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Rivers

River is the natural and continuous stream of water supplied by surface water and groundwater in a certain region, flowing frequently or regularly along long and narrow concave places. There are three types of rivers: perennial, intermittent, and occasional. And the hydrographic net with connected flowing water is called water system or river system. Rivers are important natural resources playing a critical role in many aspects of human life, such as irrigation, navigation, power generation, cultivation, urban water distribution, and so on. Unfortunately, rivers also cause floods. Since ancient times, rivers have been regarded as the source of all life and the cradle of human civilization for they are primary places for living and breeding of human beings. Great rivers like the Nile, the Yellow River, and the Euphrates River had bred glorious ancient civilizations and given birth to countries with great civilizations such as Egypt, China, Babylon and India.

3.1 Important rivers in Asian and European countries
(1) The Volga River a.jpg
The Volga is the largest river in Europe as well as the largest continental river in the world. It is the artery of Russian inland navigation. The Volga rises in lakes and swamps of the Valdai Hills in the west of the Eastern Europe plain, flows through forest zone, forest grassland zone, and empties into the Caspian Sea. With the Oka River and the Kama River as its largest tributaries, the Volga River boasts abundant tributaries and river networks with more than 200 chief tributaries. The Volga falls into three parts: the upper reaches starts from the origin of the Volga to the junction with the Oka River, the middle rearches from the junction of the Oka River to the confluence of the Kama River, and the lower reaches from the junction of the Kama River to the mouth of the Volga River. The Volga River is the cradle of Russian history and is praised as “Mother Volga”. The Volga Basin covers two fifths of the territory of European part of Russia, with nearly half of the population of the Russian Federation. For its great economic, cultural and historical importance and its broad area, the Volga River ranks among the world’s great rivers.  

(2) The Danube River b.jpg
The Danube River is the second largest river in Europe. It rises in the eastern foot of the Hessen Mountain in southwestern Germany, flows east through Germany, Austria, Slovak, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Ukraine, and then empties to the Black Sea near Sulina, Romania. With more than 300 tributaries, the Danube covers a distance of 2,860 kilometers with an area of 816,000 square kilometers in total. The course from the headwaters of the Danube to Vienna falls into the upper reaches. Rising in thaw of the Alps, tributaries emerge into the upper course and bring abundant water and charming pastoral scenery. From Vienna to the Iron-gate Valley is the middle reaches, which has broad river valley, gentle-sloped riverbed, winding watercourse and plentiful branching streams. A 130-kilometer-long valley exists in the Carpathian Mountains to the east of Belgrade and boasts its abundant hydropower resources. The lower reaches covers from the Iron-gate Valley to the estuary. Here in the downstream, there are broad rivers, gentle and stable currents and prosperous shipping industry. The Danube delta is rich in reeds, birds and unique floating islands. It is called by scientists “The Largest Geological and Biological Laboratory in Europe.” The Danube is the main artery of transportation of the southeastern Europe. There are a great number of beautiful cities along the Danube, such as Vienna, the capital of Austria, Belgrade, capital of Hungary, Partizan, capital of Yugoslavia, Bratislava of Slovak, and so on.

(3) The Rhine River c.jpg
The Rhine River is the third largest river in Europe. The 1,320- kilometer-long river rises in the Alps in Switzerland and flows through six countries including Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, France and the Netherlands. It empties into the North Sea around Rotterdam, the Netherlands. With an area of 22.4 square kilometers in total, the Rhine River is a true European river which breeds nationalities with different mother languages. The Rhine River falls into three parts: the upper course, the middle and lower courses. The distance covers from the headwaters of Rhine to Basel of Switzerland is the upper course. The middle course includes the distance from Basel to Bonn of Germany. And the lower course is from Bonn to the mouth of the sea. Since ancient times, the Rhine River has played the role of the main artery of transportation between north and south in Western Europe. It is an international river with the most prosperous shipping industry. By interlinked canals with those important rivers as the Danube, the Seine River, the Rhone River and the Elbe River etc., the Rhine River boasts a developed navigation network that could reach those most important industrial and commercial areas in Western Europe. Like those great rivers that have cultivated human civilizations, the Rhine River is an important source of European civilization, even western civilization. The Rhine cultivated two great nations of Europe: the German nation and the French nation. Victor Hugo, a French literacy giant once wrote: “I love the Rhine most. It is the River Rhine reflecting the history of Europe.”

