The Amazon River is second in length to the Nile in the whole world and it is the largest and longest river in South America. Its length is six thousand, four hundred and thirty seven kilometres and it carries the largest amount of water as compared to other rivers in the world including the Nile and Mississippi among others (“Amazon River facts” 1). The river’s width ranges from two and a half kilometres to ten kilometres during its course and its average depth is about ten meters but this depth increases to over ninety metres at particular points (“Amazon River facts” 1).
It is approximated that the Amazon River is eleven million years old, basing on the results presented in a new research (Lloyd 1). Before the new study was conducted, the exact age of River Amazon was not known. This River, which flows in the eastern direction from the Andes and ending in the Atlantic Ocean, came up as “a transcontinental river” eleven million years in the past during the “Miocene Epoch” (Lloyd 1). According to one study that was conducted, the river took its current shape approximately two and a half million years back (Lloyd 1).
However, as on one hand the Amazon River is known to be one of the longest rivers on earth; on the other hand, it is found to be among the youngest rivers. This is based on the fact that such rivers as the Nile, found in Africa, and New River, found in North America are believed to have originated hundreds of millions years ago. It is pointed out that rivers have almost the same age as that of the mountains from which they originate (Lloyd 1). The Andes uplifted mainly in the last twelve million years and this was followed by drainage patterns formation as well as shifting (Lloyd 1).
“Amazon River facts and history in brief.” erwin.bernhardt, 2012. Web. 24 August 2012.
Lloyd, Robin. Amazon River dated to 11 million years old, 8 July 2009. Web. 24 August 2012.