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Pará - Geography
Most of the terrain of the state is of plain, low altitude areas. The State, however, presents chains of mountains both in the north (the meridional border of Plateau of Guyanas) and in the south (setentrional border of the Brazilian Plateau).
The lower areas are almost entirely covered by the Amazon forest. This zone can be divided in two distinct sub-zones: the aluvial lands (várzeas) and the dry lands (terra firme); the former comprises the vicinities of the large rivers, subject to periodic floodings (which bring fertility to the soil), and the latter are zones further from the large rivers.
In the south, Serra do Cachimbo and Serra dos Carajás are the most important mountain chains; in the north, Serra do Tumucumaque is relevant.
Climate is hot and wet. Belém, the capital, has an average annual temperature of 26,5 degrees Celsius, and a pluviosity of 2,800 mm per annum. There is not a dry season in Belém, but most of the state sees a slight decline in pluviosity from July through October.
Three basins cover the State of Pará: Amazon, Tocantins and Northeast.
The rivers of the Amazon basin (Amazon and tributaries) have in common very low slope and a slow flow, permitting easy navigability. The rivers of Tocantins basin, however, come from the plateau, and form some waterfalls; while it makes navigability more limited, it allowed the construction of hidroelectric plants, such as Tucuruí.
Main river is the Amazonas; biggest tributaries join the Amazon by the right banks: Tocantins, Xingu and Tapajós; tributaries to the left banks are, comparatively, smaller: Jari, Trombetas and Maicuru, among several others.
Notice that Amazonas and Tocantins join before reaching the Atlantic. The delta of this river is the largest in the world; the delta is so big that an island, the Ilha de Marajó, fits in it. It is estimated that one quarter of all the water that rivers from all the globe deliver to the oceans has origin in the Amazonas.
Except for the prairies in Ilha do Marajó, almost all the state is covered by the Amazon forest.
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