Brazil Physical Characteristics

South American state. Fifth state in the world for vastness, it extends in latitude between 5 ° 16 ‘N and 33 ° 45’ S, therefore between the equatorial zone and the southern tropical zone, for a length of 4320 km, which corresponds to an equal distance (4326 km) in the OE direction, in the section of greatest width. The Atlantic coast has a development of about 7600 km, while the internal borders (over 15,600 km) touch, from N to S and proceeding counterclockwise, French Guiana, Suriname, Guyana, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina and Uruguay, only rarely relying on natural elements: in the North, the border roughly follows the watershed between the Amazon basin and the Orinoco basin (and the basins of the minor rivers of Guiana); much of the border with Bolivia is marked by the Guaporé River ; minor tracts, in the South-West, also follow river courses; while there are long stretches of straight border with the Andean and Platensian states.

Morphological elements The morphological elements that mark the Brazilian territory are the Amazonian lowland to the North and the Plateau of the Brazil to the South, which, together, occupy almost the entire surface. Outside these two regions, to the North of the Amazon basin the Brazil includes the southern edge of the Guiana plateau (Cerro da Neblina, 3014 m, is the highest peak in the country); to the South, at the edge of the other internal lands, narrow flat strips develop along the coast and, to the SW, the plain of Paraguay, which largely falls within the Brazilian territory.

The vast sedimentary Amazonian lowland essentially corresponds to the less steep sections of the Amazon River and its numerous tributaries (over 10,000 have been recorded). The Amazon River and many of the main tributaries of its medium-high course descend from the eastern slopes of the Andes or, in some cases, from the inner plateaus of the Andean chain. As they descend towards the eastern plain, the Andean rivers overcome a series of differences in height that cause waterfalls or rapids. The network is also very intricatehydrographic that innervates the lowland, very rich in branches, river islands, meanders, connecting channels between different watercourses, marshes, and subject to frequent flooding that for a few months a year affect the areas for over a hundred kilometers of depth coastal rivers of the main waterways: on the one hand, the formation of the várzea, a flooded forest with original ecological characteristics, and on the other hand a limited possibility of population right near the rivers, which however are often the only viable communication route. In the Amazon area, moreover, the typical plant formation is the rainforest, so human settlement is very sparse and limited everywhere. Throughout the region, land communications are difficult, despite the recent upgrade of an essential road network; the fluvial ones are instead developed (the draft of the Amazon River and of some tributaries is such as to allow ocean-going vessels to go up the rivers for several hundreds of kilometers), although they are affected by the seasonal flow of water from the different sides that feed the basin. The coastal strip of the lowland is compact and marshy to the North of the mouths of the Amazon and Tocantins ; more lively towards the S, up to the mouth of the Parnaíba, beyond which the plateau rises.

The passage, towards the S, from the Amazon to the Plateau of Brazil, formed by a Precambrian crystalline base covered by several sedimentary layers, is almost everywhere very gradual, given the inclination of the other lands towards the NW, that is, the interior. Extending over more than 3,000,000 km 2, the whole plateau has higher parts, up to about 2000 m, generally flattened at the top (chapadas), but comes to take on the appearance of a mountain range along the eastern edge. The Serra do Mar stretches along the east coast; behind it are the Serra da Mantiqueira (Mount Itatiaia, 2787 m), the Serra do Espinhaço (Pico de Itambé, 2033 m) and the Serra do Caparaó (Pico da Bandeira, 2890 m). The central-western part of the plateau is known as Mato Grosso. Along the eastern edge of the plateau there is a flat coastal strip of very variable extension, at times towards the S, bordered by lagoons (such as Laguna Patos, 280 km long), elsewhere flanked by the rugged and abrupt edge of the plateau. AS the plateau gradually lowers towards the region on the left of the Paraguay River, low, marshy (pantanais), inaccessible and uninhabited. For Brazil geography, please check

Climate Given the latitude and exposure to Atlantic winds, on the whole the climates of Brazil can be defined hot-humid. The great longitudinal extension, however, the considerable distance from the coast of the central-western regions and the altimetric variations between the Amazon and the central-southern regions give rise to significant climatic and biological differences. The Amazonian lowland has a typically equatorial climate, hot and humid, with rainfall distributed throughout the year (up to an average of 2800 mm) and very modest temperature variations. The highlands of Guiana and Brazil and the central-southern Atlantic coast have a tropical humid subequatorial climate, with seasonal rainfall (summer, 1000-1500 mm) and accentuated winter drought. Inland from the eastern cusp of Brazil, the Nordeste, on the other hand, the climate is tropical arid: the region is almost never reached by the Atlantic air, rainfall is even lower than 500 mm per year and temperatures are very high (27 ° C on average per year). In the southernmost area, the climate is warm temperate, rainier near the sea, tending to be continental in the interior, with marked seasonality.

Hydrography The major river basins are those of the Amazon River, shared with various other South American states, but almost two thirds belonging to the Brazil; del Tocantins (2640 km) and São Francisco (2900 km), entirely Brazilian; and of Paraná -Paraguay, which originates in Brazil, in which it falls only for a tenth of the surface. The Amazon River receives some important tributaries (17 of which exceed 1600 km in length): from the right Juruá, Purus, Madeira (all over 3000 km of course), Tapajós and Xingu ; the last three have seasonal floods, since they descend from the plateau, with a SN trend, and not from the equatorial belt; from the left (with the exception of the Marañón, considered a spring branch), the major tributaries are the Napo and especially the Rio Negro (the main one for water supply), which instead have an equatorial regime, with rather constant flows.

Flora The Amazon basin is covered by a rainforest of extreme luxuriance and great floristic variety. Large amphibious formations (igapó) with mangroves extend along the northern coasts and on the low river courses. In tropical climate regions, caatinga is typical, a sparse and irregular forest, with deciduous trees and xerophilous plants, bare in the dry season; in Mato Grosso there are campos, arborate savannahs (campos cerrados) or totally herbaceous (campos limpos). In the southern temperate zones, conifers tend to prevail. 18% of the Brazilian territory is subject to environmental protection.

Brazil Physical Characteristics

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