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São Francisco(souN frəsēsh`ko͝o), river, c.1,800 mi (2,900 km) long, rising in the Serra de Canastra, SW Minas Gerais state, Brazil, and flowing northeast, then southeast through the sertão region of E Brazil to the Atlantic Ocean. The river's flow varies with the season. The São Francisco, an ancient river that is embedded in the Brazilian Plateau, probably once entered the sea near Cape São Roque, northeast of its great bend. The near right-angle bend near Cabrobó is believed to be caused by stream piracy (see riverriver,
stream of water larger than a brook or creek. Land surfaces are never perfectly flat, and as a result the runoff after precipitation tends to flow downward by the shortest and steepest course in depressions formed by the intersection of slopes.
..... Click the link for more information. ). Paulo Afonso Falls (275 ft/84 m high), east of the great bend, blocks navigation into the interior; a railroad circumvents the falls. The river is navigable along c.900 mi (1,450 km) of its middle course. The São Francisco valley, linking Brazil's northeastern and southeastern regions, is the object of a large-scale river development and control scheme. The harnessing of Paulo Afonso Falls and the building of several dams have improved economic conditions in the potentially rich but drought-ridden and sparsely settled region.
a river in Brazil, in the Brazilian Highlands. The São Francisco is approximately 2,800 km long and drains an area of approximately 600,000 sq km. It rises in the Serra da Canastra massif. The upper course has the character of a mountain river. The river then flows through a broad tectonic valley parallel to the Atlantic coast. At the city of Cabrobó it veers sharply to the east-southeast and cuts toward the Atlantic through the coastal escarpment of the highlands, forming rapids and Paulo Afonso Falls. There are sharp variations in the rate of flow, since most of the river passes through a region that is normally very dry but has heavy summer rainstorms. The mean flow rate at the city of Barra is 3,000 cu m per sec. During the rainy season, the São Francisco is navigable from its confluence with the Velhas River at the city of Pirapóra to the city of Juàzeiro and from Paulo Afonso Falls to the mouth. The large Três Marias Reservoir, with a hydroelectric power plant, is located above the city of Pirapóra.