Scientists Discover 'Underground Amazon'

Subterranean flow is up to 250 miles wide

Amazon River

Amazon River     Photo: PearlyV/Flickr

Brazilian scientists have discovered a massive underground river nearly two and a half miles below the Amazon. The Rio Hamza, named for project leader Valiya Hamza of Brazil's National Observatory, ranges from 120 to 250 miles wide, and creeps along at less than a millimeter per hour. Researchers located the river using temperature data from 241 abandoned wells drilled in the Amazon basin by oil and gas company Petrobras. While the Rio Hamza actually moves less water than its above-ground cousin—about 138,000 cubic feet per second compared to the Amazon's 4,700,000—the river's existence could explain the low salinity of the water in the mouth of the Amazon. Hamza said the study was only the first evidence of the river's existence, and that his team planned to confirm it by the end of 2014.

Read more at The Guardian

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