Which is the largest river in the world? Would it be the Nile, in Africa, or the Amazon, in Brazil? Seeking an answer, the scientific expedition "To the Riverhead of the Amazon" has left last Sunday to Peru, in order to measure the extension of the river.
During the ten days of the expedition, Brazilian researchers and documentary filmmakers will count on the support of Peruvian scientists.
The team wants to identify the true head of the Amazon River, the place where it actually starts to run. They are going to collect data of the main streams that originate the Amazon waters.
To accomplish the task, the team will have 4×4 vehicles, and in some areas it will have to travel by foot. The adventure will demand a bit more from the team: in order to go up the mountains, they will have to do mountain climbing or alpinism. They will be guided by Peruvians specialized on the Andes.
Paulo Roberto, a researcher at the National Institute for Space Research (Inpe), considers the expedition to be important. "I believe it is important because we will get to know our planet better. In the case of the Amazon River, for instance, we know that the snowies (the snowy peaks of the Andes) indicate climate change."
The researcher claims that the work includes the development of a universal measurement method that allows for the use of new technologies, such as satellite images and geo-processing. This new method may be applied to any river in the planet.
The existing measurements adopt procedures that follow the river stream that has the highest rate of flow, and not the highest length. By that token, the Amazon River, according to data provided by the INPE, may reach over 6,800 meters of length.
After the expedition, the participants will meet Peruvian scientists in order to reach a consensus about the extension of the Amazon River.