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Paraguay, Land and Resources

Pilcomayo, Paraguay River, Gran Chaco, Guaira, alluvial plain

The Paraguay River divides the country into sharply contrasting regions, namely, in the west, the Gran Chaco, or Paraguay Occidental, and in the east, Paraguay proper, or Paraguay Oriental. The Gran Chaco is part of an alluvial plain that extends from Paraguay into Bolivia on the west, Argentina on the south, and Brazil on the east. Grassy plains, swamps, and scrub forests cover the area.

Paraguay proper consists mainly of the southern extension of the Parana plateau. This elevation, from 300 to 600 m (1,000 to 2,000 ft) high, forms a watershed that gives rise to numerous tributaries of the Paraguay and Parana rivers. On its western edge the plateau falls off sharply to a region of fertile grassy foothills toward the Paraguay River; in the east it descends gradually toward the Parana River. The main rivers are the Parana, the Paraguay, and the Pilcomayo. Lake Ypoa is the only large inland body of water. Among Paraguay’s many spectacular waterfalls is Guaira Falls.

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Article key phrases:

Pilcomayo, Paraguay River, Gran Chaco, Guaira, alluvial plain, Grassy plains, western edge, watershed, swamps, elevation, Bolivia, Argentina, rise, west, east, south, country


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