RIVER SYSTEMS OF THE WORLD

Here are statistics on river systems of the world.

Individual rivers are listed only as tributaries.

(Rivers are often used as boundaries.)

Although an ample source of breaking news, the World Wide Web has its limitations when it comes to natural history with limited tourist potential. So we started this page. We're still looking for links, so make suggestions to the Webmaster. We prefer linking to nonprofit sites with pictures, maps, and further links.

Here's what we've found so far:

RIVER SYSTEM LANDMASS (CONTINENT OR ISLAND) LENGTH (miles to source of longest tributary, approx.) LENGTH (km to source of longest tributary, approx.) DRAINAGE BASIN (sq. miles) DRAINAGE BASIN (1,000 sq. km) DISCHARGE AT MOUTH (cu. meters per second) DISTINCTION NOTABLE TRIBUTARIES CITIES AND TOWNS SERVED BY RIVER SYSTEMS
NileAfrica4,1806,4841,170,0002,8811,584Egyptian agriculture depended on seasonal flooding.White Nile
Blue Nile
Alexandria
Cairo
Luxor
Khartoum
AmazonSouth America3,9206,5162,270,0007,180180,000the greatest flow

navigable for 2,000 miles

Negro
Tocantins
Belém
Manaus
Yangtze (Chang Jiang)Asia3,9645,800698,0001,97035,000the lifeline of ChinaShanghai
Nanking
Wuhan
Chonquing
Mississippi- MissouriNorth America3,8706,0191,247,0003,22117,545 the longest river flowing southwardMinnesota
Wisconsin
Rock
Des Moines
Illinois
Chicago
Milk
Yellowstone
Platte
Ohio
Wabash
Cumberland
Tennessee
Arkansas
Canadian
Red
New Orleans
Baton Rouge
Memphis
St. Louis
St. Paul
Minneapolis
Kansas City
Omaha
Great Falls
Billings
Denver
Louisville
Cincinnati
Pittsburgh
Nashville
Chattanooga
Knoxville
Little Rock
Ft. Smith
Oklahoma City
Tulsa
Wichita
Shreveport
Wichita Falls
Ob'Asia3,4595,5701,154,0002,97512,60025 miles wide at mouthIrtysh
Tom
Novosibirsk
Yenisei- AngaraAsia3,4405,550996,0002,60519,600drains Lake BaikalIrkutsk
Yellow (Huang He)Asia3,3954,845290,0007451,365Silt deposits have raised portions of river bed 70 ft. (20m) above surrounding land.Chengchow
Congo (Zaire)Africa2,9004,7001,440,0003,822 42,000the longest river flowing westward

crosses equator twice

Leopoldville
Brazzaville
Stanleyville
AmurAsia2,8004,510730,0001,85512,500SungariKhabarovsk
Harbin
Río de la Plata

Paraná

Uruguay

South America2,7954,7001,197,0002,65019,500Paraguay
Pilcomayo
Montevideo
Buenos Aires
LenaAsia2,7344,270961,0002,49016,400
MackenzieNorth America2,6404,250697,0001,8057,500Peel
Snake
Nahanni
Liard
Hay
Slave
Peace
Athabasca
Clearwater
Yellowknife
Peace River
NigerAfrica2,5904,030850,0002,0925,700Niamey
Timbuktu
MekongAsia2,5004,50079515,900Phnom Penh
Vientiane
Luang Prabang
Saint LawrenceNorth America2,3503,1001,03010,400follows straight fault line

drains Great Lakes

Niagara
Rainy
Maumee
Grand
Ottawa (Kitche-sippi)
Richelieu
Saguenay
Moisie (Mish-te-shipu)
Quebec
Montreal
Rochester
Toronto
Hamilton
Buffalo
Cleveland
Detroit
Chicago
Thunder Bay
Duluth
Ottawa
VolgaEurope2,2903,688533,0001,3808,000flows to landlocked Caspian SeaKama
Vyatkai
Oka
Moskva
Astrakhan
Volgograd
Saratov
Kuybyshev
Kazan
Gorki
Yaroslavl
Kalinin
Moscow
Kirov
Perm
Murray- DarlingAustralia2,3103,370410,0001,072391
YukonNorth America2,2003,1858557,000Pelly
Porcupine
Tanana
Tanana
Fort Yukon
Dawson
Whitehorse
Fairbanks
ZambeziAfrica2,2002,660548,0001,3302,500flows over Victoria Falls
OrinocoSouth America2,2002,500373,0001,08628,000upper river branches to form Casiquiare, to Negro, to Amazon
São FranciscoSouth America1,9882,9006103,300
Rio Grande (Río Bravo del Norte)North America1,8852,870570 (350-930)82waist-deep at mouthPecosBrownsville
Reynosa
Laredo
Juárez
El Paso
Albuquerque
IndusAsia1,8003,1809603,850supported prehistoric civilizationKabul
Ravi
Karachi
Hyderabad
Kabul
Lahore
Shatt el Arab

