The Orinoco Delta is fan-shaped, formed by the Orinoco River as it splits into numerous distributaries, called caños, which meander through the delta on their way to the sea. The main distributary is called the Rio Grande, which empties south-southeast through the southern portion of the delta, and the second major distributary is Caño Manamo, which runs northward along the western edge of the delta.
The delta includes large areas of permanent wetlands as well as seasonally-flooded freshwater swamp forests. The river margins of the delta are fringed with mangroves. Also, daily tides bring upstream – the "caños" – sea water which is responsible for the "macareo" or pororoca and also for inversion of flow direction of water, at least, on its surface.
The Orinoco Delta is characterized by being non-centric, lagoon lacking, and oceanic, somewhat similar to the delta of the Niger River. It is divided into two sections: the principal, at the northernmost part of the system, located between Caño Manamo and the left shore of Caño Araguao, where the majority of villages are established, including the state capital, Tucupita; and the secondary, between the right shore of Caño Araguao and Río Grande.
The Orinoco Delta is one of the nine geographical regions into which Venezuela is divided. It is located in the whole extension of Delta Amacuro State and a few kilometers of Monagas State, comprising the totality of the mouths of the Orinoco.
The Warao people live in the region.
- Venezuela Tourism Directory
- Geo-Environmental Characterization of the Delta del Orinoco (University of Texas)
- "Orinoco wetlands". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund.
- "Orinoco Delta swamp forests". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund.
- "Guianian mangroves". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund.
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