(4) The Seine River d.jpg
Located in the northern France, the Seine River is an important river of France. It rises in the Plateau de Langres with an elevation of 471 meters. Flowing through the Paris Basin, the Seine empties into the English Channel near the Lavre. The Seine is 766 kilometers long, covering an area of 78,000 square kilometers. Supplied mainly by rainwater, the Seine is a plain river that enjoys sufficient and stable water level. With the Paris Port, the Rouen Port and the Lavre Port as its major ports, the Seine has 540-kilometer-long navigable distance and ocean liners could reach the Rouen Port when the tide is coming in. Along the river banks is the French developed district whose canal brings connection to the Rhine River and Loire River. With different construction styles, 36 bridges are built at different times on the Seine in harmony, each representing a beautiful ornament to the other. With green trees flourishing along the river banks, the Seine murmurs through the city like a jade belt that is rich in Paris-characteristic culture and elegance. It is praised as “the Soul of Paris” for its significant role in the development of Paris.

(5) The Thames River e.jpg
The Thames River is the longest river in Britain. It rises in the Cotswold Mountain in southwestern England, flows east through important cities like Oxford and London, and empties into the North Sea. The Thames River flows 346 kilometers with an area of 11,400 square kilometers. The Thames means “Broad River” in Celtic. Since the mouth of Thames boarding on the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, the incoming tide flows into the funnel-shaped mouth to places far from London. A lot of money was put into the great and technologically complex tide lock project on the lower course to prevent London from being drowned in tidal bore. The navigable distance of the Thames covers 280 kilometers and ocean liner could enter directly into London port. There are many high-way bridges and railway bridges over the River, with London Bridge as the most famous. The Thames is also the main source of water supply for London. There are a lot of tourist attractions on its banks, such as Eaton, Oxford, Henry and Windsor etc. During the Industrial Revolution, the Thames suffered serious pollution. Besides, Cholera epidemics broke out, causing the death of more than thirty thousand people; the London Smog of 1952 even shocked the world. Fortunately, thanks to the successful reduction and control of pollution in 1960s, the Thames River regained its vitality.

(6) The Vltava River f.jpg
The Vltava River, the biggest river in Czech, is also the mother river of Prague. Originating in the western region of Czech, the Vltava River flows through Prague, converges with Elbe River thirty-two kilometers north of Prague, runs through the middle of Germany, and finally flows into the North Sea via Saxon. The full span covers 1,700 kilometers. Situated beside the Vltava River, Prague is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The Vltava River, like a green jade belt, divides Prague into two parts. Some dozen antique and modern bridges streching across the rive are grand and magnificent, among which Charlie Bridge is the most famous with a long history of four-hundred years. These bridges ingeniously link the two parts of Prague together. The second movement The Vltava River of the symphonic poem divertimento My Nave Land created by Czech composer Smetana in his later years makes the river famous throughout the world.

(7) The Tiber River g.jpg
The Tiber River lies in the middle part of Italy. Originating in the western slope of Apennines which is 1,268 meters above the sea level, the Tiber River passes the central part of Apennines peninsula from north to south, crosses the urban district of Roman and empties into Tyrrhenian Sea. The overall length is 405 kilometers. The Tiber River is the most important river in the city of Roman. The city of Roman, lying along the lower course of Tiber River, stretches over the two sides of the river. The valleys flowing through Perugia become significantly broadened, including convergences of tributaries such as Near River and Aniene River. The channel segment from the river mouth to the forty-five kilometers north of Roman is navigable all year round. The sandiment concentration of this river is remarkable. Accordingly, the problem of sedimentation in the lower course is serious. Annual summer and autumn are drought periods, while the spring and winter are flood periods. Repeatedly in history, there were floods causing heavy losses in Roman.

