River, just like water, is one of the most essential gift of nature to human. However, with wide depths and unpredictable currents unlike springs, some rivers should be avoided to prevent harms.
Viola! We’ve compiled list of top 10 deepest rivers in the world.
1. Congo River
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The deepest river in the world is the Congo River in Africa. At its deepest point, the river reaches a depth of approximately 720 feet. This depth makes the Congo River about 64 feet deeper than the second deepest river in the world, which is the Yangtze River in China.
The Congo River is an extremely long river that runs for about 2,715 miles, which also makes it the second longest in Africa. However, this measurement does include the Lualaba River, which is considered the source of the Congo River. Some measurements also include the Chambeshi River because it is a tributary of the Lualaba River. When the length of the Chambeshi is included, the Congo River has a length of 2,920 miles, which makes it the 9th longest river in the world. The Congo River discharges at an average rate of 1.4 million cubic feet per second, giving it yet another distinction: the second largest river in the world by measure of discharge volume.
Course Of The Congo River
The headwaters of the Congo River begin in the East African Rift, which is located along an active tectonic plate zone. Geologists have determined that the African Plate is currently separating into two plates: the Nubian and the Somali. The Congo River is formed by two main tributaries: the Lualaba River and the Chambeshi River. The Lualaba River begins in the highlands region of the East African Rift, where it is fed by a number of waterways including waters from Lake Mweru and Lake Tanganyika. The Chambeshi River, which is the longer of the two main tributaries, begins in the northeastern region of Zambia. The Lualaba River becomes the Congo River after flowing over the Boyoma Falls, whereas the Chambeshi joins it later downstream.
From here, the Congo River takes a northward path until it reaches the town of Kisangani in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. At this point, the river begins to flow northwest until it reaches the towns of Bumba and Lisala, where it begins to run in a southwestern direction. The Congo River then forms a long section of the border between the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the Republic of the Congo, and then flows back into the DRC for a short distance before forming the border between the DRC and Angola. The Congo River eventually empties into the Gulf of Guinea in the South Atlantic Ocean at the town of Muanda, DRC.
Major Feature Of The Congo River
The Congo River represents an important water source for several countries in Africa, while also creating a diverse ecosystem that is home to numerous plant and animal species. Its most notable feature is the Congo River Basin, which covers a total area of 1.55 million square miles and makes up 13% of the entire area of Africa. The basin is home to large wetland areas that stretch through large expanses of undeveloped rainforests. The area is considered the second lung of the world (the Amazon River being the first lung), which refers the fact that it is an important carbon sink zone that helps prevent global climate change. In addition to providing refuge to unique animal species, it is also home to 40 million people.
2. Yangtze River
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The Yangtze, Yangzi (English: /ˈjæŋtsi/ or /ˈjɑːŋtsi/), or officially Chang Jiang is the longest river in Asia, the third-longest in the world and the longest in the world to flow entirely within one country. At its deepest point, the river reaches a depth of approximately 656 feet. It rises at Jari Hill in the Tanggula Mountains (Tibetan Plateau) and flows 6,300 km (3,900 mi) in a generally easterly direction to the East China Sea. It is the seventh-largest river by discharge volume in the world. Its drainage basin comprises one-fifth of the land area of China, and is home to nearly one-third of the country’s population.
The Yangtze has played a major role in the history, culture and economy of China. For thousands of years, the river has been used for water, irrigation, sanitation, transportation, industry, boundary-marking and war. The prosperous Yangtze Delta generates as much as 20% of China’s GDP. The Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze is the largest hydro-electric power station in the world. In mid-2014, the Chinese government announced it was building a multi-tier transport network, comprising railways, roads and airports, to create a new economic belt alongside the river.
