Iguazu River

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Iguaçu, Iguazu rio, Iguassu
The river directly above Iguazu Falls
Countries Brazil, Argentina
Part of Paraná River basin
 - left Rio Negro (Iguazu), Rio Xopim
 - right Rio de Areia
Cities Curitiba, Campo Largo, Paraná, Foz do Iguaçu
Landmark Iguazu Falls
Source Serra do Mar
 - location Near Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil
 - elevation 1,200 m (3,937 ft)
 - coordinates 25°23′30″S 49°00′11″W / 25.39167°S 49.00306°W / -25.39167; -49.00306
Mouth Paraná River
 - location Foz do Iguaçu, Misiones Province and Paraná, border between Argentina and Brazil
 - elevation 110 m (361 ft)
 - coordinates 25°35′33″S 54°35′30″W / 25.59250°S 54.59167°W / -25.59250; -54.59167Coordinates: 25°35′33″S 54°35′30″W / 25.59250°S 54.59167°W / -25.59250; -54.59167 [1]
Length 1,320 km (820 mi), East-west
Basin 62,000 km2 (23,938 sq mi)
Discharge for Iguazu Falls
 - average 1,746 m3/s (61,659 cu ft/s)
 - max 12,799 m3/s (451,992 cu ft/s)
 - min 200 m3/s (7,063 cu ft/s)

The Iguazu River (Portuguese: Rio Iguaçu[2] [ˈʁi.u iɡwaˈsu], Spanish: Río Iguazú [ˈri.o iɣwaˈsu];[3] also called Rio Iguassu[4]) is a river in Brazil and Argentina. It is an important tributary of the Paraná River. The Iguazu River is 1,320 kilometres (820 mi) long, with a drainage basin of 62,000 square kilometres (24,000 sq mi).[5]


The Iguazu originates in the Serra do Mar coastal mountains of the Brazilian state of Paraná. For 1,205 kilometres (749 mi), to its confluence with the San Antonio River, the Iguazu flows west through Paraná State, Brazil. Downriver from the confluence the Iguazu River forms the boundary between Brazil and Argentina's Misiones Province.[5] Continuing west, the river drops off a plateau, forming Iguazu Falls. The falls are within national parks in both Brazil, Iguaçu National Park, and Argentina, Iguazú National Park. It empties into the Paraná River at the point where the borders of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay join, an area known as the Triple Frontier.

Environmental issues[edit]

In July 2000 more than 4,000,000 litres (1,100,000 US gal) of crude oil spilled into the river from a state-run oil refinery near the city of Curitiba.[6]

The Iguazu (right) at its confluence with the Paraná (middle)
Map of the Rio de la Plata Basin, showing the Iguazu River joining the Paraná River north of the upper Uruguay River

See also[edit]


  1. ^ GNS coordinates adjusted using Google Maps and GeoLocator
  2. ^ Rio Iguaçu at GEOnet Names Server
  3. ^ Río Iguazú at GEOnet Names Server
  4. ^ Rio Iguassu at GEOnet Names Server
  5. ^ a b Varis, Olli; Tortajada, Cecilia; Biswas, Asit K. (2008). Management of Transboundary Rivers and Lakes. Springer. p. 271. ISBN 978-3-540-74926-4. 
  6. ^ "Brazil battles oil spill threat". BBC Online. 18 July 2000. Retrieved 7 June 2012.