8%), Malawi (8.0%), Tanzania (2.0%), Namibia, Botswana|
|35.||Amu Darya - Pyanj - Pamir||2620||534739||1400||Aral Sea||Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan|
|2615 *||242259||6000||Amazon||Brazil, Colombia|
|37.||Nelson - Saskatchewan||2570||1093000||2575||Hudson Bay||Canada, USA|
|38.||Paraguay||2549||900000||4300||Parana||Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, Argentina|
|40.||Ganges||2510||907000||12037||Brahmaputra Bay of Bengal||India, Bangladesh, Nepal|
|41.||Pilcomayo||2500||270000||1400||Paraguay||Paraguay, Argentina, Bolivia|
|45.||Ural||2428||237000||475||Caspian Sea||Russia, Kazakhstan|
|47.||Colorado||2333||390000||1200||Gulf of california||USA, Mexico|
|48.||Ubangi - Uele||2300||772800||4003||Congo||DRC, CAR|
|49.||Little deer||2292||219000||1210||Laptev sea||Russia|
|50.||Dnieper||2287||516300||1670||Black Sea||Russia, Belarus, Ukraine|
|52.||Rio Negro||2250||720114||26700||Amazon||Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia|
|415211||7500||Pacific Ocean||USA, Canada|
|54.||Pearl River - Xijiang||2200||437000||13600||South China Sea||China (98.5%), Vietnam (1.5%)|
|55.||South Red River||2188||78592||875||Mississippi||USA|
|58.||Ohio - Allegheny||2102||490603||7957||Mississippi||USA|
|59.||Orinoco||2101||880000||30000||Atlantic Ocean||Venezuela, Colombia, Guyana|
|62.||Orange||2092||973000||800||Atlantic Ocean||South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho|
|64.||Salado (tributary of Parana)||2010||160000||15||Parana||Argentina|
|66.||Tiger||1950||375000||1000||Shatt al arab||Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Iran|
|69.||Don||1870||425600||935||Sea of Azov||Russia|
|72.||Limpopo||1800||413000||170||Indian Ocean||Mozambique, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Botswana|
|78.||Senegal||1641 (1930)||419659||670||Atlantic Ocean||Senegal, Mali, Mauritania|
|80.||Uruguay||1610 (2200)||370000||5500||Atlantic Ocean||Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil|
|81.||Blue nile||1600 (1783)||325000||2350||Nile||Ethiopia, Sudan|
|83.||Khatanga - Kotui||1636||364000||3320||Laptev sea||Russia|
|84.||Okavango||1600||800000||475||Okavango Delta||Namibia, Angola, Botswana|
|85.||Volta||1600||388000||1290||Gulf of guinea||Ghana, Burkina Faso, Togo, Côte d’Ivoire, Benin|
|91.||Jubba - Web Shebeli||1580 *||497504||127||Indian Ocean||Ethiopia, Somalia|
|93.||Putumayo||1575||148000||8760||Amazon||Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador|
|94.||Warburton - Georgina||1560||Air Lake||Australia|
|101.||Upper Yenisei||1480||150000||1010||Yenisei||Russia, Mongolia|
|102.||Godavari||1465||313000||3038||Bay of Bengal||India|
|104.||Or - Tekes||1439||140000||480||Lake Balkhash||Kazakhstan, China|
|108.||Coopers Creek - Barku||1420||297550||73||air lake||Australia|
|111.||Colorado||1387||103341||181||Gulf of Mexico||USA, Texas|
|113.||Satledge||1372||395000||530||Indus||China, India, Pakistan|
|117.||Kura||1364 (1515)||188000||575||Caspian Sea||Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia, Turkey, Iran|
|119.||Tavda - Lozva||1356||88100||462||Tobol||Russia|
|120.||Brazos||1352||116000||840||Gulf of Mexico||USA, Texas|
|121.||Dniester||1352 (1411)||72100||310||Black Sea||Ukraine, Moldova|
|123.||Liaohe||1345||228960||302||Gulf of bohai||PRC|
|128.||Northern Dvina - Sukhona||1302||357052||3332||White Sea||Russia|
|131.||Krishna||1300||258950||1642||Bay of Bengal||India|
|133.||Sanga - Kadei||1300||152000*||Congo||Cameroon, Republic of the Congo, CAR|
|135.||Ottawa||1271||146300||1950||St. Lawrence River||Canada|
|136.||Elba - Vltava||1252||148268||711||North Sea||Germany, Czech Republic|
|139.||The rhine||1233||185000||2330||North Sea||Germany, France, Switzerland, Netherlands, Austria, Liechtenstein|
|143.||Kansas - Aricari||1218||156000||Missouri||USA|