The Yangtze flows through a wide array of ecosystems and is habitat to several endemic and threatened species including the Chinese alligator, the narrow-ridged finless porpoise and the Yangtze sturgeon, but also was the home of the extinct Yangtze river dolphin (or baiji) and Chinese paddlefish. In recent years, the river has suffered from industrial pollution, plastic pollution, agricultural runoff, siltation, and loss of wetland and lakes, which exacerbates seasonal flooding. Some sections of the river are now protected as nature reserves. A stretch of the upstream Yangtze flowing through deep gorges in western Yunnan is part of the Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
3. Danube River
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The Danube (/ˈdæn.juːb/ DAN-yoob; known by various names in other languages) is the second-longest river in Europe, after the Volga in Russia. At its deepest point, the river reaches a depth of approximately 584 feet. It flows through much of Central and Southeastern Europe, from the Black Forest into the Black Sea. Its longest headstream Breg rises in Furtwangen im Schwarzwald, while the river carries its name from its source confluence in Donaueschingen onwards.
The Danube was once a long-standing frontier of the Roman Empire and today is the river running through the largest number of countries in the world (10; the Nile is second with 9). Originating in Germany, the Danube flows southeast for 2,850 km (1,770 mi), passing through or bordering Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova and Ukraine before draining into the Black Sea. Its drainage basin extends into nine more countries. The largest cities on the river are Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade and Bratislava, all of which are the capitals of their respective countries. The Danube passes through four capital cities, more than any other river in the world. Five more capital cities lie in the Danube’s basin: Bucharest, Sofia, Zagreb, Ljubljana and Sarajevo. The fourth-largest city in its basin is Munich, the capital of Bavaria, standing on the Isar River.
The Danube river basin is home to fish species such as pike, zander, huchen, Wels catfish, burbot and tench. It is also home to a large diversity of carp and sturgeon, as well as salmon and trout. A few species of euryhaline fish, such as European seabass, mullet, and eel, inhabit the Danube Delta and the lower portion of the river.
Since ancient times, the Danube has been a traditional trade route in Europe. Today, 2,415 km (1,501 mi) of its total length are navigable. The Danube is linked to the North Sea via the Rhine–Main–Danube Canal, connecting the Danube at Kelheim with the Main at Bamberg. The river is also an important source of hydropower and drinking water. Many European borders, especially in the Balkans, are also drawn by the Danube’s stream.
4. Zambezi River
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The Zambezi River (also spelled Zambeze and Zambesi) is the fourth-longest river in Africa, the longest east-flowing river in Africa and the largest flowing into the Indian Ocean from Africa. At its deepest point, the river reaches a depth of approximately 381 feet. The area of its basin is 1,390,000 square kilometres (540,000 sq mi), slightly less than half of the Nile’s. The 2,574-kilometre-long river (1,599 mi) rises in Zambia and flows through eastern Angola, along the north-eastern border of Namibia and the northern border of Botswana, then along the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe to Mozambique, where it crosses the country to empty into the Indian Ocean.
The Zambezi’s most noted feature is Victoria Falls. Other notable falls include the Chavuma Falls at the border between Zambia and Angola, and Ngonye Falls, near Sioma in Western Zambia.
There are two main sources of hydroelectric power on the river, the Kariba Dam, which provides power to Zambia and Zimbabwe, and the Cahora Bassa Dam in Mozambique, which provides power to Mozambique and South Africa. There are additionally two smaller power stations along the Zambezi River in Zambia, one at Victoria Falls and the other one near Kalene Hill in Ikelenge District.
5. Amazon River
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The Amazon River (UK: /ˈæməzən/, US: /ˈæməzɒn/; Spanish: Río Amazonas, Portuguese: Rio Amazonas) in South America is the largest river by discharge volume of water in the world, and the disputed longest river in the world in comparison to the Nile. At its deepest point, the river reaches a depth of approximately 328 feet.
The headwaters of the Apurímac River on Nevado Mismi had been considered for nearly a century as the Amazon’s most distant source, until a 2014 study found it to be the headwaters of the Mantaro River on the Cordillera Rumi Cruz in Peru. The Mantaro and Apurímac rivers join, and with other tributaries form the Ucayali River, which in turn meets the Marañón River upstream of Iquitos, Peru, forming what countries other than Brazil consider to be the main stem of the Amazon. Brazilians call this section the Solimões River above its confluence with the Rio Negro forming what Brazilians call the Amazon at the Meeting of Waters (Portuguese: Encontro das Águas) at Manaus, the largest city on the river.
