Río Guaviare

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Río Guaviare
The upper Guaviare near San José del Guaviare

The upper Guaviare near San José del Guaviare

location Colombia
River system Orinoco
Drain over Orinoco  → Atlantic
source Confluence of the Río Ariari and Río Guayabero (main source river)
2 ° 34 ′ 51 ″  N , 72 ° 46 ′ 11 ″  W
Source height 225  m
muzzle opposite San Fernando de Atabapo (Venezuela) in the Orinoco coordinates: 4 ° 2 ′ 34 "  N , 67 ° 42 ′ 41"  W, 4 ° 2 ′ 34 "  N , 67 ° 42 ′ 41"  W
Mouth height 65  m
Height difference 160 m
Bottom slope 0.13 ‰
length 1220 km
Catchment area 166,000 km²
(MQ: up to 8,200 m³ / s)
7400 m³ / s
Left tributaries Río Danticas (Río Papamene), Río Duda, Río Ariari , Río Uva
Right tributaries Río Leiva, Río Losada, Río Inírida , Río Atabapo
Medium-sized cities San José del Guaviare
Small towns San Fernando de Atabapo
Communities Puerto Arturo, Mapiripan
Navigable 630 km
Hydrologically, the main stream of the Orinoco river system

The Guaviare (formerly also Guayare ) is a river in Colombia . It flows together with the upper Orinoco (up to this point also called Río Parágua ), which it significantly exceeds in length (around 1760 km in total) and water flow. The Guaviare is hydrologically the main stream of the Orinoco system.

Course and natural space

The Guaviare takes its name from the confluence of two source rivers, the Ariari and the slightly larger Guayabero , which have their sources in the eastern cordillera of the Andes . The Guayabero (formerly Canicamare ) has a length of around 540 kilometers, the following stretch of the river as Guaviare has a length of around 1220 kilometers, of which 630 km are indicated as navigable. The water flow increases from 1930 m³ / s below the confluence of the Ariari to 7400 m³ / s or 8200 m³ / s at the confluence with the Orinoco.

With its light brown water, the Guaviare is a typical white water river with large amounts of sediment from the Andes and the sub-Andean chains. In its upper course it flows in a wide gravel bed and in the lower course in large meanders . Approximately in the middle of its course, the river cuts granitic hills in four epigenetic gorges with rapids ( Raudal de Guacamayas ), in which rocks of the Guayana shield protrude through the wide alluvial plain. As westlichster outposts of the highlands of Guiana, with its sandstone mesas ( tepuis ) applies the escarpment of the Serrania de la Macarena , which separates the two sources of the Guaviare. Its by far largest tributary with a water flow of around 3000 m³ / s, the Río Inírida , rich in cataracts , also rises at the foot of such breakthroughs. It is a typical black water river , just like the Río Atabapo , which flows into it from the south three kilometers before its mouth in the Orinoco (around 700 m³ / s).

In the upper reaches, the Guaviare forms the border between the Llanos and the tropical rainforest of the Amazon basin . The fish fauna of the Río Guaviare is particularly rich in species.

Culture and economy

The river basin is the settlement area of ​​several indigenous peoples such as the Guayabero , Tinigua , Sikuani , Nukak , Piapoco or Puinave . There were contacts with Europeans from the 16th century through missionaries , conquistadors and gold prospectors. From the end of the 19th century, the rubber boom also spread to the Río Guaviare.

In the area of ​​the upper reaches, the gallery forest is increasingly being displaced by cultivated land on which mainly cocoa is grown, but also many other tropical crops . The illegal cultivation of coca has also been significant since around 1980 . In recent years, the population and the expansion of traffic routes have increased, especially in the vicinity of the largest city on the river, San José del Guaviare , with an airfield and the only bridge over the river.

Economic development has been suffering since the beginning of the 1990s from the conflicts between the guerrilla organization FARC and state and paramilitary units. The Mapiripán massacre (east of San Jose del Guaviare) in 1997 became known.

Web links

Commons : Guaviare River  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. The most common length specifications are 1,200 km, 1,326 km and 1,497 km, but it is not clear whether they refer to the section below the junction of the Río Guayabero and Río Ariari or should apply from the source of the main source river Guayabero. They deviate so much from the distance that can be measured on the Internet (google earth) (1,220 km and 1,760 km in total) that they are not included in the article.
  2. The most widespread statement of 144,000 km² seems to relate to the catchment area without Río Atabapo, as Gustavo Silva León: La cuenca del río Orinoco: visión hidrográfica y balance hídrico (Revista Geográfica Venezolana, Vol. 46 (1) 2005, 75 -108; PDF file; 1.4 MB), on p. 100, Cuenca in the table for the discharge balance) is listed separately (together: 153,000 km²). The indication of 166,168 km² in the book Colombia Guía Enciclopédica by C. A. Suárez (Bogotá 2002, p. 54, ISBN 958-04-6806-0 ) appears more plausible and has been rounded over.
  3. a b The data range from 7,400 m³ / s (Gustavo Silva León: La cuenca del río Orinoco: visión hidrográfica y balance hídrico (Revista Geográfica Venezolana, Vol. 46 (1) 2005, 75-108; PDF; 1.4 MB ), on p. 100, of which 6,700 m³ / s without Atabapo) over 6,887 m³ / s without Atabapo (NERC DFID Ecosystems services and Poverty Alleviation (ESPA): A Situation Analysis to Identify Challenges to Sustainable Management of Ecosystems to Maximize Poverty Alleviation: Securing Biostability in the Amazon / Andes (DOC file; 3.8 MB), King's College London) up to 8,200 m³ / s (CF Nordin, A. Mejia, C. Delgado: Sediment studies of the Orinoco river, Venezuela . In: S. Schumm, B., Winkley (Ed.): The Variability of Large Alluvial Rivers. 1994 ASCE Press, pp. 243-265).

See also: List of the longest rivers on earth