Geografia dos transportes no Brasil : circulação periférica


  • Moacir Malheiros Fernandes Silva


Engineer Moacir Silva, technical adviser to the National council of Geography, continuing with his work on Geography of Transportation in Brazil submits Chapter IX, under the title of "Peripheric Circulation".

            This circulation, whic takes place only on the Atlantic, extends towards the interior through the large basins of the Amazon River and River Plate, whence the influence of that ocean upon the formation of the seaboard, upon the conditions of animal and vegetable life and upon the economic and cultural interchange of Brazil. A coast without many and varied geographic accidents presents, however, the Amazon estuary, the bays of Todos os Santos, Guanabara, Paranaguá and Babitonga and the Rio Grande bar.

            The tides, increasing from South to North, are highest off the coast of Maranhão (7,80m). The Brazilian Stream, generally running SSW is 120 to 150 miles wide. It is strongest between the Abrolhos and Cap Frio. The coastal streams, more or less permanent, are important to navigation, and the local streams defined only by observation.

            The winds, while strong in the South without being harmful to navigation, display a certain regularity in the North, favourable to sailing vessels and attain their maximum velocity of 43m,60 in Rio Grande do Sul and 18m,l8 in Pernambuco. Fogs are only observed in winter and from Espírito Santo northwards. The Weather Forecast Bureau, through station PPR, 1000 wave, is situated on Arpoador Point (Rio de Janeiro) and broadcasts information daily at 3 p. m., good till the following day.

            The Atlantic Ocean, relatively very salty (maximum salt contents 3. 7 on the East coast) due to characteristics which the author explains, is warmer in the Brazilian than in the African basin.

            The reefs between Baía and Ceará (barrier reefs); fluvial and marine alluvial lands (Belem, Recife. Santos and Rio Grande) and sand dunes from Sergipe to Maranhão are the main phenomena of the seaboard, extension of which is estimated at 7,267 kilometres according to the Brazilian Statistical Yearbook. This coast is studied by the author according to the division established by Alfredo Lisboa and Raja Gabaglia, with preference towards the latter, whose synthesis is: - Guyanna Coast (from Cape Orange to Razo do Norte Cape: mangroves); Amazon estuary - Norytheast coast (from Tijoca Point in the Parnaíba Delta: mixed coast); from the Parnaíba Delta to Calcanhar Point - sand dune coast; east (from Calcanhar Point to S. Antônio Cape - mother-of-pearl or coral coast to the North of S. Francisco River, and sand dune coast to the South); from S. Antônio Cape to Cabe Frio (following the indentations of the Serra do Mar); South Coast (from Cape Frio to the bar of the Araranguã River (very indented) and the Rio Grande do Sul Coast (deserted, sandy and full of lagoons).

            He determines the position of lighthouses and describes, in the chapters about national navigation, the 12 companies that exploit it. With reference to ports he says that Brazil has 138, 47 being seaports and 91 sea and river ports. Fourteen are properly equipped and nine are either started or well advanced, with improvement work in progress in the remaining ones. He gives the position of the organized ports and presents some of the characteristics.

            Finally he submits statistical tables of foreign and coaswise trade during 1937 and divides the ports according to the geo-economic regions of Brazil, with data on the coastwise trade of 1938.