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Rivers and facts

A river’s source may be rainfall, a melting snow field or a glacier, a spring, or the overflow of a lake. Streams that flow at a river source are the headwaters and are at the river’s highest elevation. Most river headwaters begin in hills or mountain, but as the river flows downstream, it gains more water from other streams, rivers, springs, added rainfall, and other water sources.

The Stages of River

All rivers have an upper, middle and lower course.

Young River – (The upper course)

Middle Aged River – (The middle course)

Old River – (The lower course)

Uses of Rivers

Rivers have always been important for travel, transportation and trade routes. Most settlements were built along major rivers. Rivers are also important for farming because river valleys and plains provide fertile soils. Farmers in dry regions irrigate their Copeland using water carried by irrigation ditches from nearby rivers. Rivers also are an important energy source. During the early industrial era, mills, shops and factories were built near fast-flowing rivers where water could be used to power machines. Today steep rivers are still used to power hydroelectric plants and their water turbines.

Sources of River

The source of a river is usually found in high places such as hills or mountains. A river can have more than one source.

Springs:- Some rivers begin where a natural spring releases water from underground.

Rainfall and melting snow:- Some rivers begin in mountains or hills, where rain water or snowmelt collects and forms small channels. At first, the channels are small and are called rills. As more water enters the channels they grow forming gullies (large channels). The streams in the gullies eventually become big enough to form a river.

Lakes:- The source of some rivers is a lake. The source of the River Nile is Lake Victoria, in Burundi.

Bogs:- In some places, rain water can’t sink into the ground as the ground is too wet already. The water forms a bog. The water flows out of the bog to form lakes and streams.

About Indian Rivers

The name ‘India’ is derived from the River Indus, the valleys around which were the home of the early settlers. The Aryan worshippers referred to the river Indus as the Sindhu.

River Ganga is about 1557 miles long (2506 km).

The Ganges basin is about 200 to 400 miles (322 to 644 km) wide.

The river Ganga originates at Gangotri glacier on the southern slopes of the Himalayas, some 14,000 feet above sea level.

River Bhagirathi and Alaknanda join each other at Devprayag to form River Ganga.

Facts about the world Rivers

The River Nile is the longest river in the world. It measures 6695 kilometres from its source in Burundi, along the White Nile, to its delta on Mediterranean Sea.

The shortest river is the D River, Oregan, USA, which is just 37 metres long.

The biggest river in the world, measured by the amount of water that flows down it, is the Amazon. On average 120,000 cubic metres (about 20 swimming pools worth) of water flows out of its mouth every second.

Ninety percent of the world’s ice covers Antarctica. This ice also represents seventy percent of all the fresh water in the world.

The United States has 3,500,000 miles of rivers.

The Missouri River is about 2540 miles long, making it the longest river in the United States.

The Rhine carries to the sea every day 145,980 cubic feet of mud.


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