Thursday, March 17, 2011

March 17, 2011 : Pororoca


The pororoca (Portuguese pronunciation: [poɾoˈɾɔkɐ]) is a tidal bore, with waves up to 4 meters high that travel as much as 13 kilometers inland upstream on the Amazon River and adjacent rivers. Its name comes from the indigenous Tupi language, where it translates into "great destructive noise". It occurs at the mouth of the river where river water meets the Atlantic Ocean. The phenomenon is best seen in February and March.

The wave has become popular with surfers. Since 1999, an annual championship has been held in São Domingos do Capim (on the adjacent Guamá River). However, surfing the Pororoca is especially dangerous, as the water contains a significant amount of debris from the shores of the river (often entire trees), in addition to dangerous fauna. In 2003 the Brazilian Picuruta Salazar won the event with a record ride of 12.5 kilometers during 37 minutes. The longest time captured on tape riding the wave is also by Picuruta and it is on 43 minutes.

Along the branches or "caños" in the Orinoco Delta, pororoca is known as macareo, which is also the name of one of these branches.

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