Lagoa dos Patos

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Lagoa dos Patos
Lagoa dos Patos PIA03444 lrg.jpg
Lagoa dos Patos from satellite
Location of the lagoon in Brazil.
Location of the lagoon in Brazil.
Lagoa dos Patos
Coordinates31°06′S 51°15′W / 31.100°S 51.250°W / -31.100; -51.250Coordinates: 31°06′S 51°15′W / 31.100°S 51.250°W / -31.100; -51.250
Primary inflowsJacuí-Guaíba and Camaquã River
Primary outflowsSão Gonçalo Channel
Max. length180 miles (290 km)
Max. width44 miles (71 km)
Surface area10,100 km2 (3,900 sq mi)

Lagoa dos Patos (Portuguese pronunciation: [laˈɡo.ɐ dus ˈpatus], [lɐˈɡow.wɐ], locally [laˈɡo.ɐ dos ˈpatʊs]; English: Ducks' Lagoon) is the largest lagoon in Brazil and the largest barrier-lagoon in South America.[1] It is located in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, southern Brazil. It covers an area of 10,100 km2 (3,900 sq mi),[1] is 180 miles (290 km) long and has a maximum width of 44 miles (71 km).[2]

Lagoa dos Patos is separated from the Atlantic Ocean by a sandbar about 5 miles (8.0 km) wide. The Jacuí-Guaíba and Camaquã Rivers empty into it, while the navigable São Gonçalo Channel, which enters Lagoa dos Patos near the town of Pelotas, connects Lagoa dos Patos to Lagoa Mirim to the south.[1] The Rio Grande, at the south end of Lagoa dos Patos, forms the outlet to the Atlantic.[1]

This lagoon is evidently the remains of an ancient depression in the coastline shut in by sand bars built up by the combined action of wind and current. The shallow lagoon is located at sea level and its waters are affected by the tides, normally they are brackish only a short distance above the Rio Grande outlet,[1] but this can vary a lot. In droughts and favorable winds, sea water can be carried up to almost the entire lagoon.[3]

The lagoon's largest and most fertile island is the Ilha dos Marinheiros, which is located near the eastern shore. The island is geopolitically part of the municipality of Rio Grande.[citation needed]

The lagoon hosts a rich biodiversity, including fresh- and brackish water fish, and water birds such as black-necked swan, coscoroba swan and Chilean flamingo.[1] Top predators from ocean ecosystem, notably common bottlenose dolphins, can sometimes be seen at Lagoa dos Patos[4][5] and exceptionally southern right whales are found at the Rio Grande outlet.[6][7]

View from the International Space Station (taken on 17 November 2019)

Towns and cities on coast[edit]

Pier extending from the Ilha dos Marinheiros into the lagoon


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Laguna dos Patos". Freshwater Ecoregions of the World. Archived from the original on 9 January 2017. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  2. ^ - Patos Lagoon
  3. ^[bare URL PDF]
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-01-09. Retrieved 2016-01-23.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Projeto de universidade monitora golfinhos em Rio Grande, no RS". 26 April 2013.
  6. ^ "Baleias se perdem e param na Lagoa dos Patos, no Rio Grande do Sul". 11 September 2014.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-01-30. Retrieved 2016-01-23.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)