Physical features of brazil
Physical features of brazil
The Amazon Basin
The area that a river and its tributaries drain is called a basin.
Nearly half of Brazil’s land lies within this vast region.
Much of the Amazon Basin is covered by the world’s largest rain forest.
Tall evergreen trees form a canopy, or an umbrella-like covering.
Only about 6 percent of Brazil’s population live in the Amazon Basin.
The Selva is home to several million kinds of plants, insects, birds, and other animals.
The Amazon Basin covers more than 2 million square miles (5.2 million sq. km).
Its wet lowlands cover most of the country’s northern and western areas
A rain forest is a warm woodland that receives a great deal of rain each year.
The Amazon rain forest is called the Selva. It is the world’s richest biological resource.
Most of the region contains fewer than two people per square mile.
Some are Native Americans who live in small villages and have little contact with the outside world.
The rain forest is also a source of natural rubber, nuts, and medicinal plants.
Logging, mining, and other development have become a major environmental issue.
The rain forest’s mahogany and other hardwoods are highly desirable for making furniture.
However, the rate of deforestation, or clearing land of forests or trees, has declined in recent years.
Logging in the Amazon Basin is increasing as more roads are built and settlement grows.
Most of the forests in the northeast and south were cleared long ago. Heavy logging continues in the Atlantic lowlands.
Forests cover about 60 percent of Brazil, accounting for about 7 percent of the world’s timber resources.
Agriculture is also important in trade, accounting for more than one-third of Brazil’s exports.
It is a leading exporter of coffee, oranges, soybeans, and cassava. Cassava is used to make tapioca.
Brazilian farmers produce most of their country’s food supply.
The country also produces great amounts of soybeans, corn, and cotton.
Brazil is the world’s largest producer of coffee, sugarcane, and tropical fruits.
Farming has become easier in the highlands as farmers have begun using tractors and fertilizer to work the savanna soils.
Brazil grows one-third of the world’s oranges, making it the world’s leading supplier of the citrus fruit. Brazil is also the largest beef exporter in the world.
Most soybeans are grown in the south, but they are an important crop in the Brazilian Highlands, too.
Most of the country’s grazing land is in the south and southeast.
Coffee was once Brazil’s main export. Today, soybeans provide more income for the country. China is increasing its soybean imports, mostly for animal feed, and much of it comes from Brazil.
In a recent year, Brazil’s sugarcane production was more than two and a half times that of India, the second-leading producer.
The eastern Brazilian Highlands and the Atlantic lowlands are the main coffee-growing areas.
Brazilian sugarcane is used to make ethanol, which is mixed with gasoline and used as fuel for cars and trucks.
Production of coffee throughout the world was estimated to set an all-time high in 2012–2013, up 10 million bags from the previous year. Brazil and Vietnam accounted for most of the increase.
For many years, the government has required cars to use ethanol. The country’s car manufacturers make flexible-fuel vehicles that can use fuel with high levels of ethanol.
The new deposits might make Brazil the world’s largest producer of many of the minerals.
Brazil also has huge potential reserves of petroleum and natural gas deep under the ocean floor off its coast.
Recently, major deposits of minerals have been found in the Amazon Basin.
At one time, most mining was done in the Brazilian Highlands.
They include iron ore, tin, copper, bauxite, gold, and manganese.
Brazil has rich mineral resources that are only partly developed.
The natural riches of Brazil attracted European settlers to the region. They found abundant trees, rich mineral resources, and fertile farmland.
. Recent transportation improvements have made the resources in Brazil’s vast interior available to its growing industries and population
Brazil has some of the world’s most plentiful natural resources. Many of the resources have been developed for years, especially in the south and southeast.
Dry and Temperate Climates
It has a temperate climate called humid subtropical. It is the same type of climate that the southeastern United States experiences.
Temperatures vary according to location and elevation in this part of Brazil.
Southeastern Brazil, including São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, is located in the temperate zone—the region between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Antarctic Circle.
Summers are generally warm and humid, and winters are mild. Rainfall occurs year-round.
Frequent and severe droughts have caused many of the region’s farms to fail. Even so, the desertlike plant life supports some light ranching.
