by IB Times Staff Reporter

August 26, 2011

from IBTimes Website

Have you heard of a river flowing under a river? In an amazing discovery, scientists have found signs of an underground river flowing below the Amazon.

Researchers at the department of geophysics of the Brazil National Observatory have showed evidence of the existence of an underground river that flows 13,000 feet beneath the Amazon.

(Photo: Reuters)
An aerial view of a natural lake fed by a spring in the Amazon River basin


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The underground river is now named after Valiya Hamza, the scientist of Indian origin, who has been studying the Amazon region for more than 40 years. The discovery is part of the work of doctoral student Elizabeth Tavares Pimentel, under the guidance of Hamza.

The findings show that the Amazon, one of the longest rivers in the world, has two drainage systems: the surface drainage through the Amazon and the flow of groundwater through the deep sedimentary layers, the Hamza.

The width of the Hamza is said to be 3,700 miles long, flowing 13,000 feet below the Amazon.


Both rivers flow from west to east, but the Hamza flows at only a fraction of the speed of Amazon.

"It is likely that this river is responsible for the low level of salinity in the waters around the mouth of the Amazon," said a statement released by the National Observatory.

The latest findings are based on data analysis temperatures of 241 wells drilled by Petrobas in the 1970s and 1980s in the Amazon region.


The results obtained allowed the identification of movement of groundwater in depths of 4,000 meters in this region. Computer simulations show that the groundwater flow is predominantly vertical to about 2,000 feet deep, but changes direction and becomes horizontal at greater depths.

Though the studies are in the early stages, Hamza expects to confirm the subterranean flow by the end of 2014.

Amazon is the second longest river in the world and has the largest drainage basin in the world. The bulk of Amazon, which accounts for about one-fifth of the world's total river flow, flows through tropical rainforest. The river merges in to the Atlantic Ocean in a broad estuary about 150 miles wide.

Here is the video explaining the amazing discovery of the underground river beneath Amazon:










The Hamza

A Subterranean River to Rival The Amazon - 6,000 Km Long, 4,000 m Down
by ktwop

August 25, 2011

from Ktwop Website

Subterranean rivers are the stuff of mythology and there is something dark and mysterious and yet wonderful about them.


Greek mythology includes the Styx, Phlegethon, Acheron, Cocytus, and Lethe as rivers within the Underworld. The Saraswati River is believed to have drained the north and northwest region of India in ancient times, supporting over 16,000 settlements.


Although the river does not have a physical existence today many still believe that it flows underground. The River Fleet is Londonís largest subterranean river. Forced underground by the cityís burgeoning populace the river still flows from its source in Hampstead Heath to its mouth where it joins Londonís main waterway, the Thames.


The longest known subterranean river was the Disu Subterranean river in Duían, Guangxi Province, China - until now.

Forbes / AP - Sao Paulo
A huge underground river appears to be flowing thousands of feet beneath the Amazon River, Brazilian scientists said Thursday.


Valiya Hamza of Brazilís National Observatory said researchers found indications the subterranean river is 3,700 miles (6,000 kilometers) long, about the same length as the Amazon on the surface.


Hamza said the discovery of the possible underground river came from studying temperature variations at 241 inactive oil wells drilled in the 1970s and 1980s by Brazilís state-run oil company, Petrobras.

He said the ďthermal informationĒ provided by Petrobras allowed his team of researchers to identify the movement of water 13,100 feet (4,000 meters) under the Amazon River.

map of the amazon river

Their findings were presented last week in Rio de Janeiro at a meeting of the Brazilian Geophysical Society.


The apparent underground river has been named after Hamza, honoring him as the head of the research team that found the signs of the flowing water.


He said the existence of an underground river that also flows west to east would mean that the Amazon rain forest has two drainage systems - the Amazon and Hamza rivers.

There is much about the earth we still donít know that we donít know.

And the sense of wonder will remain alive as long as that is so.