Paraná River

Caitlin Dempsey


The Paraná River runs 3,030 miles through BrazilParaguay and Argentina.   It originates at the junction of the Paranaiba and the Rio Grande rivers.  The Paraná travels southward and merges with the Iguazú River before reaching the Atlantic Ocean.

The geological characteristics of the environment of the Rio de la Plata are those of the Paraná River; its subsurface is complex and is linked to the evolution of the Salado River Basin, from the fracture of the supercontinent Gondwana.

The Salado River Basin evolution erased traces of any ancient geological phenomena, so that in the present geomorphological configuration is recorded almost exclusively for the Pliocene-Pleistocene-Holocene age, for the last 3 million years. The features mainly reflect the response to climate change, regional or global, which produced successive marine transgressions and regressions in sea level.  Studies reveal a complex interplay of factors, which included variations in sea level, which occurred during the Late Pleistocene-Holocene Age, and the dynamics of sediments and hydrometeorology. The sediments here are fine and silty (Torra, R. 2006).

Parana River showing the Rosario-Victoria bridge. Source: NASA.
Parana River showing the Rosario-Victoria bridge. Source: NASA.

References for the Paraná Riverá_River

Japas, S., Urbina, N., Sruoga, P., and  Garrad, C. (unknown date).  La Carolina pull-apart in Western Tertiaty Volcanic Belt, Pampean Flat-slab (33º S), Argetina. Retrieved on 1/12/2012 from

Schulz, W., and Vilanova, E., (unknown date).  Geomorphological and paleocological invetigations at the Laguna Nassau, Pampa Seca, Argentina.  Retrieved on 1/12/2012 from

Torra, R., (2006).  A stratigraphical-geochemical study on the Chaco Paraná continental rift basin—An approach study based on regional sedimentology and drill-hole core analyses, South America.  Chinese Journal of Geochemistry.  25 (3), 195-215.

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About the author
Caitlin Dempsey
Caitlin Dempsey is the editor of Geography Realm and holds a master's degree in Geography from UCLA as well as a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) from SJSU.

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