|149.||Milk River||1173||61642||17||Missouri||USA, Canada|
|155.||Capuas||1143||South China Sea||Indonesia|
|158.||Madre de Dios |
|161.||Sepik||1126||77700||Pacific Ocean||Papua New Guinea, Indonesia|
|171.||Gambia||1094||Atlantic Ocean||Gambia Senegal Guinea|
|176.||Arax||1072||102 000||285||Kura (river in the Caucasus)||Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Turkey|
|180.||Seversky Donets||1053||98900||160||Don||Ukraine Russia|
|182.||Fly||1050||gulf of papua||Papua New Guinea, Indonesia|
|186.||Tour||1030||Tobol||Tyumen region, Sverdlovsk region, Russia|
|187.||Western Dvina||1020||87 900||678||Gulf of Riga||Latvia, Belarus, Russia|
|189.||Wisla||1014||Baltic Sea||Poland, Ukraine, Belarus|
|1006||Atlantic Ocean||Spain, Portugal|
|194.||Rio Colorado (Argentina)||1000||Atlantic Ocean||Argentina|
According to some sources, the Amazon River is slightly longer than the Nile.
- An asterisk indicates data averaged over several sources. If the lengths in different sources differ significantly, then all values are given.
- Until recently, scientists argued about which of the two largest river systems is longer - the Nile or the Amazon. Previously, it was assumed that the Nile, but data from expeditions in 2008 established the location of the sources of the Ukayali River, which put the Amazon in first place. Also debatable is the question of whether to include the sleeve south of the island of Marajo at its mouth in the length of the South American river.
The main tributaries of La Plata are the Parana and Uruguay rivers. If the main tributary of Parana, the Paraguay River, is included in the La Plata basin, its total area will be about one fifth of the entire South America. The river flows in southern and central Brazil, in southeastern Bolivia, in most of Uruguay, in northern Argentina and runs throughout Paraguay. Annually about 57 million cubic meters. m. of soil washed off in the waters of La Plata. To ensure the passage of vessels from Buenos Aires to the Atlantic Ocean, regular excavation works are carried out aimed at deepening the bottom and clearing the river of silt.
The name of the river is translated from Spanish as “Silver River” and it was named so not because of color, but because of belief that the river leads to the legendary “Sierra de la Plata” - “Silver Mountain”, rich in silver deposits. But there is no actual evidence of the existence of this mountain. There is also an alternative name for the river in English - "River Plate" or River Plate - and this is not a spelling mistake. The fact is that in the 12th century and later the English word "plate" had the meaning of "silver" or "gold". Having received its name back in the days of Sir Francis Drake, the river, which the whole world knows as La Plata, remained for the English the River Plate.
Residents of Argentina and Uruguay from areas belonging to the La Plata river basin speak a special Spanish dialect called La Plata Spanish.
Flora and fauna
The flora of the La Plata river basin is very diverse. In its eastern part, on the hills, there are rich coniferous forests where Parana spruce, belonging to valuable softwoods, grows. Plants such as aquatic hyacinth, Amazonian water lily, thyroid ceropegy, and liana grow in flooded marshy areas. The western regions are covered with meadows with lush grass, used as pastures for livestock walking. As for the fauna, a rare species of dolphins - the La Plata dolphin - lives in the river basin. Here you can also find various species of sea turtles. The waters of La Plata are literally teeming with fish, including species such as catfish, carnivorous piranha and even dorado, valuable in its similarity to salmon.
The South American River can rightfully be considered a record holder in all respects. In addition to the largest pool, it is also the widest on the planet.
