Madeira River

Madeira River in the Amazon basin

Madeira River near Porto Velho

Template: Infobox River / Obsolete

The Madeira River is a right tributary of the Amazon in South America. With an outflow of 31,200 m³ / s, it is the world's largest tributary. It arises from the confluence of the Río Mamoré and Río Beni east of Nova Mamoré and has a moderate winding, generally northeast -oriented course.

River system

The river bears the name of Rio Madeira on the bottom 1450 kilometers of the river system. Already at its inception it is equipped with a water flow of 18,000 m³ / s is about as large as the Mississippi. At the confluence of the Río Beni richer in water than the Rio Mamoré and thus represents the hydrographic Hauptquellast, the beginning of which is the headwaters of the turn water-rich Río Madre de Dios in the Peruvian Andes. The longest Quellast, the Río Mamoré is with its longest tributary of Rio Grande ( in the headwaters of the Río Caine called ) and its source in turn longest river Río Rocha. With it, a total length of 3,380 kilometers, is specified for the Rio Madeira.

How the Amazon is also the Rio Madeira, a white water river. Significant portions of its water supply come from the rainy Andean border mountain ranges, which consist of easily erodible sedimentary rocks, so that the rivers carry large amounts of suspended matter with him. The precipitate richness of the Andean margin increases from northwest to southeast from, which is associated with the transition from vollhumiden tropical rainforest to semi-arid basins of the Bolivian Andes, and this is reflected in the opposite position of hydrological main branch in the North West (Río Madre de Dios ) and longest Quellast (Río Grande) in the savannas of the Southeast.

Economic Importance

The Madeira River is navigable for a distance of 1,100 kilometers from the mouth upstream to Porto Velho, the capital of the Brazilian state of Rondônia and the main port city on the Rio Madeira. The river is an important route for the export of soybeans from the state of Mato Grosso. An important soy loading station is located in Itacoatiara at the mouth of the Amazon. Above Porto Velho, in the direction of Bolivia, the Madeira River is not navigable because of its rapids. For the avoidance, the Madeira - Mamore railway was once built for the transport of rubber through the tropical rain forest with great loss of life. The track had no connections to other rail lines in Brazil and was abandoned after the end of the rubber boom.

Currently, two large hydro power plants under construction that will be stacked on the big rapids. Of the cataracts of Teotônio are known Boyomafällen at least pari passu. The Jirau hydroelectric power plant ( 3,300 MW) is operational in 2013 and the Santo Antônio ( 3,150 MW) in 2015. Together, they use a gradient of up to 70 meters. The projects have made current the idea of an inland waterway from the Río de la Plata to the Orinoco, which could use the two Flussbifurkationen in the north and south of the Amazon basin and would thereby run over the Río Mamoré and the Río Guaporé. The main criticisms are almost impossible to estimate the environmental and social impacts of major projects. Firstly, the farmers who cultivate the alluvial deposits, depending on the seasonal fluctuations of the river. On the other lives an unknown number of indigenous peoples on the banks. Many already fled to other areas, some came there with miners or lumberjacks into conflict, the work is not always legal there. Borne diseases could develop against the mainly uncontacted peoples no defenses, can whole communities cut off .. Since the indigenous population was hardly involved in the planning, the projects are also criticized as unconstitutional and as not in line with that of the of Brazil ratifizerten Convention 169 of the international Labour Organisation.

The largest inflows

One of the biggest inflows include ( downstream ):

  • Rio Abuna (left)
  • Rio Jamari (right)
  • Rio Jiparaná (right)
  • Rio Ipixuna (right)
  • Rio dos Marmelos (right)
  • Rio Manicoré (right)
  • Rio Aripuanã (right)
  • Rio Cañuma (right)