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The Orinoco River Delta, Venezuela

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Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD,volume 144)

Abstract

The Orinoco River watershed (1.1 × 106km2) is the third largest in the world and the prevailing hydrographic unit in Venezuela. Between its origin at the Sierra Pârima and Sierra Unturan near Brazil and the Atlantic Ocean, the Orinoco drains more than 2,000 rivers (Depetris and Paolini 1991; Bonilla et al. 1993; Cressa et al. 1993). The distinctive triangular-shaped Orinoco Delta (20,000 km2) includes a cluster of ecosystems (Pannier 1979; Lewis et al. 1990; Colonnello 1996) and encompasses more than 300 tributary channels (caños) and several independent streams. Most channels (e. g. the important Caños Macareo and Mánamo) originate as branches of the Orinoco River at Barrancas. Together with the rivers of the northeastern plain (San Juan and Guanipa) and the Rio Grande channel, the delta discharges waters into the Gulf of Paria, the straits Boca de Serpientes and Boca de Dragones and the open sea (Pannier 1979; Fig. 4.1). The delta itself and the plume are distinct estuarine units; their limits probably depending on interactions brought about by seasonal variations in runoff and intrusion of tidal fronts.

Keywords

  • Particulate Organic Carbon
  • Integrate Coastal Zone Management
  • Tidal Front
  • Avicennia Germinans
  • Palm Heart

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Conde, J.E. (2001). The Orinoco River Delta, Venezuela. In: Seeliger, U., Kjerfve, B. (eds) Coastal Marine Ecosystems of Latin America. Ecological Studies, vol 144. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-04482-7_5

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-04482-7_5

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg

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