Euphrates

Tigris

Asia1,7952,900808856home of ancient Mesopotamian civilizationAbidan
Bosra
Ramadi
Baghdad
Mosul
Danube (Ister, Danarea, Dunav, Duna, Donau)Europe1,7762,850320,0008056,450Drava
Tisa (Theiss)
Sava
Pruth
Inn
Belgrade
Budapest
Bratislava
Vienna
Chernovtsy
Salween (Saluen, Chiama Ngu Chu)Asia1,7503,2002801,500
Brahmaputra (Tsangpo)Asia1,7002,90093820,000
NelsonNorth America1,6002,5754,6008003,486Saskatchewan
South Saskatchewan
Bow
Red Deer
North Saskatchewan
Red (of the North)
Pembina
Assiniboine
Qu'appelle
Souris (Mouse)
Winnipeg
Grass
Edmonton
Saskatoon
Medicine Hat
Lethbridge
Calgary
Red Deer
Regina
Winnipeg
Grand Forks
Fargo
Portage-la-Prairie
Brandon
Souris
Minot
GangesAsia1,5602,7001,07315,000sacred river of IndiaJumna
Brahmaputra
Dacca
Patha
Benares
Kanpur
Agra
Delhi
Amu DaryaAsia1,5502,6202271,300
Ural1,5752,534220347forms boundary between Asia and EuropeOrenburg
Magnitogorsk
KolymaAsia1,500crosses gold fields
ColoradoNorth America1,4503,200629168cuts Grand CanyonGila
Salt
Phoenix
DnieperEurope1,4202,8505031,660Pripyat
Pina
Desna
Dnepropetrovsk
Kiev
Pinsk
Chernigov
Bryansk
OlenekAsia1,350
OrangeAfrica1,3002,250Vaal
Tarim- KhotanAsia1,2612,0001,000
ColumbiaNorth America1,2432,2506696,650Kicking Horse
Snake
Willamette
Portland
Eugene
DonEurope1,2241,970443930Rostov
Voronezh
Xi (Pearl)Asia1,200HongshuiHong Kong
Whampoa
Canton
PechoraEurope1,1241,8093274,060
IndigirkaAsia1,100
ChurchillNorth America1,000290Churchill
IrrawaddyAsia1,3372,15043114,000Mandalay
MagdalenaSouth America1,000
SenegalAfrica1,020
VoltaAfrica1,000
MurrumbidgeeAustralia9791,575
ColoradoNorth America970bears same name as larger river to westAustin
MagdalenaSouth America956
GodavariAsia900
LiaoAsia900
DniesterEurope877
Lachlan RiverAustralia8511,370
FraserNorth America8502352,938Vancouver
Prince George
Kura848
Dvina, NorthEurope824
RhineEurope8201,3602242,200commercially most important river of EuropeMainCologne
Bonn
Strasbourg
Basel
Frankfurt
KistnaAsia800
BrazosNorth America950Waco
Lubbock
NarbadaAsia800
ParnaíbaSouth America800
Red (Song Koi)Asia7508003,900BlackHanoi
ElbeEurope7241,165144750Moldau
Havel
Magdeburg
Dresden
Prague
Potsdam
Berlin
KuskokwimNorth America724
KhatangaAsia715
HwaiAsia675
Vistula (Wisla)Europe6631,0951941,100BugGdansk
Warsaw
Cracow
Daugava (Zapadnaja Dvina, Duena)Europe6351,02084700Riga
Daugavpils
Polotsk
Vitebsk
LoireEurope6341,020121900Nantes
Tours
Orléans
TagusEurope626Lisbon
AlbanyNorth America610
SevernNorth America610
BackNorth America605
GambiaAfrica600
NiemenEurope58099098690ViliyaTilsit
Kaunas
Grodno
Vilna
EbroEurope57592786600Saragossa
OderEurope567912119580NeisseSzczecin
Wroclaw
ColoradoSouth America550
MezenEurope56585776840Mezen
HamiltonNorth America532
CoppermineNorth America525
Apalachicola- ChattahoocheeNorth America524FlintAtlanta
RhôneEurope505812981,900SaoneAsignon
Lyons
Geneva
TrinityNorth America500Galveston
Houston
Dallas
Fort Worth
GuadianaEurope500
YaluAsia500
SeineEurope49677679500Paris
PearlNorth America4857808,760Bogue Chitto
Strong
Yockanookany
Nanawaya
Jackson
Douro (Duero)Europe47577698650Oporto
Valladolid
AttawapiskatNorth America465
(Northern) DvinaEurope4651,3023603,560
Mobile- Alabama- CoosaNorth America7741,900Alabama
SusquehannaNorth America447Drowned lower valley became Chesapeake Bay (tourable by bicycle).Harrisburg
Wilkes-Barre
Binghamton
Göta (with Klarälven)Europe72050585
Pee Dee- YadkinNorth America435Waccamaw
Little Pee Dee
Lynches
Yadkin
Fayetteville
Altamaha- OcmulgeeNorth America41938400Oconee
Ocmulgee
Macon
St. John (Wolastoq)North America41867355largest river of New BrunswickSt. John
Fredericton
RoanokeNorth America4106609,58024.8DanRoanoke
ConnecticutNorth America407Hartford
Springfield
Brattleboro
PoEurope405676701,460Turin
GaronneEurope40065056680Bordeaux
PotomacNorth America383
GuadalquivirEurope350Name from Arabic Wad-al-Kebir, "great river"Seville
Córdoba
GlommaEurope36558742685
SkeenaNorth America57054.4flow unimpeded by damsPort Essington
Terrace
Hazelton
PenobscotNorth America350Bangor
San JoaquinNorth America350Fresno
KemiEurope34549451525
JamesNorth America340Richmond
Lynchburg
SacramentoNorth America377Sacramento
DelawareNorth America390provides food for migrating birdsLehigh
Schulkill
Wilmington
Philadelphia
Trenton
Easton
Bethlehem
Allentown
Reading
HudsonNorth America315navigable to beyond mountainsMohawkNew York
Albany
Utica
SavannahNorth America31429360Savannah
Augusta
SusitnaNorth America313
St. JohnsNorth America280largest river of FloridaJacksonville
LuleEurope27545025510Dams provide electricity to Sweden
KlamathNorth America270
MooseNorth AmericaMissinaibi
WaikatoNorth Island264425longest river in New ZealandWaipa
Poutu
Hamilton
TiberEurope252Rome
OnegaEurope25040558575
OgeecheeNorth America250
NassNorth America23638021.1
JordanAsia230
ShannonIreland230Limerick
ThamesGreat Britain210London
Westminster
Reading
Oxford
Cape FearNorth America202
St. Mary'sNorth America175420
AndroscogginNorth America171
KennebecNorth America164
ExploitsNewfoundland2461.1longest river of NewfoundlandBadger
MiramichiNorth America12.39
Santee- Wateree- CatawbaNorth America538Wateree
Catawba
Congaree
Saluda
Broad
Enoree
Tyger
Charlotte
Columbia
Greenville
Spartanburg
HousatonicNorth America130
MerrimackNorth America110Newburyport
Haverhill
Lawrence
Lowell
Nashua
Manchester
Concord
SacoNorth America105Biddeford
RaritanNorth America75Perth Amboy
New Brunswick
NevaEurope46742812,530St. Petersburg
SaltillaNorth America985
La GrandeNorth America3,389
KlinakliniNorth America1955.78
CowichanVancouver Island
MainNewfoundland57
HillsboroughPrince Edward Island45Charlottetown
GreenNorth America
CardiganPrince Edward Island
BrudenellPrince Edward Island
Valleyfield-MontaguePrince Edward Island
RIVER SYSTEM LANDMASS (CONTINENT OR ISLAND) LENGTH (miles to source of longest tributary, approx.) LENGTH (km to source of longest tributary, approx.) DRAINAGE BASIN (sq. miles) DRAINAGE BASIN (1,000 sq. km) DISCHARGE AT MOUTH (cu. meters per second) DISTINCTION NOTABLE TRIBUTARIES CITIES

