Notes of Rivers of the World
River 1 – The Amazon
• Amazon is located in South America
• It is the largest river basin in the world
• Drain into the Atlantic
• 70% of the Amazon is located in Brazil
• Amazon basin is also in Equador, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Bolivia, Guyana,
Suriname, French Guiana
• Amazon river has multiple names
• Major Tributaries of the Amazon are Negro, Tocantins, Maderia, Tigre
• Has over 1100 tributaries
• 220,000 cubic meters per second flows into the ocean
• Mouth of Amazon is right at the equator,
• There is no winter, spring, fall, only wet and dry season
• Water level is 5 – 15 meters higher in the wet season than the dry season
• Amazon picks up most of its sediment from the Andes in Peru, this part of the
basin is called the muddy river because of all the sediments
• Rio Negro starts in the lowlands of the Amazon and this region is known as the
black river because there is hardly any sediment in here
• In the eastern region of the basin is the clear water regions where there is hardly
any sediment or organic material
• When these tributaries meet, some interesting effects occur like swirls, linear
differences which happens because of mixing of different types of water
• Bank erosion contributes a massive amount of sediment to the river
• Only a small amount of that sediment flows into the Atlantic which builds up new
banks because of floodplains and what not
• South America is growing very quickly and therefore the Amazon is becoming
that much more important
• No bridges because it is so wide/ Also no dams on the river itself
• Road network is expanding making it easier for people to live there However the
flooding still makes it quiet difficult
• Belo Monte Dam is in construction on the Xingu River of the Amazon
• One of the most controversial engineering projects in the world
• It will be the third largest hydro dam in the world and will cost around 17 billion • Environmental impact is unclear however the tribes that live next to the river will
indefinitely be effected
• During construction flow of river will be very low making it touch for natives to
• Construction has been on and off due to rulings of judges
• Many areas around the Amazon are being deforested, when there is regrowth of
the forest, it is not of the same quality as the original
• 50% of the rain that falls in the area evaporates because of vegetation
• Because of this, less water is being contributed back into the atmosphere when we
cut down the trees
• 100% is getting smaller
• There is a massive change in the water levels between areas where logging has
occurred and where logging hasn’t occurred
• Between 19962005 a chunk of rainforest the size of lake Ontario was being cut
• Many studies project the deforestation of the Amazon, saying less trees equals
less evaporation which will reduce the rainfall and makes water even more scarce
than it already is
• Humans log to gain access to wood, grazing areas for cattle, hardwood,
settlements, Crops, Gold mining (Amazon basin has a very high gold reserve
which humans remove to get to the gold)
• 400 Tons of gold mined globally each year
• There are very big mining set ups, but also small illegal ones occur often
• Mercury is used to separate the gold and turn it into a bigger nugget
• Illegal Miners are the ones that are contributing to deforestation and also to the
mercury that is ending up in the river
• Mercury is very harmful to the ecosystem, it contaminates the water and the fish
which we than eat River 2 – Mississippi River
• The Mississippi Basin is almost entirely in U.S and a very small section is in
• Main tributaries are Missouri river, Ohio river, and Arkansas river
• Mississippi has been called the world’s greatest land building machine because it
carries so much sediment from the Rockies
• When the river floods, the sediment goes over the bank and stays there when it
recedes. This has created extra land in the New Orleans area
• Most of the Mississippi water is from rain fall
• The more south you go the water flow grows exponentially, due to the entrance of
the tributaries coming into it
• Half the water is diverted to the west into Atchafalaya bay then the Gulf, while
other half goes through Mississippi then the Gulf
• Hernando De Soto was the first European to cross the Mississippi. He came in
1542 looking for gold and started in Florida and travelled north and west and
eventually found the Mississippi. Killed a lot of natives and found no gold and
died of fever on banks of Mississippi
• Marquette was the next to use the Mississippi in 1672. He was in Sault Marie and
heard about it as a trading route. He saw natives with items in hand from De
Soto’s exploration and assumed Spanish had already settled there
• La Salle came to Mississippi as an adventurer who wanted to check it out from
16841687. He explored the south and claimed it in the name of France and
named it Louisiana in honor of the King
• JeanBaptiste Le Moyne de Bienville and Pierre le Moyne d’Lberville founded
New Orleans. This was not a good area because of mosquitoes and swampiness
but great because the Mississippi passes through it and that’s the only way to
reach the heartland of the states
• The Mississippi was the way for business deals to get done back then because of
this New Orleans grew hugely and was the connecting city between south and the
• It was the fastest growing city in North America in the early 1800’s. By 1840 the
growth of New Orleans began to get outmatched by other cities in the States
• After 1950 the population began to start dropping because it was too small for
very large ships
• Bank Erosion • Channel bed Topography
• The river is dynamic because people living close to the river want it to stay the
same. They don’t want it always changing and flooding screwing with their area
• Levees are build to prevent the flooding from getting into living areas and the # of
levees built took off hugely after 1955
• Bank protection
• Dams started increasing very rapidly at the beginning of the 19 century
• Straightening makes it much shorter for boat to travel
• Result is that the river is less dynamic because we put a lot of control and rigidity
in the river
• Channel Adjustment is that the slope of the river was much shallower before
the adjustment than afterwards. This is because we have shortened the
distanced between the two points, so because of this the sediment is able to
travel through the river more easily and more sediment is deposited into gulf
and not into lands
• Reduced sediment supply is that sediment gets trapped behind these dams.
