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Encyclopedia > Casiquiare canal

The Casiquiare is a distributary of the upper Orinoco, which flows southward into the Rio Negro. As such, it forms a unique natural canal between the Orinoco and Amazon river systems; it is the largest river on the planet that links two major river systems, a so called bifurcation. A distributary is a river that branches off from a major river before it reaches the sea, particularly in a river delta. ... This page is about the Orinoco River, for the Aphra Behn novel see Oroonoko With a length of 2140 km, the Orinoco is one of the largest rivers of South America. ... The Negro (Spanish: black) River, the great northern tributary of the Amazon River and the largest blackwater river in the world, has its sources along the watershed between the Orinoco and the Amazon basins, and also connects with the Orinoco by way of the Casiquiare canal. ... A satellite image of the mouth of the Amazon River, looking south The Amazon River or River Amazon; Spanish: Río Amazonas, Portuguese: Rio Amazonas) of South America is the second longest river on Earth, the longest being the Nile in Africa. ...

Contents


Discovery

In 1744 the Jesuit Father Roman, while ascending the Orinoco river, met some Portuguese slave-traders from the settlements on the Rio Negro. He accompanied them on their return, by way of the Casiquiare canal, and afterwards retraced his route to the Orinoco. La Condamine, seven months later, was able to give to the Académie française an account of Father Roman's extraordinary voyage, and thus confirm the existence of this wonderful waterway first reported by Father Acuna in 1639. // Events The third French and Indian War, known as King Georges War, breaks out at Port Royal, Nova Scotia The First Saudi State founded by Mohammed Ibn Saud Prague occupied by Prussian armies Ongoing events War of the Austrian Succession (1740-1748) Births January 10 - Thomas Mifflin, fifth President... The Society of Jesus (Latin: Societas Iesu), commonly known as the Jesuits, is a Roman Catholic religious order. ... This page is about the Orinoco River, for the Aphra Behn novel see Oroonoko With a length of 2140 km, the Orinoco is one of the largest rivers of South America. ... The Negro (Spanish: black) River, the great northern tributary of the Amazon River and the largest blackwater river in the world, has its sources along the watershed between the Orinoco and the Amazon basins, and also connects with the Orinoco by way of the Casiquiare canal. ... Charles-Marie de La Condamine Charles Marie de La Condamine (January 28, 1701 - February 4, 1774) was a French geographer and mathematician. ... The Académie française, or French Academy, is the pre-eminent French learned body on matters pertaining to the French language. ... Christoval de Acuna (1597-c. ... Events January 14 - Connecticuts first constitution, the Fundamental Orders, is adopted. ...


But little credence was given to Father Roman's statement until it was verified, in 1756, by the Spanish Boundary-line Commission of Yturriaga and Solano. In 1800 German scientist Alexander von Humboldt and French botanist Aimé Bonpland explored the river. 1756 was a leap year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... Solano County is a county located in central California, about halfway between San Francisco and Sacramento. ... 1800 (MDCCC) was an common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... Friedrich Heinrich Alexander, Baron von Humboldt, (September 14, 1769, Berlin–May 6, 1859, Berlin), was a German naturalist and explorer, and the younger brother of the Prussian minister, philosopher, and linguist Wilhelm von Humboldt. ... Aimé Jacques Alexandre Bonpland (August 22, 1773 - May 4, 1858) was a French explorer and botanist. ...


Geography

The actual elevation of the canal above sea-level is not known, but is of primary importance to the study of the hydrography of South America. Travellers in general give it at from 400 to 900 feet, but, after much study of the question of altitudes throughout South America, the writer believes that it does not exceed 300 feet. The canal connects the upper Orinoco, 9 miles below the mission of Esmeraldas, with the Rio Negro affluent of the Amazon River near the town of San Carlos. Hydrography focuses on the measurement of physical characteristics of waters and marginal land. ... South America South America is a continent crossed by the equator, with most of its area in the Southern Hemisphere. ... A satellite image of the mouth of the Amazon River, looking south The Amazon River or River Amazon; Spanish: Río Amazonas, Portuguese: Rio Amazonas) of South America is the second longest river on Earth, the longest being the Nile in Africa. ...


The general course is south-west, and its length, including windings, is about 200 miles. Its width, at its bifurcation with the Orinoco, is approximately 300 feet, with a current towards the Negro of three-quarters of a mile an hour; but as it gains in volume from the very numerous tributary streams, large and small, which it receives en route, its velocity increases, and in the wet season reaches 5 and even 8 miles an hour in certain stretches. It broadens considerably as it approaches its mouth, where it is about 1750 feet in width. It will thus be seen that the volume of water it captures from the Orinoco is small in comparison to what it accumulates in its course. The noun bifurcation (from latin bifurcare, to split (fork) into two), has several related meanings. ... A tributary (or affluent or confluent) is a contributory stream, a river that does not reach the sea, but joins another major river (a parent river), to which it contributes its waters, swelling its discharge. ...


In flood-time it is said to have a second connection with the Rio Negro by a branch which it throws off to the westward called the Itinivini, which leaves it at a point about 50 miles above its mouth. In the dry season it has shallows, and is obstructed by sandbanks, a few rapids and granite rocks. Its shores are densely wooded, and the soil more fertile than that along the Rio Negro. The general slope of the plains through which the canal runs is south-west, but those of the Rio Negro slope south-east. The whole line of the Casiquiare is infested with myriads of tormenting insects. Look up flood in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


It is thus seen that this marvellous freak of nature is not, as is generally supposed, a sluggish canal on a flat tableland, but a great, rapid river which, if its upper waters had not found contact with the Orinoco, perhaps by cutting back, would belong entirely to the Negro branch of the Amazon.


To the west of the Casiquiare there is a much shorter and more facile connexion between the Orinoco and Amazon basins, called the isthmus of Pimichin, which is reached by ascending the Terni branch of the Atabapo affluent of the Orinoco. Although the Terni is somewhat obstructed, it is believed that it could easily be made navigable for small craft. The isthmus is 10 miles across, with undulating ground, nowhere over 50 feet high, with swamps and marshes. It is much used for the transit of large canoes, which are hauled across it from the Terni river, and which reach the Negro by the little stream called the Pimichin.


References

  • This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.

Encyclopædia Britannica, the 11th edition The Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition (1910–1911) is perhaps the most famous edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica. ... The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ...

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  Results from FactBites:
 
Casiquiare canal (602 words)
The actual elevation of the canal above sea-level is not known, but is of primary importance to the study of the hydrography of South America.
The canal connects the upper Orinoco, 9 miles below the mission of Esmeraldas, with the Rio Negro affluent of the Amazon River near the town of San Carlos[?].
To the west of the Casiquiare there is a much shorter and more facile connexion between the Orinoco and Amazon basins, called the isthmus of Pimichin[?], which is reached by ascending the Terni branch of the Atabapo[?] affluent of the Orinoco.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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