by IB Times Staff Reporter
August 26, 2011
Have you heard of a river flowing under a river? In an amazing
discovery, scientists have found signs of an underground river
flowing below the Amazon.
Researchers at the department of geophysics of the Brazil National
Observatory have showed evidence of the existence of an underground
river that flows 13,000 feet beneath the Amazon.
An aerial view of a natural lake fed by a spring in the Amazon River
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The underground river is now named after Valiya Hamza, the scientist
of Indian origin, who has been studying the Amazon region for more
than 40 years. The discovery is part of the work of doctoral student
Elizabeth Tavares Pimentel, under the guidance of Hamza.
The findings show that the Amazon, one of the longest rivers in the
world, has two drainage systems: the surface drainage through the
Amazon and the flow of groundwater through the deep sedimentary
layers, the Hamza.
The width of
the Hamza is said to be 3,700 miles long, flowing
13,000 feet below the Amazon.
Both rivers flow from west to east, but
the Hamza flows at only a fraction of the speed of Amazon.
"It is likely that this river is
responsible for the low level of salinity in the waters around
the mouth of the Amazon," said a statement released by the
The latest findings are based on data
analysis temperatures of 241 wells drilled by Petrobas in the 1970s
and 1980s in the Amazon region.
The results obtained allowed the
identification of movement of groundwater in depths of 4,000 meters
in this region.
Computer simulations show that the groundwater flow is predominantly
vertical to about 2,000 feet deep, but changes direction and becomes
horizontal at greater depths.
Though the studies are in the early stages, Hamza expects to confirm
the subterranean flow by the end of 2014.
Amazon is the second longest river in the world and has the largest
drainage basin in the world. The bulk of Amazon, which accounts for
about one-fifth of the world's total river flow, flows through
tropical rainforest. The river merges in to the Atlantic Ocean in a
broad estuary about 150 miles wide.
Here is the video explaining the amazing discovery of the
underground river beneath Amazon:
A Subterranean River to Rival The Amazon -
6,000 Km Long, 4,000 m Down
August 25, 2011
Subterranean rivers are the stuff of mythology and there is
something dark and mysterious and yet wonderful about them.
Greek mythology includes the Styx,
Phlegethon, Acheron, Cocytus, and Lethe as rivers within the
Saraswati River is believed to have
drained the north and northwest region of India in ancient times,
supporting over 16,000 settlements.
Although the river does not have a
physical existence today many still believe that it flows
River Fleet is Londonís largest
subterranean river. Forced underground by the cityís burgeoning
populace the river still flows from its source in Hampstead Heath to
its mouth where it joins Londonís main waterway, the Thames.
The longest known subterranean river was
Subterranean river in Duían,
Guangxi Province, China - until now.
Forbes / AP - Sao Paulo
A huge underground river
appears to be flowing thousands of feet beneath the Amazon
River, Brazilian scientists said Thursday.
Valiya Hamza of Brazilís
National Observatory said researchers found indications the
subterranean river is 3,700 miles (6,000 kilometers) long, about
the same length as the Amazon on the surface.
Hamza said the discovery of the
possible underground river came from studying temperature
variations at 241 inactive oil wells drilled in the 1970s and
1980s by Brazilís state-run oil company, Petrobras.
He said the ďthermal informationĒ provided by Petrobras allowed
his team of researchers to identify the movement of water 13,100
feet (4,000 meters) under the Amazon River.
map of the amazon
Their findings were presented last
week in Rio de Janeiro at a meeting of the Brazilian Geophysical
The apparent underground river has
been named after Hamza, honoring him as the head of the research
team that found the signs of the flowing water.
He said the existence of an
underground river that also flows west to east would mean that
the Amazon rain forest has two drainage systems - the Amazon and
There is much about the earth we still
donít know that we donít know.
And the sense of wonder will remain alive as long as that is so.