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Some of the biggest and important rivers in the world

Posted on : 26 Feb 2020

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  • Nile river:


  • The River Nile is in Africa. It originates in Burundi, south of the equator, and flows northward through northeastern Africa, eventually flowing through Egypt and finally draining into the Mediterranean Sea.
  • It is the main source of water in two countries: Egypt and Sudan.
  • The Blue and the White Nile are the two tributaries of the river with the latter having a greater length than the former.
  • The source of the White Nile is not yet fully determined but is believed to be somewhere in Burundi or Rwanda. According to some reports, Lake Victoria is considered to be the source of the White Nile which is, in turn, fed by the Kagera River whose two major tributaries are the Ruvyironza and the Nyabarongo rivers of Burundi and Rwanda, respectively.
  • The Kagera is formed at the confluence of these two rivers near the Tanzania-Rwanda border.
  • The Blue Nile has a more defined origin in Lake Tana in Ethiopia. The two tributaries meet near the Sudanese capital of Khartoum.
  • The Nile River’s final course is through Egypt before it forms a delta and drains into the Mediterranean Sea.
  • The Nile basin is huge and includes parts of Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, Congo (Kinshasa), Kenya.


  • Amazon River:
  • The Amazon River runs 4,000 miles from the Andes to the sea, and is the second longest river in the world.
  • It is also the largest in terms of the size of its watershed, the number of tributaries, and the volume of water discharged into the sea.
  • The headwaters of the Apurímac River were considered to be the origin of the Amazon River. However, a recent 2014 study claims that the origin of the Amazon can be traced to the Cordillera Rumi Cruz from where Peru’s Mantaro River originates.
  • This river then confluences with the Apurímac River (whose headwaters were earlier regarded as the source of the Amazon) and then other tributaries join the river downstream to form the Ucayali River which finally confluences with the Marañón River to form the main stem of the Amazon River.


  • Yangtze river:
  •  The Yangtze River is the world’s third longest river and the longest to flow entirely within one country.
  • It is also Asia’s longest river.
  • The river basin of the Yangtze houses one-third of the population of China.
  • Two origins of the Yangtze River have been suggested. Traditionally, the government of China recognizes the Tuotuo tributary located in the Tanggula Mountains as the source of the river.
  • According to new data, however, the source of the Yangtze River is located in the Jari Hill from where the headwaters of the Dam Qu tributary originate. These tributaries and more join to form the mighty Yangtze River which finally drains into the East China Sea at Shanghai.
  • The Yangze River has over 700 tributaries but the principal tributaries are the Hun, Yalong, Jialing, Min, Tuo Jiang, and Wu Jiang.


  • Mississippi river:
    • The river system comprising of the Mississippi, Missouri, and Jefferson rivers, is regarded as the world’s fourth longest river system.
    • The Mississippi River begins in northern Minnesota where Lake Itasca is believed to be the origin of the river and drains into the Gulf of Mexico.
    • When we regard the Jefferson River as the furthest source of the Mississippi River, then we get the Mississippi–Missouri–Jefferson river system.


  •  Yenisei river:
    • This is the world’s fifth-longest river system and the largest draining into the Arctic Ocean.
    • The source of the river is Mungaragiyn-Gol, which is located at the ridge of Dod-Taygasyn-Noor, Mongolia. The Selenge River is regarded as the headwaters of this river system. The Selenge River is 992 km long and drains into Lake Baikal.
    • The Angara River rises from Lake Baikal near Listvyanka and flows through the Irkutsk Oblast of Russia and finally joins the Yenisei River near Strelka.
    • The Yenisei finally drains into the Kara Sea, Arctic Ocean.

Article Related Questions

  1. Consider the following rivers
    With reference to the rivers mentioned above, in terms of length, which one of the following is the correct ascending order

  2. 1.5-4-2-1-3




    Right Ans : 5-2-4-1-3

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