Image: Parana River Floodplain Along the Mato Grosso/Sao Paulo Border, Brazil

The Parana River floodplain along the Mato Grosso--Sao Paulo border, Brazil is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 30 crew member on the International Space Station. The Parana River appears as a wide, blue strip across this photograph, with muddy brown water of the smaller Verde River entering from the northwest (top left). An extensive wetland (dark green) occupies most of the left half of the image, where the floodplain of the river reaches a width of 11 kilometers. The thin line of a road crossing the floodplain also gives a sense of scale. Above the Parana--Verde confluence (center) the floodplain is much narrower.

The floodplain is generated by sediments delivered by both rivers. Evidence for this is that the entire surface of the floodplain is crisscrossed by the wider traces of former Parana R. channels as well as numerous narrower traces of the Verde R. The floodplains along both rivers are bordered by numerous rectangular agricultural fields. Dominant crops along this part of the Parana River are coffee, corn and cotton. Turbid water, such as that in the Verde River, is common in most rivers that drain plowed agricultural land as some topsoil is washed into local rivers after rains.

A long tendril of brown water extends from the Verde R. into the main channel of the Parana River where it hugs the west bank, remaining unmixed for many kilometers. This effectively shows the direction of river flow from orbit (right to left for the Parana, upper left to center for the Verde). high res (1.3 M) low res (64 K) ISS030-E-090012 (5 Feb. 2012)

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