The Amazon River has an average discharge of about 209,000 m3/s (7,400,000 cu ft/s)—approximately 6,591 km3 (1,581 cu mi) per year, greater than the next seven largest independent rivers combined. Two of the top ten rivers by discharge are tributaries of the Amazon river. The Amazon represents 20% of the global riverine discharge into oceans. The Amazon basin is the largest drainage basin in the world, with an area of approximately 7,000,000 km2 (2,700,000 sq mi). The portion of the river’s drainage basin in Brazil alone is larger than any other river’s basin. The Amazon enters Brazil with only one-fifth of the flow it finally discharges into the Atlantic Ocean, yet already has a greater flow at this point than the discharge of any other river.
6. Mekong River
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The Mekong or Mekong River is a trans-boundary river in East Asia and Southeast Asia. It is the world’s twelfth longest river and the third longest in Asia. At its deepest point, the river reaches a depth of approximately 328 feet. Its estimated length is 4,909 km (3,050 mi), and it drains an area of 795,000 km2 (307,000 sq mi), discharging 475 km3 (114 cu mi) of water annually. From the Tibetan Plateau the river runs through China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam.
The extreme seasonal variations in flow and the presence of rapids and waterfalls in the Mekong make navigation difficult. Even so, the river is a major trade route between western China and Southeast Asia.
7. Yellow River
[Image Credit: https://video.cgtn.com/news/2020-06-09/Xi-expresses-concern-over-China-s-Yellow-River-once-again-RbouCLJrHy/video/70f793d1218f4df6bbb573b55558b17b/70f793d1218f4df6bbb573b55558b17b.jpg]
The Yellow River or Huang He (Chinese: 黃河, Mandarin: Huáng hé [xwǎŋ xɤ̌] (listen)) is the second-longest river in China, after the Yangtze River, and the sixth-longest river system in the world at the estimated length of 5,464 km (3,395 mi).
At its deepest point, the river reaches a depth of approximately 262 feet. Originating in the Bayan Har Mountains in Qinghai province of Western China, it flows through nine provinces, and it empties into the Bohai Sea near the city of Dongying in Shandong province. The Yellow River basin has an east–west extent of about 1,900 kilometers (1,180 mi) and a north–south extent of about 1,100 km (680 mi). Its total drainage area is about 795,000 square kilometers (307,000 sq mi).
The Yellow River’s basin was the birthplace of ancient Chinese, and, by extension, Far Eastern civilization, and it was the most prosperous region in early Chinese history. There are frequent devastating floods and course changes produced by the continual elevation of the river bed, sometimes above the level of its surrounding farm fields.
8. St. Lawrence River
St. Lawrence River
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The St. Lawrence River (French: Fleuve Saint-Laurent, [flœv sɛ̃ loʁɑ̃]) is a large river in the middle latitudes of North America, flowing from Lake Ontario in a roughly northeasterly direction into the Gulf of St. Lawrence, connecting the Great Lakes to the North Atlantic Ocean and forming the primary drainage outflow of the Great Lakes Basin.
At its deepest point, the river reaches a depth of approximately 250 feet. The river traverses the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec as well as the U.S. state of New York, and is part of the international boundary between Canada and the United States. It also provides the basis for the commercial St. Lawrence Seaway.
9. Hudson River
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The Hudson River is a 315-mile (507 km) river that flows from north to south primarily through eastern New York in the United States. At its deepest point, the river reaches a depth of approximately 216 feet. It originates in the Adirondack Mountains of Upstate New York and flows southward through the Hudson Valley to the Upper New York Bay between New York City and Jersey City, eventually draining into the Atlantic Ocean at New York Harbor. The river serves as a political boundary between the states of New Jersey and New York at its southern end. Farther north, it marks local boundaries between several New York counties. The lower half of the river is a tidal estuary, deeper than the body of water into which it flows, occupying the Hudson Fjord, an inlet which formed during the most recent period of North American glaciation, estimated at 26,000 to 13,300 years ago. Even as far north as the city of Troy, the flow of the river changes direction with the tides.