(8) The Indus River h.jpg
The Indus River, with a length of 2,900 kilometers and a drainage area of 1.17 millon square meters, is one of the cradles of the world ancient cultures. Originating in the Shi Quan River of Gangdisê Mountains in the Tibetan plateau of western China, the river runs a course through Kashmir, enters Pakistan, and merges into the Arabian Sea. As to the land feature, the river is categorized as antecedent stream, with tributaries including the Sutlej River, the Chenab River, the Jhelum River, the Kabul River, and so on. It is the snow water and monsoon rain that feed the river. The upper reaches with deep and torrential streams flows through the mountains and valleys. The river range does not broaden and the streams do not slow down until the streams enter the plain. In the middle and lower reaches, there are many tributaries, some of which become dry in the dry season and some of which can extend as long as twenty kilometers. The sediment of the river is overwhelmed, so some riverbeds of the middle and lower courses are above the land and the shapes of the river channel are irregular. Most of the river flows through semiarid land and serves as vital water resources of the farmland along the banks. Early in the mid-1800s, large-scale irrigation projects were launched. Currently, in order to utilize river water and underground water to develop agriculture, Pakistan builds two dams, eight channels, and a great many driven wells in the main streams and tributaries.

(9) The Euphrates River i.jpg
The Euphrates River is a famous river in the Middle East with a total length of 2,700 kilometers and a drainage area of 673,000 square meters. Originating in the Karasu River of Taurus Mountain in Anatolia Plateau of the Eastern Turkey, the Euphrates River flows to the west and converges with the Murat River in the northern Banka. Afterwards, the river circuitously flows to the south, enters domestic Syria through south of Birdcik, and shifts to the southeast. After converging with some tributaries such as Balikh River and Hubble River on the way, the Euphrates River enters Iraq and together with Tigris River merges into Shatt al-Arab, and empties into the Persian Gulf. The Euphrates River mainly relies on the supply of alpine meltwater and the rain of the mountain areas. Although the water amount is abundant, the flow decreases significantly in the middle and lower courses for the evaporation throughout the journey and vast amount of irrigation. After entering the plateau, banks along the river form the important irrigation agricultural areas. The lower course of Heet is navigable for steamers, and the voyage is nearly 900 kilometers. The Euphrates River is the vital economic lifeline of Turkey, Syria and Iraq.

(10) The Mekong River j.jpg
Mekong River, the most important international river in the Southeast Asia, originates in the Danggula Mountains of Tibetan Plateau, China. The upstream of the river is called Lancang River, and is called Mekong River when it flows into the Indo-China Peninsula. After crossing the countries of Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and so on, the river merges into the Pacific Ocean. The overall length is 2,600 kilometers and the drainage area reaches 630,000 square kilometers. The upper reaches of Mekong River flows from the borders of China, Burma, and Laos to Vientiane, and the land feature in the river basin undulates wildly. But it is otherwise the phenomenon for most lands in the middle reaches from Vientiane to Pakse. The downstream from Pakse to Phnom Penh is divided into Tien Giang and Hau Giang nearby Phnom Penh. After entering Vietnam, it is successively divided into six, and finally into nine river mouths. Mekong River is a typical monsoon river, whose water level fluctuates wildly as the season changes and the drought period lasts from January to February. Besides, it is also the main political, economic and cultural artery of five countries in the Southeast Asia, because many important cities, ports, and commercial towns lie along its riversides. Its lower reaches breeds the world’s biggest grain granary—Mekong Grain Granary, besides, the four world-renowned rice markets also lie along it. Adjoining the river bank is the Golden Triangle, known to the world for its cultivation, manufacture and opium–trade in the past. However, now it becomes a tourist resort in Thailand, attracting more than 400 billion tourists annually.

