Scientists discover underground river below the Amazon River

Shane McGlaun - Aug 29, 2011
Scientists discover underground river below the Amazon River

Scientists have made a very wild discovery in the Amazon Basin. The mighty Amazon River is one of the largest and most impressive (and scariest) rivers on the planet. The Amazon ranges in width from 1km to 100km. It also flow very quickly in some areas at 133,000 meters squared of water each second at a rate of five meters per second. A team of scientists has discovered a much larger river about 4km under the Amazon River that dwarfs its surface counterpart.

The underground river was discovered by using data collected inside a series of 241 abandoned deep wells left over from oil drilling in the Amazon basin in the 70's and 80's by a company called Petrobras. The data shows an underground river flowing at a snail's pace that is roughly as long as the 6,000km that the Amazon River spans.

The big differences include that the underground river, dubbed Rio Hamza after the leader of the scientific team, flows a mere millimeter per hour and its nearly twice as wide as the Amazon. Rio Hamza is 200km to 400km wide. The team thinks that the massive underground river could account for the reduced salinity in the waters at the mouth of the Amazon. The team says that in the next few years more research will confirm the flow with more measurements.

[via Guardian]

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