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Related to Paraná: Río Paraná


, state, Brazil
Paraná (pərənäˈ), state (1996 pop. 8,985,981), 77,048 sq mi (199,554 sq km), S Brazil, on the borders of Paraguay and Argentina and the Atlantic Ocean. The capital is Curitiba. After coffee, the principal crops are tea, peanuts, and cotton. There are mining and lumbering industries, a pickup truck factory, and two universities.


, city, Argentina
Paraná (päränäˈ), city (1991 pop. 211,966), capital of Entre Ríos prov., NE Argentina, a port on the Paraná River. It is the center of a grain and cattle district; there is an agricultural school nearby. Founded in 1730, Paraná was the capital of the Argentine confederation from 1853 to 1862. Points of interest include a cathedral and a provincial museum.


, river, Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina
Paraná, river, c.2,000 mi (3,200 km) long, formed by the junction of the Paranaíba and the Rio Grande, SE Brazil. It has the second largest drainage system in South America. It flows generally southwest to its confluence with the Paraguay River, forming the southern border of Paraguay, then S and E through NE Argentina to join the Uruguay River in a huge delta at the head of the Río de la Plata. The lower Paraná is hampered by shifting channels, sandbars, and fluctuating river flow, and is subject to flooding. The stretch along the Brazil-Paraguay border flows in a deep bed and is broken by many waterfalls, now submerged under the large Itaipú Dam, built in the late 20th cent. Downstream at Encarnación, Paraguay, the river is crossed by the Yacyretá dam. The Paraná is the principal commercial artery of interior SE South America. Navigable for oceangoing vessels (via a dredged channel) to Rosario and Santa Fe in Argentina, the Paraná accommodates river craft to the Iguaçu River. A bridge over the river at Foz do Iguaçu links Brazil and Paraguay. The Paraná was first ascended (1526) by Sebastian Cabot, the English explorer in the service of Spain.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a state in southern Brazil. Area, 199,600 sq km. Population, about 7 million (1970). Its capital is the city of Curitiba.

Paraná’s economy is based on agriculture. The state is the country’s leading producer of coffee, accounting for 1.492 million tons, or 58.1 percent of the national output, in 1969. Other crops include cotton, wheat, maize, beans, rice, and sugarcane. Paraguay tea (maté) is cultivated. Hogs and cattle are raised. Paraná is an important lumbering region, providing about 60 percent of the national output of newsprint and about 90 percent of the lumber for export. Coal and lead and iron ores are mined. Paraná has enterprises of the food-processing, textile, and ferrous and nonferrous metals industries.



a city in eastern Argentina, the capital of Entre Ríos Province. Population, 127,800, including suburbs (1970). A port on the Paraná River, it is accessible to seagoing vessels. It has a railroad station and is the commercial center of an agricultural region producing wheat, rice, maize, and peanuts. Stock is raised for meat and for dairy products. The city has food-processing, leather-footwear, and cement industries. Paraná was founded in 1730.



a river in South America, in Brazil and Argentina, second only to the Amazon in size. It forms part of the border between Argentina and Paraguay.

The Paraná is 4,380 km long and drains an area of 2,970,000 sq km. It is formed by the confluence of the Grande and Paranaíba rivers and flows south, merging with the Uruguay River in its lower reaches and then forming the Río de la Plata estuary. The Grande originates in the western slopes of the Serra da Mantequeira, and the source of the Paranaíba is in the Serra da Canastra.

The main left tributaries of the Paraná are the Tietê, Paranapanema, Iguaçu, and Uruguay rivers; the primary right tributaries are the Paraguay and Salado rivers. From the confluence of the sources, the Paraná flows through the Paraná lava plateau, forming numerous rapids and waterfalls, including the Urubu-Pungá Falls, up to 12 m high; the Guaira Falls (Salto das Sete Quedas), up to 33 m high; and on the Iguaçu, a left tributary, the Iguaçu Falls, up to 72 m high. Near the city of Posadas the river enters the Río de la Plata Lowlands and flows through them to the mouth. In its lower reaches, the Paraná reaches a width of more than 2 km and is 10–20 m deep. Near the city of Rosario the river turns southeast and forms a broad delta, splitting into 11 major branches; the main branch is Paraná-Guazú. After merging with the Uruguay River, it flows into the Río de la Plata estuary and gulf. Sometimes the entire river is called the La Plata-Paraná.

The Paraná is fed by rainwater, and it regularly floods. The main high-water period is from January to May, with summer rains in the upper part of the basin; the secondary high-water period is from June to August, with winter rains in the lower part of the basin. The mean flow rate in the lower reaches is approximately 15,000 cu m per sec; the greatest flow rate is more than 30,000 cu m per sec, while the lowest is 7–10 cu m per sec. The annual outflow into the ocean is about 480 cu km, or 650 cu km when taken together with the outflow from the Uruguay River. The Paraná carries a great deal of alluvial material, as much as 150 million tons a year; its murky waters can be traced in the open sea to a distance of 100–150 km from the coast.

Seagoing ships with a displacement of up to 7 m can travel up the river as far as Rosario, which is 640 km from the mouth. Ships with a displacement of 4 m can reach the city of Posadas, and in high water they can travel as far as the mouth of the Iguaçu. The Paraná has a hydroelectric potential of about 20 gigawatts. The large Urubu-Pungá hydroelectric complex is under construction in the vicinity of the waterfall by that name, and in 1973 the first lines of the Jupia and the Ilha Solteira power plants were constructed, with a projected capacity of 1.4 and 3.2 gigawatts, respectively.

A number of large cities are situated on the Paraná, including Posadas, Corrientes, Santa Fe, Paraná, and Rosario. Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, and Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, are situated on the La Plata.

The mouth of the Paraná (the Río de la Plata estuary) was first visited in 1515 by the Spaniard Juan Díaz de Solís. In 1520, Magellan visited the area. A more detailed knowledge of the La Plata-Paraná system was acquired by S. Cabot, who in 1526 became the first European to enter the mouth of the river.


Capurro, L. R. A. “Comprehensive Survey of the Rio de la Plata Area.” The International Hydrographic Review, 1965, vol. 42, no. 1.
Balanco Hidrico do Brasil. Rio de Janeiro, 1972.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.