(11) The Ganges River k.jpg

The Ganges River, with a length of about 2,580 kilometers and a drainage area of 905,000 square meters, ranks the first in South Asia. Originating in the Gangotri Glacier, Jia Muer, southern slope of the Himalayas Mountain, the Ganges River runs through India, Bangladesh and flows into the Bay of Bengal. The Ganges River is a typical upland river whose source is from the melt water. 2,100 kilometers of the upper and middle reaches are within the boarder of India; and 500 kilometers of the lower reaches is in Bangladesh. Soon after flowing into Bangladesh, the river is divided into several tributaries and then nearby Goalundo Ghat converges with another big river—Brahmaputra River in South Asia. The huge amount of water supplied by the two rivers has formed the biggest delta, the Ganges Delta, in the world. With an area of 57,000 kilometers, the Ganges Delta is also a fertile and extensive alluvial plain, in which river network covers densely and channels crisscross. The delta is also a major area in producing rice, wheat, sugarcane and jute. The cities along the Ganges River such as Cawnpore, Allahabad, Waranasi and Patna are important industrial and commercial centers. The Ganges River is the holy river to the India believers. In their hearts, the water of Ganges River can cleanse the sin and drive off disasters. Accordingly, bathing in the Ganges River is the activity the Indian believers mostly yearn for.

(12) The Tigris River l.jpg
The Tigris River, one of the most famous rivers in the Middle East with the largest water yield in the West Asia, is located in the east of the Euphrates. Rising in the southern slope of the Eastern Taurus in the southeast of Anatolian Plateau in Turkey, the Tigris flows southeast and forms a 32 kilometer-long boundary river to Syria and flows into Iraq after passing the city of Diyarbakir in southern Turkey. Afterwards, it runs along the southern slope of the Zag Ross Mountain, receiving many tributaries from the mountains along its left bank, and heads to the capital Baghdad. To the south of Baghdad, with large numbers of lakes and densely covered swamps lying on both banks, it converges with the Euphrates River at Qurna with an alternative name of Arab River, and then empties into Persian Gulf. From its headwaters to Qurna, the river has a length of 1950 kilometers, a drainage area of 375,000 square kilometers and an annual runoff of about 40 billion cubic meters. Water in the river is mainly supplied by meltwater of snow on high mountains and spring rain from the upstream. Because of flowing along the foothills with short flow path and quick confluence of the tributaries along the way, the water surface would usually soar fiercely, causing floods and resulting in a broad and fertile alluvial plain, which becomes a very important irrigated agricultural area of Iraq. Along the river, there is a variety of water conservancy projects, and among which Buddy Tata Reservoir is the most famous one. The Tigris River and the Euphrates River are called collectively referred to as the Mesopotamia, which is one of the cradles of the ancient civilizations.

(13) The Yangtze River m.jpg

The Yangtze River, with its length of 6,394 kilometers, is the longest river in Asia and the third longest in the world, only next to the Nile River in Europe and the Amazon River in South America, and its total water amount also ranks the third in the world. With a drainage area of 1.8085 million square kilometers (excluding Huaihe River Basin), the Yangtze River takes up one fifth of the national total land area and enjoys the name of “Mother River” together with the Yellow River.
 
The Tuotuo River, headwaters of the Yangtze River, originates in the Geladandong Snowy Mountain of Dangla Mountain Range in the southwestern border of Qinghai Province. Converging with 216 glaciers of different sizes, the Yangtze River is a river which receives the most glaciers in the world. Gathered in Danqu, the Southern Source, it is called the Tongtian River. And after the convergence with its north headwaters Qumar River, it flows southeast to the mouth of Batang River in Yushu County, Gansu Province. The mainstream of Yangtze River from the mouth of Batang River to Yibin, Sichuan is called Jinsha River. It is known as the Yangtze River from Yibin City, while called Jingjiang River in the previous Jingzhou Segment and the Yangzi River from Yangzhou City. The Yangtze River empties into East China Sea in Shanghai. There are tributaries such as Yalong River, Min River, Tuo River, Chishui River, Jaling River, Wu River, Xiang River, Ruan River, Han River, Gan River, Qingyi River, Huangpu River and some important lakes like Dian Lake, Caohai Lake, Hong Lake, Dongting Lake, Poyang Lake, Chao Lake, Tai Lake and so on. In Zhenjiang, Jiangsu Province, the Yangtze River intersects with Beijing-Hangzhou Canal.