In the dry season, the Amazon is 11 kilometers wide, but in the rainy season, the volume increases three times. At this time, the width of the Amazon in some places reaches 40 kilometers.
One of the most mysterious and majestic rivers on the planet flows in Africa. From the oldest inscriptions we know about the famous floods of the Nile and the birth on its banks of the first human civilizations.
Flowing mainly through the desert, the Nile is at the same time a very deep river. The natural width of the river in some places reaches no more than 10 kilometers. But during the rainy season, the valley north of Gabi Shamba turns into a real lake 100 kilometers wide.
By the way, you can learn about the ten most ancient civilizations of the world on thebiggest.ru in this article.
Lena is not only one of the longest, but also one of the widest water rivers in Russia. During floods, the pride of Siberia spills up to 30 kilometers.
It is evident that it is not in vain that the Evenks, who since ancient times have lived in the Lena basin, call it "Elyu-Ene", which means "Big River". On the banks of the Lena are many picturesque places that have long been chosen by tourists and travelers.
Another "Big River" flowing along the Russian-Chinese border and flowing into the Sea of Okhotsk. Due to the fullness and width of the Amur navigable river.
During floods in some places of the Far Eastern river, the width of a water spill can reach 50 kilometers.
We continue sailing and we are met by the widest river in Russia - the unique and bewitching Ob.
Flowing through the expanses of Western Siberia, the width of the Ob reaches 60 kilometers, and during the spill periods it is even 80. Like the previous names, the name of the full-flowing Ob is translated as “Big River”.
Our site also has an article about the largest and longest waterways of the Earth.
The Delta is not quite a river, but the place where the Ganges flows into the Indian Ocean is truly unique. Thebiggest could not leave this natural miracle without attention. Formed by the confluence of the Ganges and the Brahmaputra, the delta forms a kind of triangle.
The area of the delta of the Indian river is almost 105 thousand square kilometers, and in the widest place the distance is 350 kilometers. It should also be noted that the Ganges is spreading, flooding vast territories with water.
At the very beginning, at the foot of Mount Snow Storm, at the confluence of two rivers, the width of La Plata is 50 kilometers, and it is the widest river in the world. As it approaches the Atlantic Ocean, the river only expands, and at the confluence it has a width of 220 kilometers.
It is also interesting that on the two opposite banks of this river are the capitals of two states: Montevideo - the capital of Uruguay and the capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires.
Rivers, as amazing objects of nature are a real decoration of our planet. In addition, since ancient times, they have been used as a source of fresh water.
At all times, water arteries act as real helpers to humans, providing food used in the transportation of goods, protection and restoration of physical and mental strength.
Historical facts about the La Plata River
The name of the La Plata River, translated from Spanish, means “Silver River”. According to local residents, the river was called this because of the gold rush, in the era of which silver was mined in the river. But in reality, the name was preceded by the English expression "River plate". So Europeans called the first seen estuary.
The Spaniard Juan Diaz de Solis was the first to discover the La Plata River. As part of the expedition, he arrived in South America in 1516. After landing on the banks of La Plata, the whole team was killed by the natives. Only the young was able to survive. After 20 years, European colonies began to appear near the river, the first of which was Buenos Aires.
During World War II, approximately 150 miles from the La Plata River, the largest naval battle at that time occurred. The battle involved the ships of England and the heavy cruiser of Germany. The German ship suffered significant damage, and the command decided to flood the cruiser.
Two shores - two states
The widest river in the world is in South America. It is called La Plata. In the narrowest place, at the source, it is only 48 kilometers. Although these figures are impressive, have you seen many rivers where one coast from another was fifty kilometers away? In its widest place, when it flows into the Atlantic Ocean, it reaches 220 kilometers.
On its opposite banks are two megalopolises, two capitals of various states: on the right bank is Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, and on the left is Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay. Thus, the river forms a natural border between these states. People of both countries who live for centuries on the shores of La Plata speak a characteristic dialect called La Plata Spanish.
La Plata is formed by the confluence of two rivers - Parana and Uruguay. Its length is slightly larger than the widest place - only 290 kilometers.