This region is the hottest and driest part of the country. The daily high temperature during the summer often reaches 100°F (38°C).
In the southern parts of this climate zone, snow can fall.
The northeastern part of the Brazilian Highlands has a semiarid climate.
Tropical Wet/Dry Climate
Between 40 inches and 70 inches (102 cm to 178 cm) of rain fall during the summer months. Winters get almost no rain.
But even this slight difference is enough to change wind patterns, which affect rainfall.
Daily average temperatures change very little. Summers average in the 70°F range (21°C) and winters in the 60°F range (16°C).
This climate has just two seasons—summer, which is wet, and winter, which is dry.
Most of the northern and central Brazilian Highlands has a tropical wet/dry climate.
Tropical wet/dry climates usually exist along the outer edges of tropical rain forest climates.
Wet Rain Forests
These areas also have a dry season when little rain occurs. During the dry season, forest fires are a danger, even in a rainforest.
During the monsoon season, flooding swells the Amazon River in some places to more than 100 miles (161 km) wide.
Areas along the Amazon River have a tropical rainforest climate. They experience winds called monsoons that bring a huge amount of rain—120 inches to 140 inches (305 cm to 356 cm) per year.
In this climate, every day is warm and wet. Daytime temperatures average in the 80s Fahrenheit (27°C to 32°C). It feels hotter than this because the wet rainforest makes the air humid.
The area along the Equator in northern Brazil has a tropical rainforest climate.
great natural resource
Western Hemisphere’s longest river and the world’s second longest
It begin in the Andes of Peru, flows east across northern Brazil to the Atlantic Ocean.
The Amazon is the largest river in terms of the amount of freshwater it carries.
It moves more than 10 times the water volume of the Mississippi River.
Of all the water that Earth’s rivers empty into the oceans, about 25 percent comes from the Amazon.
Its massive flow pushes freshwater more than 100 miles (161 km) out into the Atlantic Ocean.
Several tributaries are more than 1,000 miles (1,609 km) long.
These smaller rivers feed into the Amazon as it flows from the Andes to the Atlantic Ocean.
Amazon carries so much water is that it has more than 1,000 tributaries.
These highlands are divided into western and eastern parts.
The western part of the highlands is largely grassland that is partly covered with shrubs and small trees.
This is mainly a region of rolling hills and areas of high, flat land called plateaus.
Farming and ranching are the major economic activities in this part of the highlands.
South and east of the Amazon Basin are the Brazilian Highlands.
Farther west is the Mato Grosso Plateau, a flat, sparsely populated area of forests and grasslands that extends into Bolivia and Peru.
It was built in the 1950s as Brazil’s new capital to encourage settlement in the country’s interior.
Some 3.5 million people live in and around the city.
Low mountain ranges form much of the eastern Brazilian Highlands, although some peaks rise above 7,000 feet (2,134 m)
Brazil’s third-largest city, Brasília, is located in the Brazilian Highlands.
. In other places, highland plateaus plunge to the Atlantic coast, forming escarpments, or steep slopes.
These escarpments, rising from coast to highlands, have hindered development of inland areas.
About 600 miles (966 km) south of Brasília is São Paulo.
The grass and fertile soil make the pampas one of Brazil’s most productive ranching and farming areas.
It is also South America’s most important industrial city.Farther south are grassy, treeless plains called pampas.
With more than 17 million people, São Paulo is the largest city in the Southern Hemisphere.
. This huge city is located on a plateau at the highland’s eastern edge, just 30 miles (48 km) from the Atlantic coast.
The Atlantic Lowlands
More than 12 million live in and around Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s second-largest city. Rio’s beautiful beaches and vibrant lifestyle make it Brazil’s cultural and tourist center.
Although the coastal lowlands cover only a small part of Brazil’s territory, most of the nation’s people live here.
The rural parts of this region are another important area for farming.
This narrow plains region, called the Atlantic lowlands, is just 125 miles (201 km) wide in the north; it becomes even narrower in the southeast.
Brazil has one of the longest strips of coastal plains in South America, wedged between the Brazilian Highlands and the Atlantic Ocean.
Dry and Temperate Climates