(14) The Yellow River n.jpg

The Yellow River, the second longest river in China and the fifth in the world with the largest sediment concentration in the world, is called “Mother River” in China. With a length of 5,464 kilometers and a total drainage area of 752,443 square kilometers, it receives over 40 major tributaries and more than 1,000 streams.
 
The Yellow River, winding across 9 provinces in northern China, looks like a jumping lion with its back arched and head perked when overlooking from the sky. It flows across cliffs and steep mountains in Qinghai and Gansu Provinces from Tibetan Plateau, and then strides across the Hetao Plain in Ningxia Province and Inner Mongolia, and gallops among the hills and valleys in Shanxi and Shaanxi Provinces. Dashing off the gorges, it turns eastwards at the foot of Westberg Huashan, then traverses North China Plain, and rushes to the shore of Bohai Sea, finally empties into the Bohai Sea in Kenli County, Dongying City, Shandong Province. Hekou town of Inner Mongolia divides its upper and middle reaches, and old Mengjin town in Henan Province makes the division of the middle and lower courses. The estuary of the Yellow River is 1,500 meters wide at the most, normally 500 meters, and only 50 meters at narrow reach. Water depth is 2.6 meters, and in some places is only 1.2~1.6 meters.
 
The middle reaches of the Yellow River flows through Loess Plateau. Because of water and soil loss, the tributaries bring in large quantities of mud and sand which make the Yellow River the largest sediment container in the world. Its largest annual sediment discharge reaches 3.91 billion tons (1933), and its highest sediment concentration is 920 kilograms per cubic meter (1977). For years, the average sediment discharge of the Sanmenxia Station is about 1.6 billion tons and the average sediment concentration is 35 kilograms per cubic meter, while the sediment concentration of the Yangtze River is less than 1 kilogram per cubic meter. The Yellow River keeps the highest record in China World Records Association with its largest sediment concentration in the world.

3.2 Some important rivers in other regions
(1) The Nile River o.jpg
The Nile River is the longest river in the world. In Arabic language, the Nile means “Great River”. The Nile River originates in the Burundian Plateau of northeast Africa, flows northward through the whole northeast African continent, and crosses nine countries as Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Zaire, Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt. The river passes through the Sahara Desert and finally empties into the Mediterranean Sea. Therefore, the Nile River is one of the international rivers that cross the most countries. With a total length of 6,670 kilometers, the Nile River Basin covers an area of 2.87 million square kilometers. The drainage basin falls into seven major regions: the Lake Plateau of East Africa, the Al-Jabal, the White Nile, the Blue Nile, the Atbara, the Nile north of Khartoum, and the Nile delta. Being cradles of ancient Egyptian civilization, the Nile Valley and delta region are original seedbeds for human civilization. Up to now, 96 percent of residents and most industries and agricultures lie along the Nile River in Egypt. Thus, the Nile River is believed to be the lifeline of Egypt.

(2) The Congo River p.jpg
The Congo River, also known as the Zaire River, is located in the Central Africa. With a length of 4,640 kilometers, it is the second longest river in Africa and ranks 9th in the world, which rises in the Katanga Plateau. Along with the Plateau Slope, the Congo River flows into Congo Basin from north to south, bending westward and southwestward, passing Guinea Highlands and running into the Atlantic Ocean. With many tributaries, the drainage area of the Congo River reaches 3.7 million square kilometers and ranks first in Africa, only next to the Amazon River in the world. Its upper reaches is from the rising to Kisangani, characterized by confluences, lakes, waterfalls and rapids; the middle reaches is formed by seven cataracts; and the lower reaches divides into two branches, forming a vast lake area called the Malebo Pool. With many tributaries and from the lower reaches of Boyoma Falls, the Congo River develops a network of navigable waterways, whose total length is 16,000 kilometers. The Congo River has adequate river flow, for it’s estimated that its hydro-energy storage is more than 100 million kilowatts. The Congo Rive basin has the highest humidity and temperatures in Africa, and possesses the largest and the densest rain forest. Outside the forest borders tropical grassy stripes. Numerous species of fish and crocodile live in the Congo River.

