Scientists find underground river beneath Amazon

Aug 25, 2011
An overview of an area in the Amazon rain forest in northern Brazil, in 2005. Brazilian scientists have discovered an underground river some 4,000 meters (13,000) feet deep, which flows from west to east like the country's famous waterway.

Brazilian scientists have discovered an underground river some 4,000 meters (13,000) feet deep, which flows from west to east like the country's famous waterway.

A statement this week from Brazil's National Observatory named the underground river Hamza and said it represents one of two different draining systems for the large rainforest region.

A team of scientists led by Elizabeth Pimentel came to the conclusion from studying 241 wells drilled by the state oil giant Petrobras in the Amazon region.

Even though the two rivers cover a similar path they have differences. The underground river flows at a far slower pace and empties into the ocean deep underground.

"It is likely that this river is responsible for the low level of in the waters around the mouth of the Amazon," the statement said.

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User comments : 4

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tadchem
5 / 5 (4) Aug 25, 2011
Given that the water at 4,000 m depth resides in porous rock rather than in open (unobstructed) channels, the appelation 'river' is misleading. A more descriptive name would be 'flowing aquifer.'
tadchem
not rated yet Aug 25, 2011
Economically, the presence of such a deep aquifer means there is no intervening caprock - i.e. no gas or oil reservoirs.
TombSyphon2317
not rated yet Aug 25, 2011
That fresh water could be worth far more then oil or gas in the future. I think it is a great find.
Shelgeyr
not rated yet Aug 28, 2011
@tadchem said:
Economically, the presence of such a deep aquifer means there is no intervening caprock - i.e. no gas or oil reservoirs.


Probably, but not necessarily... elsewhere deposits are being found at absurd depths - well outside the so-called "oil window", and even below the salt layer and supposedly "basement" rock.

So while you're probably right, you're not provably right, and there is at least a solid, if small, chance you're wrong.

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