The Amazon is the largest river in the world in terms of the amount of freshwater it carries and discharges into the Atlantic Ocean. This animation clearly shows the freshwater discharges into the Atlantic, seen as dark blue.

The animation, which runs from March 27, 2015 to April 16, 2018, is produced using data from NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive Mission (SMAP). A key feature is that the freshwater does not stay along the coast but is moved by ocean currents. The North Brazil current carries the freshwater north, where it is then captured and moved eastward by the Atlantic Equatorial Countercurrent. Freshwater entering the Gulf of Mexico from the Mississippi River can be seen at the top.

Freshwater is seen entering the Atlantic from the Amazon in a data image from SMAP. Dark blue indicates less salinity.
Sea surface salinity based on data from NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission. The animation clearly shows discharge from the Amazon River, the world’s largest river. The relatively low salinity Amazon plume is moved northward and westward by ocean currents.



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