(3) The Amazon River q.jpg
With a total length of 6,440 kilometers, the Amazon River is the second largest river in the world. The flow of the Amazon River is 116,000 cubic meters per second running into the Atlantic Ocean. Its flow discharge is ten times that of the Mississippi River, and 60 times that of the Nile River. It is estimated that one-fifth of all the water that runs off the earth’s surface is carried by the Amazon River. It originates from the Peruvian Andes Mountains and flows across South America. Its more than 1,500 tributaries stretch over a large area in South America. Winding through Peru, Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, Columbia and Venezuela, the Amazon’s drainage area reaches an area of 8 million square kilometers, which accommodates the biggest tropical rainforest with the most species of plants in the world. Many giant trees soar as high as more than 60 meters, covering all the sky. The brush and the arbor are full of vigor; while kudzu, orchids and bromeliads struggle for clinging to the boughs of tall trees, where inhabited by monkeys, slothes, wood nymphs, macaws, parrots, huge butterflies and countless bats. Caiman Crocodiles, river turtles, aquatic mammals such as manatees and river dolphins are all natives to the Amazon River. Jaguars, puma jaguarondis, western tapirs, capybaras and armadillos live in the land along the Amazon River. 2,500 kinds of fishes and 1,600 kinds of birds have been found in the Amazon River. It’s known to all that the Amazon River basin is the most mysterious “Kingdom of Lives”.

(4) The Parana River r.jpg

The Parana River is the second largest river in South America, with a total length of 5,290 kilometers and a drainage area of 2,800,000 square kilometers. The Parana River mainly originates from the northern side of Mantiqueria Mountains in the southeast Brazilian Plateau. After the confluence with the Paranaiba River, the river is known as the Alto Parana. Since then, the river flows from north to southwest and runs into some important tributaries, including Paraguay River and the Uruguay River. Its lower reaches makes a turn back to the southeast, forming the Rio de la Plata and then empties into the Atlantic Ocean. The Parana River is an important navigable inland waterway in central and eastern South America, with annual mileage of navigable channels totaling 2,700 kilometers. Flowing across Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina and Bolivia one by one, the Parana River is in charge of 30 percent transportation load of Argentine foreign trade and 90 percent that of Paraguayan’s. The Parana drainage basin stores up plenteous hydropower resources. Since 1970s, countries along the river have begun to build large-scale hydropower stations jointly. There are many rapids and waterfalls in drainage areas, including famous Iguassu Falls and Guaira Falls. Banks of the Parana River are rich in crops, abounding with corns, soybeans, kaoliang and wheat.

(5) The Paraguay River s.jpg

The Paraguay River, the main tributary of the Parana River, is a major river in south central South America. With a total drainage basin area of 1.1 million square kilometers, the Paraguay River flows about 2,550 kilometers from its upper reaches in the Brazilian state of eastern Mato Grosso to its confluence with the Parana River in the neighborhood of Corrientes Argentina, running through southwestern Brazil and Paraguay. The upper reaches of the Paraguay River is above the estuary of the Jauru River, flowing through mountains and gorges to form rapids and waterfalls. The middle reaches of the Paraguay River is above estuary of Apa River, running though swamps and plains with increasingly widening rivers and gentle water currents. Its right bank sees a large swamp field with an area of 400 thousand square kilometers which is a natural reservoir to regulate water volume. The lower reaches of the Paraguay River flows through the middle of Paraguay, forming the border between wet plains in eastern Paraguay and Gran Chaco region in the west. The river course under Asunción is winding with clustered islands. Its right bank sees tall steep cliffs while its left bank is low and flat, which, during rainy seasons, easily causes large areas of lands flooded. The drainage basin is located in the tropical savanna climate zone. Its rainy season starts from October to next March with varied rainfalls. The middle and lower reaches are navigable. The important ports and cities in Brazil are Corumbá, Cuiabá and Puerto Esperanza, while in Argentina are Fuerte Olimpo, Concepción, Asunción in Paraguay, and Formosa.

