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Geological Travel

Amazon

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Ecotourism in Brazil / Amazon – The Amazon Craton is located in the northern part of the South American Platform, representing one of the largest cratonic bodies in the World. It is divided into two shields; Guaporé in the south and Guianas in the north, both separated by the Paleozoic sedimentary Amazon Basin.

This craton is composed of ancient Precambrian fragments which probably represent micro-continents associated with the formation of Archean supercontinent Atlantica.

The Carajás mountain range, in the Central Amazon province is one of the most important mineral mining area in Brazil. Its greenstone belts, with ages of about three billion years represent the oldest known rocks of the Amazon craton.

About 600 million years ago, during the Proterozoic, when the actual continents of Africa and South America were united in the western portion of supercontinent Godwana, the primeval Amazon flow from East to West and discharged its waters into the Pacific. Its spring was located on todays African ground. With the South America - Africa break up, about 130 million years ago (Mesozoic) and the opening of the South Atlantic, the South American Plate drifted westwards, colliding with the Nazca - Plate in the Pacific.

This collision led to the rise of the Andes, which blocked the outflow of the Amazon into the Pacific. On the eastern side of the Andes, enormous lakes were formed, among others the Belterra. A slight inclination of the South American Continent eastwards provoked a reversal of the Amazon flow direction into the Atlantic. During the Cenozoic, the Amazon river and its tributaries formed the actual Amazon basin which is composed of highlands (planaltos) up to 200 m, plains and depressions – Amazon Rainforest / Tours.