Río de la Plata Basin

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La Plata Basin

The Río de la Plata Basin (Spanish: Cuenca del Plata, Portuguese: Bacia do Prata), sometimes called the Platine basin[1] or Platine region,[2] is the name given to the 4,144,000 square kilometres (1,600,000 sq mi)[3] hydrographical area that covers parts of Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay. It is one of the largest river basins on Earth.

In physical geography

The precipitation falling within this area is collected by several rivers to finally reach the Río de la Plata (or River Plate; River of Silver in Spanish), many of them through the Paraná River and the Uruguay River, its two most important tributaries. These rivers include the Paraguay, Pilcomayo, Bermejo, Salado, Carcarañá, Tercero, Tietê, Cuarto, Iguazú, Salado del Sur, Gualeguay, Nogoyá, Mocoretá, Gualeguaychú, Miriñay, Aguapey, Negro, Guaycurú, San Javier, Guayquiraró and Samborombón.[4]

Economic features


There are several hydroelectric dams operating in the basin, among them the second largest operating facility in the world, Itaipu, shared between Paraguay and Brazil on the Paraná River; the 21st, Ilha Solteira Dam in Brazil, on the Paraná; the 25th, the Yacyretá Dam shared between Paraguay and Argentina, also on the Paraná; and the 53rd, the Itumbiara Dam, in Brazil, on the Paranaíba River.

Also on the Paranaíba, in Brazil, are the Emborcação and São Simão dams. On the Paraná, in Brazil, also are the Engineer Souza Dias and the Engineer Sérgio Motta dams.

On the Grande River, in Brazil, are the Água Vermelha, Furnas, Peixotos, Marimbondo, Luiz Barreto, Jaguara and Volta Grande dams.

On the Iguazu river, in Brazil, are the Bento Munhoz, Ney Braga, José Richa, Salto Santiago and Salto Osório hydroelectric power plants. On the Pelotas river, in Brazil, it is the Machadinho Hydroelectric Power Plant.

The Salto Grande Dam is on the Uruguay River and it is shared between Uruguay and Argentina.[5] Also on the Uruguay River, but in Brazil territory, is the Itá Hydroelectric Power Plant.

On the Negro River, in Uruguay, there are the Rincon del Bonete or Gabriel Terra Reservoir (not an hydroelectric facility), and the Baygorria and Constitucion dams.

In history

The Platine region is an expression used by historiographers, particularly of the nineteenth century, when writing of the political relations between the states in the region.


  1. Whigham, Thomas. 2002. The Paraguayan War: Causes and Early Conduct, v. 1. Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, p. 5. ISBN 978-0-8032-4786-4
  2. e.g., Scheina, Robert L. 2003. Latin America's Wars: The Age of the Caudillo, 1791–1899, v. 1. Dulles, Virginia: Brassey's, Inc., p. 313. ISBN 978-1-5748-8450-0
  3. "Río de la Plata". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 11 August 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Varis, Olli; Cecilia Tortajada; Biswas, Asit K. 2008. Management of Transboundary Rivers and Lakes v. 1. Berlin Heidelberg, Germany: Springer-Verlag, pp. 268–272. ISBN 978-3-5407-4926-4
  5. es:Cuenca del Rio de la Plata

External links

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