(6) The Mississippi River t.jpg

The Mississippi River means “Old Man River” with a total length of 6,262 kilometers, the fourth longest river in the world. The river originates in northern Rocky Mountains in western U.S.A., and flows slowly southwards to pass through the Great Plains, dividing the United States into two parts: east and west, and   finally empties into the Gulf of Mexico. With numerous tributaries, the Mississippi River has been called “Father of Waters” by Indians in ancient North America. The main tributaries are the Missouri River, the Ohio River and the Tennessee River. The drainage basin of the Mississippi River covers 3.22 million square kilometers, 1/8 of the total area of North America, and 3/10 of the total area of the United States. This area encompasses the nation's most productive agriculture and animal husbandry industries. However, history also witnesses frequent floods caused by the Mississippi river. After 50 years of large scaled regulation and governance, the Mississippi River has become the most advanced river system in world inland water transportation. Nearly 50 of its tributaries are open to navigation. It is the main artery of US’s inland water transport. People in the United States bear deep gratitude to the generosity of the river which thus has been honored as “Old Man River”.

(7) The Mackenzie River u.jpg

The Mackenzie River is the longest river in Canada with 4,241 kilometers in length and a drainage area of 1.8 million square kilometers, also known as the largest river flowing through the Arctic tundra. Originating in the eastern Canadian Rocky Mountains and flowing northeastward, Athabasca River, passes through Lake Athabasca, joins Peace River to form Slave River, then runs northward into the Great Slave Lake. The Mackenzie River flows from its source of Great Slave Lake to run northwestward to Beaufort Sea. For its east bank was once affected by Quaternary Continental Glaciation, there lack large tributaries, although many watercourses are connected. Its west bank sees several tributaries with their source from Rocky Mountains. Meanwhile numerous lakes are also in ints west bank, including Lake Athabasca, Great Slave Lake, and Big Bear Lake of which the largest lake in Canada. The Mackenzie River is located in high-latitude area, thus severely cold weather causes the river to freeze for a long period. Within the drainage basin, the rainfall is less than 350 millimeters, with main water supply from meltwater of ice and snow. The river is an important sea route to connect the remote Northern and Southern Canada. In particular, it plays an essential role in delivering minerals like radium, uranium, lead, zinc, gold found in Big Bear Lake and Great Slave Lake.

(8) The Ohio River w.jpg

The Ohio River, located in east central USA, is the largest tributary of the Mississippi River in terms of volume. It rises from Appalachian Mountain and runs southwestward, Allegheny River and Monongahela River, forming the mainstream in Pittsburgh to flow into the Mississippi River in the neighborhood of Cairo in Illinois. The river has a length of 2,100 kilometers with a drainage basin area of 528 thousand square kilometers. The main tributaries are Kanawha River, Kentucky River, Wabash River, Cumberland River and Tennessee River. Ohio River has abundant water resources, accounting for 56% of water volume of the Mississippi River. The main supply of water resources is rainfall, 1,000 millimeters annually. Its upper reaches ranges from Pittsburgh to Portsmouth with narrow river valley of average width less than 800 meters. Its middle reaches ranges from Portsmouth to Cairo with a wider river valley. The fall of the river is not large, which is only 130 meters with gentle and slow current, with mainstream and its tributaries totaling 4,000 kilometers navigable. There are also canals connected with Lake Erie, open to navigation all the year round. Ohio River has always been an important waterway in east central United States in delivering coal, gravel, oil, iron, steel, grain and timber and many other materials. There are a movable floodgate with 19 grades and a channel with a width of 91.4 meters and a depth of 3 meters. The drainage basin enjoys a developed industry and agriculture, like iron and steel, coal mining, oil and ceramic industries.