The amount of sediment that is being transported down is less and less, which
is causing the land building machine to be deprived of its main material. The
main way that the river built land was by flooding and depositing sediment,
with all the man made intervention it does not flood and it has less sediment
so it can no longer build land and all the sediment just flows into the ocean
• Reduced flood plain and delta building
• Wetland loss
• Enlarged hurricane impacts
• Sea level rise River 3 – Yangtze River
• The river is the longest in Asia and third longest in the world. Third largest in
amount of water it conveys
• It has a fairly elongated basin and is over 3000 km in length
• Only Amazon and Congo convey more water than Yangtze
• River starts in Highland in Tibeatean Plateau and drains down from there
• The three gorges dam is the largest dam in the world and its located on
• Biggest cities along the river are Shangai, Nanjing, Wuhan and Chongqing
• 40% of all water resources in China come from Yangtze
• Shangia is the chinesse name for Yangzte
• There are 700 Tributaries. Some of the major ones are Yalong, Min, Jialing,
Wu. All these tributaries are coming from the North
• 2 Main ones coming from South are both associated with lakes. The first is
Dong tin and Poyang
• River starts in Tibetean Plateau goes through Sichuan Basin then through the
Three gorges and drains into the East China Sea
• Most famous is tiger leaping gorge, which is story about a tiger that was being
hunted and this tiger jumped 7 metres over the gorge to escape. This is the
legend behind the name.
• Downstream from there are 2 big lakes south of river not on it called dongting
and Poyang lake. Both of these lakes are very shallow.
• Yangtze basin covers wet area of china. Anything in north is considered dry
area. South area is wet part of china.
• Doesn’t start in himalyees, starts in tibeatean plateau. Doesn’t get rainfall from
himalyees. Where the 2 lakes are located, brings in lots of rainfall and also the
sichuan basin brings in lots of water to Yangtze
• As you go downstream, discharge in river is increasing notably because you
have more tributaries mainly from wet part. There are 2 stations to know:
datong, which is last gaging station before ocean. Downstream of that there’s
no downstream measurements therefore datong is best measurement. Other
one is yinchang, which is downstream of gorges dam. Datong is at end of
river. Keep these in mind. When there’s most flow in river, most wet points
are in mid summer. In winter, carries less water.
• There hasn’t been too much change if you compare 1950s to 2000s. It is
slightly more in datong in 2000s. This could be because of climate change or
might explain why in 2000s, flow is higher in dtaong than in 50s. The
differences are relatively smaller though. Can say its climate change most
likely • Fluctuations of flow through time: means that water levels can vary by about
10 metres between lower parts of river system. High water stage means this
building will get flooded a lot. Variations throughout year – January there
slow flow and august higher flow. Same with the datong lake. High flow can
vary depending on how much rain there is year to year
• There is flooding that happens as well. This is datong lake. Its small but when
flood comes through, water from Yangtze is diverted into this lake. This lake
is shallow but when floods come through, there high enough to topple into
lake. Water and leave again and go into Yangtze. During low flow when no
floods, only water coming from south and flowing into Yangtze. There is no
flow from Yangtze into lake. Part of the year, Yangtze will always get water
from lake, but part of the year it will also contribute to the lake.
• With increase in discharge, you also get increases in sediment. Going
upstream, there is low sediment and then picks up sediment in upper regions.
After dam when river come out of 3 gorges area, enters flatland and then river
isn’t capable of carrying sediment so you lose a lot of sediment and deposits
it. It loses its energy and can’t carry all of sediment it was carrying. Annual
loads of how much its carrying is deposited and its lost. Look at top right
graph. It then picks up more energy and picks up more sediment.
