Betsiboka River

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Coordinates: 15°48′55″S 46°16′13″E / 15.81528°S 46.27028°E / -15.81528; 46.27028
Betsiboka River
River
Betsiboka.jpg
Rapids in the Betsiboka River
Country  Madagascar
Region Boeny
Tributaries
 - left Ikopa River
 - right Kamoro River
City Mahajanga, Ambato-Boeny
Source confluence
 - elevation 1,755 m (5,758 ft)
Mouth
 - location Bombetoka Bay, Mozambique Channel
 - coordinates 15°48′55″S 46°16′13″E / 15.81528°S 46.27028°E / -15.81528; 46.27028
Length 525 km (326 mi)
Volume 74.3 - 678 m3 (-23,869 cu ft)
Basin 11,800 km2 (4,556 sq mi)
Map of Malagasy rivers (Betsiboka flows from the center to the northwestern coast).

Betsiboka River is a 525-kilometre (326 mi) long river in central-north Madagascar. It flows northwestward and empties to Bombetoka Bay, forming a large delta. It originates to the east of Antananarivo. The river is surrounded in mangroves.[1] The river is distinct for its red-coloured water, which is caused by river sediments. The river carries an enormous amount of reddish-orange silt to the sea. Much of this silt is deposited at the mouth of the river or in the bay.

It is dramatic evidence of the catastrophic erosion of northwestern Madagascar.[2] Removal of the native forest for cultivation and pastureland during the past 50 years has led to massive annual soil losses approaching 250 metric tonnes per hectare (112 tons per acre) in some regions of the island, the largest amount recorded anywhere in the world. Several fish species are endemic to the river basin, including the three cichlids Paretroplus petiti, P. tsimoly and P. maculatus.

The Betsiboka's largest tributary, the Ikopa River, drains the capital city of Antananarivo.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bradt, Hilary (17 May 2011). Madagascar: The Bradt Travel Guide. Bradt Travel Guides. p. 82. ISBN 978-1-84162-341-2. Retrieved 8 January 2013. 
  2. ^ Tsilavo Raharimahefa and Timothy M. Kusky (2010). "Environmental monitoring of bombetoka bay and the Betsiboka estuary, Madagascar, using multi-temporal satellite data".