The Hudson River runs through the Munsee/Lenape, Mohican, and Mohawk, Haudenosaunee homelands. Prior to European exploration, the river was known as the Mahicannittuk by the Mohicans, Ka’nón:no by the Mohawks, and Muhheakantuck by the Lenape. The river was subsequently named after Henry Hudson, an Englishman sailing for the Dutch East India Company who explored it in 1609, and after whom Hudson Bay in Canada is also named. It had previously been observed by Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano sailing for King Francis I of France in 1524, as he became the first European known to have entered the Upper New York Bay, but he considered the river to be an estuary. The Dutch called the river the North River—with the Delaware River called the South River—and it formed the spine of the Dutch colony of New Netherland. Settlements of the colony clustered around the Hudson, and its strategic importance as the gateway to the American interior led to years of competition between the English and the Dutch over control of the river and colony.
During the eighteenth century, the river valley and its inhabitants were the subject and inspiration of Washington Irving, the first internationally acclaimed American author. In the nineteenth century, the area inspired the Hudson River School of landscape painting, an American pastoral style, as well as the concepts of environmentalism and wilderness. The Hudson was also the eastern outlet for the Erie Canal, which, when completed in 1825, became an important transportation artery for the early 19th century United States.
Pollution in the river increased in the 20th century, more acutely by mid-century, particularly with industrial contamination from polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Pollution control regulations, enforcement actions and restoration projects initiated in the latter 20th century have begun to improve water quality, and restoration work has continued in the 21st century.
10. Mississippi River
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The Mississippi River[a] is the second-longest river and chief river of the second-largest drainage system on the North American continent, second only to the Hudson Bay drainage system. At its deepest point, the river reaches a depth of approximately 200 feet. From its traditional source of Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota, it flows generally south for 2,340 miles (3,770 km) to the Mississippi River Delta in the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi’s watershed drains all or parts of 32 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces between the Rocky and Appalachian mountains. The main stem is entirely within the United States; the total drainage basin is 1,151,000 sq mi (2,980,000 km2), of which only about one percent is in Canada. The Mississippi ranks as the thirteenth-largest river by discharge in the world. The river either borders or passes through the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana.
Native Americans have lived along the Mississippi River and its tributaries for thousands of years. Most were hunter-gatherers, but some, such as the Mound Builders, formed prolific agricultural and urban civilizations. The arrival of Europeans in the 16th century changed the native way of life as first explorers, then settlers, ventured into the basin in increasing numbers.The river served first as a barrier, forming borders for New Spain, New France, and the early United States, and then as a vital transportation artery and communications link. In the 19th century, during the height of the ideology of manifest destiny, the Mississippi and several western tributaries, most notably the Missouri, formed pathways for the western expansion of the United States.
Formed from thick layers of the river’s silt deposits, the Mississippi embayment is one of the most fertile regions of the United States; steamboats were widely used in the 19th and early 20th centuries to ship agricultural and industrial goods. During the American Civil War, the Mississippi’s capture by Union forces marked a turning point towards victory, due to the river’s strategic importance to the Confederate war effort. Because of the substantial growth of cities and the larger ships and barges that replaced steamboats, the first decades of the 20th century saw the construction of massive engineering works such as levees, locks and dams, often built in combination. A major focus of this work has been to prevent the lower Mississippi from shifting into the channel of the Atchafalaya River and bypassing New Orleans.
Since the 20th century, the Mississippi River has also experienced major pollution and environmental problems – most notably elevated nutrient and chemical levels from agricultural runoff, the primary contributor to the Gulf of Mexico dead zone.