• Flow didn’t change much but sediment did. Y? there is staggering amount of
dam built within the Yangzte basin since 1950s mostly. The number of dams
that have been built is more than 50000 dams in it. Nearly all have been built
since 1950s. Most are small dams. Behind these dams, sediment gets trapped.
A lot of sediment the river was carrying before can’t make its way through
anymore. Gradually, as dams are being built, you get less sediment being
carried because gets trapped. TGR is three gorges dam. Other reason is in this
central area where lots of erosion is because forests are being cut so you get
agriculture on it and agriculture is more erosive than forested land. Since
1980s there is been conservation measure and they are trying to do something
about it and stop it or reduce. They started planting new forests. Reforestation
was one of measures they did. By doing this, your making it less likely for soil
to get eroded.
• Sediment that does make it through and ends up in yangzte builds up a delta.
You get coastline being up ere and by now, coastline has expanded. Shanghai
is built on delta area. This has been the case because of sediments coming
through river over time which is being deposited at mount of river.
• After 3 gorges dam, before dam was built, that area carried less sediment
because river was coming from steep channel into flat land and loses energy
and deposits its sediment. In area between the TGD up until the lakes, there is
reduction sediment being carried meaning its being deposited meaning river bed is rising. There is less of that happening because dam is being built so
sediment is trapped behind dam instead of below river. There was increase in
water level because of riverbed increasing. Year after year it got higher and
flow got higher. Bottom pic, they built higher levies each year t contain river.
It was to adjust in drop of sediment in Yangtze river
• The Yangtze basin is important for agriculture. The two main areas for
agriculture are Yangtze basin and the yellow rivers as well.
• Fishing is important here. 70% of rice comes from Yangtze basin. The basin is
not big and comprises about 20% of all of China. Basin is hugely important in
• Industry is also important since many ores are found in the basin. Coal fields
are here and same with iron ore. There is also other metal’s and minerals
found within the basin as well or close to the river
• Deposits of copper or iron are found in the basin so the basin is important for
agriculture and industry equally
• Another city upstream is wuhan. This is where hun tributary joins Yangtze.
Industrial town. In heartland of central china. Commercial centre but lots of
steel industry in that area. Upstream further is TGD. The only big city after
that is Chongqing
• For long time, only way to transport anything there was by boat and down the
river. As shipping line, it became a place where people live and thrive
economically. They build cities around there. First major city is shangahi. Has
23 million people living in it. It is China’s main commercial and financial
center. One of major financial centers of the world too. It is an important port
city as well. Its connection between ocean going vessels and all the rest of
vessels. Largest container port in world. 60000 containers handled each day.
The richest place in china as well – shanghai. As you go further upstream, the
GDP per capita is gradually decreasing. 4 times more GDP in shanghai.
• Next city down is Nanjing which is a big commercial and industrial center as
well. Most of traffic that goes north to Beijing will pass through this city. It is
not as famous as shanghai. It is famous for something that happened in1937
when there was war between china and japan. After siege, they took revenge
on population for not surrendering fast enough and there was enormous
massacre killed by army. Many women were raped by army it was called rape
of Nanjing. This is why this city is famous and around 300000 people got
killed. • Chongqing is bigger city and bigger than shanghai. Close to 13 million people
living in it. It is where jailin river joins Yangtze. This is another tributary. Its
an expanding river and affected by 3 gorges dam. A lot of people displaced by
reservoir behind the dam moved to Chongqing.
• Chongqing became world news in 2012. The river was red. Bloom of algae
material and would be red and made river red, this was theory. Another
suggestion was pollution. Official story is that there was high rainfall and
there was erosion of sediment upstream of river, which was iron sediment’s.
So the sediments were carried here. Landslides may have triggered rainfall
and this is who sediments were contributed. Landslides seem like most likely
story. However, river is polluted
• With all the agriculture, sewage entering, industry, people living there.
Pollution is in the river.About 20 billion tonnes each year of pollution in river.
80% of it is untreated like sewage.
• Baiji Yangtze Dolphin, which exists only in this river of the world. The
decrease in population is because of boats that go through the river and make
noise, industrialization. Also it could be because of fishing and pollution. This
species has been declared critically endangered. Marks the first case of
mammal going extinct because of human activity. Also animals such as Giant
Panda and Snow Lepord are endangered. These animals exist in 3 Gorges area
and Snow Lepord is mainly in Tibetan Plateau
• There is about 50000 dams in the Yangtze basin. This is part of study from
satelitte imagery. Its possible to distinguish resevoirs from natural lakes. There
was study and this is where they found reservoirs. Found about 1000. Could
also figure out how many reservoirs have been built through time. Couldn’t
trace exactly when constructed. There has been rapid increase in number of
dams being built.
