Hamza River

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The Hamza River (Portuguese: Rio Hamza) is a recent discovery. Under the ground in the Amazon area is a huge slowly moving waterway.[1] This slowly flowing aquifer in Brazil is about 6,000 kilometres (3,700 mi) long. It is nearly 4,000 metres (13,000 ft) below ground level. Its discovery was announced in 2011.[2][3][4] The Hamza "river" and the Amazon River are a twin-river system flowing at different levels of the Earth's crust.

Description[change | change source]

Map of Amazon river basin.

The Hamza and the Amazon are the two main drainage systems for the Amazon Basin. The reported flow rate of the Hamza, at about 3,000 cubic metres (110,000 cu ft) per second, is 3% of the Amazon's.[3] It runs west to east, some 4,000 metres (13,000 ft) below the Earth's surface, and follows roughly the path of the Amazon River.[5] The Hamza empties in the Atlantic Ocean, deep under the surface. Its own water has a high salt content.

It flows from the Andean foothills to the Atlantic coast in a nearly west-to-east direction like the Amazon River. Seismic data and temperature variation with depth measured in 241 inactive oil wells helped find the aquifer.

Except for the flow direction, the Amazon and the Hamza have very different characteristics. The most obvious ones are their width and flow speed. While the Amazon is 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) to 100 kilometres (62 mi) wide, the Hamza is 200 kilometres (120 mi) to 400 kilometres (250 mi) in width. But the flow speed is 5 metres per second (16 ft/s) in the Amazon and less than 1 millimetre per second (0.039 in/s) speed in the Hamza.[4]

Geology[change | change source]

Several geological factors have played a vital role in the formation and existence of these subterranean water bodies. Water has worn away calcium carbonate rocks far under the ground. Water drops to great depths. East-west trending faults and the karst topography may have some role in supplying water to the "river".

The 153 km-long underground river in Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula,[6] and the 8.2 km-long Cabayugan River in the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park in the Philippines have come into being thanks to the karst topography. Water in these places has dissolved the carbonate rock to form extensive underground river systems.

References[change | change source]

  1. Choi, Charles Q. (August 31, 2011). "Underground river discovered beneath Amazon". OurAmazingPlanet. Science on MSNBC. Archived from the original on November 23, 2012. Retrieved August 18, 2019. “The name given to the underground flow is not official,” Hamza said.
  2. Pimentel, Elizabeth T. (2011). "Indications of an Underground River beneath the Amazon River: Inferences from Results of Geothermal Studies" in 12th International Congress of the Brazilian Geophysical Society. . DOI:10.1190/sbgf2011-153. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Scientists find underground river beneath Amazon". 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-25.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Krystian, Marisa (29 August 2011). "Massive River Found Flowing Beneath the Amazon". Archived from the original on 25 September 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-08.
  5. "Scientists discover underground river running beneath the Amazon". Fox News. 2011-08-25. Archived from the original on 2012-05-03. Retrieved 2011-08-25.
  6. "World's Longest Underground River Discovered in Mexico,". news.nationalgeographic.com. Retrieved 2017-01-24.