In Brazil, a group of scientists say they have found signs of a huge underground river flowing far beneath the Amazon River. Valiya Hamza of the Brazilian National Geophysics Observatory says there are indications of a 6.000 kilometers (3.700 miles) long subterranean river located 4.000 meters (13,000 feet) below the surface.
The finding came from studying temperature variations at 241 inactive oil wells drilled in the 1970s and 1980s by Brazil’s state-run oil company Petrobras in search for hydrocarbons.
Hamza says the thermal information allowed his team of researchers to identify the movement of water under the Amazon River
The flow of the underground river which follows a similar contour to the Amazon has been estimated at 3.000 cubic meters per second.
This however is considered a mere 3% of the Amazon river flow which is born in the Peruvian jungle and empties in the Atlantic Ocean, to the extreme north of Brazil and is catalogued as the longest in the world with 6.800 kilometers.
Hamza says the thermal information allowed his team of researchers to identify the movement of water under the Amazon River.
Scientists agreed to name the underground river Hamza in honor of the Indian researcher Valiya Mannathal Hamza who has been studying the region for over four decades.
The discovery is the result of the doctoral work of Elizabeth Pimentel, led by Hamza. It indicates that the river would be 6,000 kilometers long entering the Atlantic Ocean by the same mouth as the surface river, which goes from the state of Pará to the state of Amapá in northern Brazil.
“The soil temperature is a constant 24 degrees Celsius. However, when the water intake occurs, there is a decline of up to 5 degrees. It was based on that that we began to develop our study. This may be the largest underground river in the world,” said Hamza.
“This is not an aquifer, which is a water reserve that doesn’t move. We see the water moving, albeit slowly, through the sediment,” informed the researcher.