From the mouth of the Hudson

Roanoke River Green Page

International Rivers Network

Rivers and Lakes Project

Rivers in tropical rainforests

Rafting Siberian rivers

Some reasons rivers are important to civilization:

Water

River water is diverted for agricultural irrigation, industry, hygiene, and related uses. Where possible, diverted water may be returned to the river clean and near the point of diversion; specifically, some municipal water supplies treat their sewage and return fairly clean water to the river. Most rivers are not so lucky: either the water comes back contaminated with pollutants, or not at all.

Because flow is not constant, many rivers produce floods and droughts. Flood control projects attempt to reduce variation in flow, but frequently have negative consequences. Dam failures can create more disastrous flooding than would otherwise be possible.

Carrying mineral and organic matter

Most rivers carry dissolved minerals and organic compounds. Even a slow river can carry small grains of clay. As the strength of flow increases, sand, gravel, and even boulders can be dislodged and moved downstream.

Centuries of erosion can leave dramatic results, including deep canyons and waterfalls.

Minerals drop out of the river when the flow slows. Alluvial deposits can form deltas where the river flows into a lake or ocean. Farms and cities have been developed on large deltas. New Orleans sits on the delta formed where the Mississippi River flows into the Gulf of Mexico. Other heavily-populated deltas include those of the Nile in Egypt and the Mekong in Vietnam.

Food

Some communities depend on the fish that live in or travel along rivers.

Transportation

Navigable waters carry much of the world's heavy trade by ship and barge. The Yangtze, Mississippi, Volga, St. Lawrence, Hudson, Delaware, Rhine, and Thames Rivers are among the most heavily-trafficked, connecting major ports.

Rivers can also be barriers to land transportation. They can be crossed by ferries, bridges, and tunnels. Because of the difficulty of crossing rivers, they have sometimes become territorial boundaries.

Hydroelectric Power

A dam can raise the level of a river to provide pressure for electrical generation.

Recreation

In addition to fishing, swimming and boating are popular activities along rivers.

Aesthetics

Some rivers are known for their beauty. Niagara Falls on the Niagara River (part of the Saint Lawrence system) is a popular backdrop for vacations and honeymoons.



The fixing of boundaries in international boundary rivers


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Last revised: 18 February 2014

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