Satellite Imagery of the Widest River in the World

Caitlin Dempsey


The Amazon River stretches from the Peruvian Andes all the way to the Atlantic Ocean on the northeast coast of Brazil, a total of about 6,400 km.

The river system is the largest drainage system in the world, passing through the Amazon forest and six South American countries, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Brazil along the way.

The Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission captured this satellite image of the Amazon river that has been processed by the combining of two polarizations into one image.

The effect of this process is to amplify the waters of the rivers in the area. In the image, the rivers of the Amazon and its tributaries are a bright, medium blue while urban and developed areas are cyan. Yellow and orange are areas of the Amazon forest.

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Acquired on March 3, 2019, this section of the Amazon River shows the cities of Tabatinga and Leticia on the far right.

A thin blue line of the Javari River (or Yavari River), a tributary to the Amazon River, is seen amid the tropical rainforest.

Amazon River, modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2019), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO,
Amazon River, modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2019), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO,.


Amazon river. (2020, September 11). European Space Agency.


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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.