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Parana Delta

The Parana Delta is the delta of the Parana River in Argentina. The Parana flows northsouth and becomes an alluvial basin (a flood plain) between the Argentine provinces of Entre Rios and Santa Fe, then emptying into the Rio de la Plata.

The Parana Delta has an area of about 14,000 km and starts to form between the cities of Santa Fe and Rosario, where the river splits into several arms, creating a network of islands and wetlands. Most of it is located in the jurisdiction of Entre Rios, and parts in the north of Buenos Aires. It is conventionally divided into three parts:

the Upper Delta, from the Diamante  Puerto Gaboto line to Villa Constitucion;

the Middle Delta, from Villa Constitucion to the Ibicuy Islands;

the Lower Delta, from the Ibicuy Islands to the mouth of the river.

The total length of the delta is about 320 km, and its width varies between 18 and 60 km. It carries 200 million tonnes of suspended sediment (about half of it coming from the Bermejo River through the Paraguay River) and advances several tens of metres per year over the Rio de la Plata. It is the world's only river delta that is in contact not with the sea but with another river.

The Lower Delta was the site of the first modern settlements in the Parana-Plata basin and is today densely populated, being the agricultural and industrial core of Argentina and host to several major ports. The main course of the Parana lies on the west of the delta, and is navigable downstream from Puerto General San Martin by ships up to Panamax kind.

Rivers of the delta

Among the many arms of the river are the Parana Pavon, the Parana Ibicuy, the Parana de las Palmas, the Parana Guazu and the smaller Parana Mini and Parana Bravo.

The Parana Pavon is the first major branch. It has a meandering course that starts on the eastern side, opposite Villa Constitucion. Between the main Parana and the Parana Pavon lie the Lechiguanas Islands. The Parana Pavon flows east and then turns south to be continued by the Ibicuy, which itself gives origin to the smaller Paranacito River, a tributary of the Uruguay River that passes by Villa Paranacito.

The Parana de las Palmas starts around the mouth of the Parana Ibicuy, downstream from Baradero, flowing west into the province of Buenos Aires and then turning southeast again. The main course is continued by the other major branch, the Parana Guazu. In turn, the Parana Guazu sprouts two east-flowing branches in the territory of Entre Rios: first the Parana Bravo, and then the Parana Mini.


The flood plain of the river is part of the Parana Delta and Islands Ecoregion. The original ecosystem, especially in the Lower Delta, has been heavily modified by deforestation, hunting, fishing and the introduction of foreign species of flora, as well as damaged by domestic and industrial pollution. It hosts species such as the Marsh Deer, the capybara, the Neotropical River Otter, the Pampas Cat, the jaguar, the coypu and the Red-faced Guan (Penelope dabbenei), some of them endangered.

Protected areas

The Predelta National Park, created in 1992, protects a sample of the Upper Delta. It is located in the southwest of Entre Rios, 6 km south of Diamante, and has an area of 24.58 km, occupied by low-lying islands subject to flooding, as well as lagoons and swamps.

The Biosphere Reserve of the Parana Delta is composed of the second and third sections of the Islands of the San Fernando Delta, located just north of Buenos Aires. It was declared a natural reserve in 2000 by UNESCO. It takes up 886 km, of which 106 km are the core protected area. It is an area rich in biodiversity, including species that find their southernmost limit of distribution, which makes the area interesting for the conservation of genetic diversity. The main human activity in this part of the delta is the exploitation of the willow forest for commercial purposes, and human impact is low. The region has suffered from a loss of human population and today there are only 3,600 habitants living there (2001). The establishment of the Biosphere Reserve aims at revitalizing the economy of the region at the same time as conserving the natural and cultural values of the area and support the investigation and study of the ecosystem with the possibilities of national and international investment in projects of sustainable growth and the grouping of the region in reference of organic cultivation and varied ways of land-forest production with certification of ecological quality.

See also

Tigre, Buenos Aires

Villa Paranacito, Entre Rios


Todo Argentina, Provincia de Entre Rios. Area Natural Delta del Parana

Partido de Tigre, Geografia. El Delta del Parana

Diamante-Coronda. Delta del Parana

La Hueya. Area Natural Delta del Parana

ArgentinaXplora. Reserva de Biosfera Delta del Parana

SiOL.net. El Rio Parana

Prof. Roberto F. Bo. Grupo de Investigaciones en Ecologia de Humedales (GIEH). Laboratorio de Ecologia Regional. Departamento de Ecologia, Genetica y Evolucion. Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales (FCEN), Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA). Ecorregion Delta e Islas del Parana.

Administracion de Parques Nacionales. Parque Nacional Predelta.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Parana Delta

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