Borborema Plateau

The Borborema Plateau (Portuguese Planalto da Borborema, also known as the Serra da Borborema) is a plateau in northeastern Brazil which extends across the states of Pernambuco, Paraíba, and Rio Grande do Norte.[1] The plateau is the northeasternmost portion of the Brazilian Highlands and is the most relevant watershed of its region. It ranges approximately 400 kilometres (250 mi) from north to south and 200 kilometres (120 mi) from east to west.[2] More than 100 rivers originate from the plateau, including the Moxotó, Mundaú, Pajeú, Paraíba do Norte, Seridó, and Una.[2]

Borborema Plateau
Planalto da Borborema
Rock formations of the Borborema Plateau, Queimadas, Paraíba
Highest point
Coordinates7°S 37°W
Borborema Plateau
Borborema Plateau in Brazil
LocationAlagoas, Pernambuco, Paraíba, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil

The Borborema Plateau serves as an orographic barrier, despite its relatively low elevation, against the moist easterly winds of the Atlantic Ocean. Areas west of the plateau, which make up part of the sertão, are arid and prone to drought. The Pajeú River, the largest tributary of the São Francisco River, originates from the Borborema.[3][2]


The Borborema Plateau is part of a huge anastomosing shear zone. The plateau is composed primarily of igneous and metamorphic rock.[4]


  1. "Borborema Plateau". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. 2015. Retrieved 2015-07-06.
  2. Webb, Kempton (1974). The changing face of Northeast Brazil. New York: Columbia University Press. pp. 24–30. ISBN 9780231037679.
  3. "O tal do rio Pajeú que despeja no São Francisco" (in Portuguese). Maceió, Alagoas, Brazil: Comitê da Bacia Hidrográfica do Rio São Francisco. 2014. Retrieved 2015-02-13.
  4. Vauchez A, Neves S, Caby R, Corsini M, Egydio-Silva M, Arthaud M, Amaro V. (1995). The Borborema shear zone system, NE Brazil. Journal of South American Earth Sciences. July–October 1995. 8(3–4):247–266.

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