Inundating shield

Shallow oxbow lakes and wetlands are found throughout the region.The immense Pantanal, an extension of the Gran Chaco plain, is a region of swamps and marshes in northwestern Mato Grosso do Sul and southern Mato Grosso states and, to a lesser extent, in northern Paraguay and eastern Bolivia; it is one of the largest freshwater wetlands in the world, covering some 54,000 square miles (140,000 square km).

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It occupies an area nearly as large as the isle of Britain but is the smallest of Brazil’s regions.

Its diversified economy includes strong manufacturing, agriculture, and service sectors.

However, Brazil struggles with extreme social inequalities, environmental degradation, intermittent financial crises, and a sometimes deadlocked political system.

Brazil is unique in the Americas because, following independence from Portugal, it did not fragment into separate countries as did British and Spanish possessions in the region; rather, it retained its identity through the intervening centuries and a variety of forms of government.

Forested mesas and mountain ranges, scenic waterfalls, and white-water rivers characterize the area.

The highest point in Brazil is (“solid ground”), composed of layers of alluvial soil that were deposited as much as 2.5 million years ago and subsequently uplifted to positions above flood level.Because of that hegemony, the Portuguese language is universal except among Brazil’s native Indians, especially those in the more-remote reaches of the Amazon basin.At the turn of the 21st century, Brazilians marked the 500th anniversary of Portuguese contact with a mixture of public celebration and deprecation.A small proportion of the nation’s population lives there, but an increasing number of settlers have been moving into the region and extending its agricultural frontiers.Brazil is a predominantly tropical country famous for its extensive Amazon lowlands; however, highlands cover most of the national territory.The Northeast, which experiences some of the nation’s driest and hottest conditions, has nearly one-fifth of Brazil’s land area and more than one-fourth of the population.

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