The Amazon River (UK: /ˈæməzən/, US: /ˈæməzɒn/; Spanish: Río Amazonas, Portuguese: Rio Amazonas) in South America is the largest river by discharge volume of water in the world, and the disputed longest river system in the world in comparison to the Nile.[2][16][n 2]

Quick facts: Amazon River Rio Amazonas, Native name, Locat...
Amazon River
Rio Amazonas
Amazon River
Amazon River and its drainage basin
Native nameAmazonas (Portuguese)
Location
CountryPeru, Colombia, Brazil
CityIquitos (Peru); Leticia (Colombia);
Tabatinga (Brazil); Tefé (Brazil);
Itacoatiara (Brazil) Parintins (Brazil);
Óbidos (Brazil); Santarém (Brazil);
Almeirim (Brazil); Macapá (Brazil);
Manaus (Brazil)
Physical characteristics
SourceRío Apurimac, Mismi Peak
  locationArequipa Region, Peru
  coordinates15°31′04″S 71°41′37″W
  elevation5,220 m (17,130 ft)
MouthAtlantic Ocean
  location
Brazil
  coordinates
0°42′28″N 50°5′22″W[1]
Length6,500 km (4,000 mi)[n 1]
Basin size7,000,000 km2 (2,700,000 sq mi)[2] 6,743,000 km2 (2,603,000 sq mi)[5]
Width 
  minimum700 m (2,300 ft) (Upper Amazon); 1.5 km (0.93 mi) (Itacoatiara, Lower Amazon)[6]
  average3 km (1.9 mi) (Middle Amazon); 5 km (3.1 mi) (Lower Amazon)[6][7]
  maximum10 km (6.2 mi) to 14 km (8.7 mi) (Lower Amazon);[6][8] 340 km (210 mi) (estuary)[9]
Depth 
  average15 m (49 ft) to 45 m (148 ft) (Middle Amazon); 20 m (66 ft) to 50 m (160 ft) (Lower Amazon)[6]
  maximum150 m (490 ft) (Itacoatiara); 130 m (430 ft) (Óbidos)[6][7]
Discharge 
  locationAtlantic Ocean (near mouth)
  average215,000 m3/s (7,600,000 cu ft/s)–230,000 m3/s (8,100,000 cu ft/s)[10][11]

(Basin size: 5,956,000 km2 (2,300,000 sq mi)[12]

205,603.262 m3/s (7,260,810.7 cu ft/s)[13]

(Basin size: 5,912,760.5 km2 (2,282,929.6 sq mi)[13]
  minimum180,000 m3/s (6,400,000 cu ft/s)
  maximum340,000 m3/s (12,000,000 cu ft/s)
Discharge 
  locationAmazon Delta, Amazon/Tocantins/Pará
  average230,000 m3/s (8,100,000 cu ft/s)[5] (Basin size: 6,743,000 km2 (2,603,000 sq mi)[5] to 7,000,000 km2 (2,700,000 sq mi)[2]
Discharge 
  locationSantarém
  average191,624.043 m3/s (6,767,139.2 cu ft/s)[13]
Discharge 
  locationÓbidos (800 km upstream of mouth - Basin size: 4,704,076 km2 (1,816,254 sq mi)
  average173,272.643 m3/s (6,119,065.6 cu ft/s)[13]

(Period of data: 1928-1996)176,177 m3/s (6,221,600 cu ft/s)[14]

(Period of data: 01/01/1997-31/12/2015)178,193.9 m3/s (6,292,860 cu ft/s)[15]
  minimum75,602 m3/s (2,669,900 cu ft/s)[14]
  maximum306,317 m3/s (10,817,500 cu ft/s)[14]
Discharge 
  locationManacapuru, Solimões (Basin size: 2,147,736 km2 (829,246 sq mi)
  average(Period of data: 01/01/1997-31/12/2015) 105,720 m3/s (3,733,000 cu ft/s)[15]
Basin features
Tributaries 
  leftMarañón, Nanay, Napo, Ampiyaçu, Japurá/Caquetá, Rio Negro/Guainía, Putumayo, Badajós, Manacapuru, Urubu, Uatumã, Nhamundá, Trombetas, Maicurú, Curuá, Paru, Jari
  rightUcayali, Jandiatuba, Javary, Jutai, Juruá, Tefé, Coari, Purús, Madeira, Paraná do Ramos, Tapajós, Curuá-Una, Xingu, Pará, Tocantins, Acará, Guamá
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Topography of the Amazon River Basin

The headwaters of the Apurímac River on Nevado Mismi had been considered for nearly a century as the Amazon basin's most distant source, until a 2014 study found it to be the headwaters of the Mantaro River on the Cordillera Rumi Cruz in Peru.[21] The Mantaro and Apurímac rivers join, and with other tributaries form the Ucayali River, which in turn meets the Marañón River upstream of Iquitos, Peru, forming what countries other than Brazil consider to be the main stem of the Amazon. Brazilians call this section the Solimões River above its confluence with the Rio Negro[22] forming what Brazilians call the Amazon at the Meeting of Waters (Portuguese: Encontro das Águas) at Manaus, the largest city on the river.

The Amazon River has an average discharge of about 215,000 m3/s (7,600,000 cu ft/s)230,000 m3/s (8,100,000 cu ft/s)—approximately 6,591 km3 (1,581 cu mi)7,570 km3 (1,820 cu mi) per year, greater than the next seven largest independent rivers combined. Two of the top ten rivers by discharge are tributaries of the Amazon river. The Amazon represents 20% of the global riverine discharge into oceans.[23] The Amazon basin is the largest drainage basin in the world, with an area of approximately 7,000,000 km2 (2,700,000 sq mi).[2] The portion of the river's drainage basin in Brazil alone is larger than any other river's basin. The Amazon enters Brazil with only one-fifth of the flow it finally discharges into the Atlantic Ocean, yet already has a greater flow at this point than the discharge of any other river.[24][25]