Now let's talk about statistics. Narrow rivers are usually called reservoirs that are no more than 60 meters wide. Medium rivers have a slightly wider width: up to 150 meters. And wide - that's all that is above 150 meters. Now you understand the magnitude of La Plata. Even its source is extremely wide.
The La Plata River is perfectly visible even from space due to its huge size. Its pool occupies about 20% of the continent. The water in La Plata is brown due to the silt dissolved in it. Large vessels can only sail along a small stretch of river. The channel is constantly shallow due to the sand brought by the tides. Quite often, work is underway on the river to artificially deepen the fairways.
Near La Plata, there are many densely populated areas of the South American continent. The river is an international watercourse, the resources of which are used by 5 countries:
With the increase in the population living on the banks of La Plata and the development of local industry, anthropogenic changes in the river basin increase. Countries that use the resources of La Plata, have to unite and take various measures to prevent the occurrence of environmental problems.
Let's go deep into etymology
La Plata means silver river. Some believe that silver was discovered on its banks during the gold rush. However, this is not entirely true. It's all in tune with the expression “River plate” - what does “flat plate” mean. So they called the river because of the flat, even bottom and wide shallows, on which ships often landed.
River Discovery History
For the first time, La Plata was discovered by Spanish sailors who were looking for passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. After landing on the coast, the team was attacked by natives. Only one 14-year-old boy survived from the whole team.
In 1536, the first European colony, Buenos Aires, was founded on the shore.
Seen La Plata and military battles. So, near the river there were battles during the Argentine War of Independence. And on December 13, 1939, the first major naval battle of World War II between the English ships and the German heavy cruiser Admiral Count Spee took place near the river.
Industry and Agriculture
La Plata water resources began to be used intensively in the second half of the twentieth century. The development of the construction and furniture industry led to the destruction of forests, which caused the destruction of the shores of the basin. To date, only 5% of the vegetation cover has survived.
A huge number of hydroelectric power stations are concentrated on the banks of the river. The largest of them provides electricity for about 90% of the needs of Brazil. The estuary and its tributaries abound in reservoirs, the number of which reaches 20 and is increasing. La Plata water is used extensively for irrigation of agricultural land. By the beginning of the 21st century, the area of land in need of irrigation was about 18 million hectares.
La Plata, along with its tributaries, is huge: its area is 4144 thousand square kilometers. This is about a fifth of all of South America. The maximum depth of the river is approximately 20 meters.
This reservoir is home to many interesting animals. So, on the territory of the river lives a river dolphin, the smallest of all existing. It is called the La Plata dolphin.
Individuals do not exceed 60 kilograms, and in length there are usually no more than 1.7 meters. In summer, they live in the ocean, and in winter migrate to the river. It is assumed that these animals are very few - no more than 42 thousand individuals, so they are vulnerable to extinction.
Sea turtles also live in the river: a carriage, a green turtle and a leatherback turtle. Carriages or loggerheads are very large: about a meter in length and weighing up to 150 kilograms. They are listed in the Red Book.
There are few unique vegetation left on the banks of the estuary. Mostly there are marshy plants. Despite the scanty number of remaining primeval forests, their deforestation does not stop.
On farmland, wheat and corn are often grown. Other crops are less common due to inappropriate climatic conditions.
La Plata is home to a huge number of different types of fish. Only in this pond you can meet a rare species of dolphins, which is named after the river - La Platsky. Its representatives are rather secretive, which does not allow biologists to study them. It is known that dolphins prefer to pack in flocks, the number of which ranges from 10 to 15 individuals.
The river abounds with various species of turtles. In the estuary you can meet:
- green turtles
- leathery turtles.
These types of reptiles are classified as rare, and it is strictly forbidden to catch them or collect eggs.
Often, floods occur on the La Plata River. Since 1980, their numbers and scale have increased significantly. Environmentalists believe that part of the reason for this phenomenon was the work of hydroelectric power plants and global warming. Also, an increasing flood rate is associated with the global ocean-atmospheric phenomenon of El Nino.
The strongest flood that has occurred in recent years on La Plata dates from April 2013. The flood caused numerous damage to residential and industrial buildings and human casualties.