CountriesVenezuela, ColombiaDistrictSouth AmericaSource - locationCerro Delgado-Chalbaud, Parima Mountains, Venezuela & Brazil - elevation1,047 m (3,435 ft) - coordinates02°19′05″N 63°21′42″W / 2.31806°N 63.36167°W / 2.31806; -63.36167MouthDelta Amacuro - locationAtlantic Ocean, Venezuela - elevation0 m (0 ft) - coordinates8°37′N 62°15′W / 8.617°N 62.250°W / 8.617; -62.250Length2,140 km (1,330 mi)Basin880,000 km² (339,770 sq mi)Discharge - average33,000 m³/s (1,165,384 cu ft/s)
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The area labelled "Reclamation Zone" ~ above the map above is actually Guiana, as deserve to be watched from this map

The Orinoco is a key river in north South America. It is among the longest rivers in southern America, at 2,140 km (1,330 mi). Its drainage basin, sometimes called the Orinoquia, covers 880,000 square kilometres (340,000 sq mi), through 76.3% of it in Venezuela and also the remainder in Colombia. The Orinoco and also its tributaries are the key transport mechanism for eastern and interior Venezuela and the llanos the Colombia.

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The Orinoco container is also ecologically important. The is the just habitat the the Orinoco crocodile. This is just one of the rarest reptiles in the world, v fewer than 250 life in the wild. The is additionally home to Amazon flow dolphins.


Contents


Geography

History

The mouth that the Orinoco was videotaped by Christopher Columbus on 1 respectable 1498. Its source, however, was an initial explored by non-native civilization in 1951, 453 years later. It was explored by a French and Venezuelan team.


The delta, and also tributaries in the east llanos such together the Apure and Meta, were explored in the 16th century. They to be explored by German expeditions under Ambrosius Ehinger and his successors. Alexander von Humboldt discover the basin in 1800. He reported on the flow dolphins, and also wrote extensively about the plants and also animals he found.

Geography

The course of the Orinoco forms a wide arc the surrounds the Guiana Shield. The resource of the river is in ~ Cerro Delgado-Chalbaud, in the Parima Mountains. This is ~ above the border between Venezuela and also Brazil, at 1,047 m (3,435 ft) high (02°19′05″N 63°21′42″W / 2.31806°N 63.36167°W / 2.31806; -63.36167). The river have the right to be split into 4 stretches:

At its mouth, the Orinoco creates a vast delta the branches off into numerous rivers and waterways. They flow through 41,000 km2 (16,000 sq mi) the swampy forests. In ~ its widest, this delta is about 22,500 km2 (8,700 sq mi) big and 370 kilometer (230 mi) in ~ its widest. In the rainy season, the Orinoco have the right to swell to a breadth the 22 kilometre (14 mi) and also a depth the 100 metres (330 ft).

Off the shore of the delta is Trinidad and Tobago, i m sorry is separated native the mainland by the Columbus Channel.

Major rivers in the Orinoco Basin

Most that the vital rivers in Venezuela are tributaries the the Orinoco. The biggest are the Caroní, which join it at Puerto Ordaz. The river is actually connected to the Amazon River v the Casiquiare canal. This is a distributary the the Orinoco, flowing into the Rio Negro and then the Amazon. This connection forms a natural canal in between Orinoco and also Amazon.

Apure: native Venezuela through the eastern into the Orinoco.Arauca: indigenous Colombia come Venezuela east into the Orinoco.Caroní: from the Guiana Highlands the Venezuela north into the Orinoco.Caura: from east Venezuela (Guiana Highlands) north right into the Orinoco.Inírida: native Colombia southeast into the Guaviare.Meta: from Colombia, border v Venezuela eastern into the Orinoco.Ventuari: from eastern Venezuela (Guiana Highlands) southwest into the Orinoco.Vichada: from Colombia east into the Orinoco.

Economics


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Boats have the right to travel on the river for most of that is length. Ocean ships can travel as much as Ciudad Bolívar, 435 km (270 mi) upstream. River steamers bring cargo as far as Puerto Ayacucho.

There is a well-off iron ore deposit in the Orinoco delta. It was uncovered in 1926, south of the city of san Felix top top a hill named El Florero. Mining there began after world War II. In ~ the begin in the beforehand 1950s, around 10,000 lots of soil with ore in it was being mined every day.

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There are likewise tar sands in the Orinoco Belt, which might be a source of future oil production.