Brazil Geography

What is the terrain and geography like in Brazil?

Overview:

Brazil, with a land area of 3.29 million square miles, is slightly larger than the continental U.S. It extends from the Amazonian equatorial plains at latitude 4 degrees N. to cool uplands at 30 degrees S., where frost occurs frequently. Brazil borders all South American countries, except Chile and Ecuador. To the east, the Brazilian coastline extends 4,600 miles along the Atlantic Ocean.

The vast regions of the Amazon and La Plata River basins occupy about three-fifths of the total area. The country’s main physical feature is the huge plateau that rises from 1,000 to 3,000 feet above sea level between São Paulo and Rio Grande do Sul. This is intersected by two mountain ranges. The highest, 9,823 feet is near Rio de Janeiro. The second mountain system, located in central Brazil, has an eastern range with a maximum altitude of 4,206 feet and a western peak of 4,500 feet near the city of Goiánia. Due to its great plains and basins, 40% of the country has an average altitude of only 650 feet.

Geography - note:

largest country in South America; shares common boundaries with every South American country except Chile and Ecuador

Climate:

Although Brazil is immense in size and varies in topography from the sweeping sea-level Amazon basin in the north to the mountainous areas of São Paulo and Porto Alegre in the south, the temperature range is slight.


Summer runs from December to February. The rainy season runs from October to March, but varies greatly by region.

Brazil Use of Natural Resources

Brazil Environment

Climate:

Although Brazil is immense in size and varies in topography from the sweeping sea-level Amazon basin in the north to the mountainous areas of São Paulo and Porto Alegre in the south, the temperature range is slight.


Summer runs from December to February. The rainy season runs from October to March, but varies greatly by region.

Terrain:

mostly flat to rolling lowlands in north; some plains, hills, mountains, and narrow coastal belt

Natural Resources:

bauxite, gold, iron ore, manganese, nickel, phosphates, platinum, tin, rare earth elements, uranium, petroleum, hydropower, timber

Natural Hazards:

recurring droughts in northeast; floods and occasional frost in south

Irrigated Land:

20,849 Square Miles
54,000 Square Kilometers

Environmental Issues:

deforestation in Amazon Basin destroys the habitat and endangers a multitude of plant and animal species indigenous to the area; there is a lucrative illegal wildlife trade; air and water pollution in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, and several other large cities; land degradation and water pollution caused by improper mining activities; wetland degradation; severe oil spills

Environment - International Agreements:

party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Brazil Geography

Geographic Location South America
Total Area 3,287,594 Square Miles
8,514,877 Square Kilometers
Land Area 3,266,181 Square Miles
8,459,417 Square Kilometers
Water Area 21,413 Square Miles
55,460 Square Kilometers
Land Boundaries 10,492 Miles
16,885 Kilometers
Irrigated Land 20,849 Square Miles
54,000 Square Kilometers
Border Countries Argentina 1,261 km, Bolivia 3,423 km, Colombia 1,644 km, French Guiana 730 km, Guyana 1,606 km, Paraguay 1,365 km, Peru 2,995 km, Suriname 593 km, Uruguay 1,068 km, Venezuela 2,200 km
Coastline 4,655 Miles
7,491 Kilometers
Geographic Coordinates 10 00 S, 55 00 W
Terrain mostly flat to rolling lowlands in north; some plains, hills, mountains, and narrow coastal belt
Highest Point 2,994 Meters
Highest Point Location Pico da Neblina 2,994 m
Lowest Point Location Atlantic Ocean 0 m
Natural Resources bauxite, gold, iron ore, manganese, nickel, phosphates, platinum, tin, rare earth elements, uranium, petroleum, hydropower, timber
Time Zone UTC-3 (2 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

note: Brazil has three time zones, including one for the Fernando de Noronha Islands

note: Brazil is divided into three time zones, including one for the Fernando de Noronha Islands
Daylight saving time +1hr, begins third Sunday in October; ends third Sunday in February
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