• One of such dams is the Three Gorges Dam and it is the biggest in the world
and has a great location. This dam was operational in 2003 and is 2 m wide.
The 3 gorges area is high and deep. When dam is being built, can flood behind
it and goes very deep behind it
• Another impact of dam is sediment yield is decreasing after dam was built.
• Unintended side effect was landslides. Have occurred in 3 gorges area since
the TGD was built. The frequency and size of them has increased since TGD
was built. There had been 93 alone river area just a few years after it was built.
When this happens, can actually block river. This is one of tributaries.
Thought that extra landslide is occurring because of saturation of the soil.
When water levels are higher, soil saturate all the way through up to the lake and additional rainfall saturates even more. In 2007, reservoir has 91 major
• There has also been increase in number of earthquakes in area.After 2003,
above 1000. Magnitude of them as well is increased.
• Grand canal was built over 1000 years ago to take goods from south to bijing
and vice versa.Acanal was built and still there. Take water from Yangtze, put
in canal and push it through and go naturally down to Beijing
River 4 – Tigris and Euphrates
• River is in the Middle East. It is the meeting point between Africa, Asia, and
• Euphrates is the longer one and it curves around Tigris.
• At the last area they flow together at the shat el arab. These are strictly two
separate rivers before this. They drain into Persian Gulf. The head points are
in Tarusus Mountains and Zagrus mountains in Iran on Eastern side. The
southern area is low lying valley where it drains into Persian gulf
• Countries involved in these basins are Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria. According
to some maps Saudi Arabia is also involved
• The rainfall mostly falls in east and north from mountains and there is hardly
rainfall in south. Unlike the other rivers learned, these rivers don’t get much
rainfall. Only in north. Hardly any rainfall further downstream in south.
• Tigris carries more water even though shorter and drainage basin is only 25%
of attachment area of Euphrates. Tigris is northern of two rivers – this is why!
This is close to high rainfall zone. Euphrates is southern of the two rivers.
• Looking at Iraq, 98% of Iran gets its water from one of these rivers. These 2
rivers are hugely important for Iraq. Has no other sources of freshwater than
these two rivers.Also no that Syria doesn’t have much to do with Tigris. Tigris
forms border of turkey and Syria for about 40km and this 40km is only area
where Syria has anything to do with river
• This is part of the Fertile Crescent. Mesopotamia with upper Nile and Jordan
River forms crescent or cradle of civilization and called this because this is
thought as where agriculture started and humans settled and was first area
where agriculture happened and permanent settlements happened and urbanization happened. Happened at about 12000-10000 years ago. Many
cities were built with many thousands people living in them. Most famous is
• 6000 years ago first dynasties was built called ubaid during this time irrigation
works were also implemented at this time. Irrigation plants were built to
improve agriculture. Also this was the time fresh water conflicts and people
fighting to control water happened. In 2500 BC ur lama expanded his empire
and he conquered city by laying siege to it and diverting the water away from
city and starve city from water until they surrendered. Nebuchadnexur was
also extending empire but also defended city Babylon against enemies. So he
built mults along river. Diverted part of Euprhates to form ring around city to
defend city better. Cyrus the great came along and conquered Babylon and
diverted water away because city was dry at mults. Alexander the great was
Greek conqueror and was annoyed when had to go to Mesopotamia about all
the Cannals and diversions and dam. They hindered his progress. After he
conquered it, he destroyed all infrastructure that was built in Mesopotamia
like dams and canals. This shows rivers and water supply have been used for
military and economic purposes for centuries
• Throughout history, we see Euphrates has number of branches on it. River was
not always in same position. Sometimes changed naturally. Called avulsions.
Number of old cities of the empires are found along old branches of river that
no longer exist. Could lead to decline city and decline of empire associated
• Droughts, flooding, salinization and avulsion. All these things led to collapse
of empire. The fate of the empires has been historically linked to what’s
happening of fate of two rivers. The fate of current countries is linked to these
• Main reasons dams are build is irrigation, hydropower, flood control
• We build canals and dams to support large populations
• One of issues Turkey is looking to solve using a project called southeast
Anatolia project also known as GAP project. This project is an economic
investment from Turkey into the Southeastern area of the country. The western
part of country is richer and economically stronger than east. Eastern part is
where two rivers start. Turkey wanted to make use of two big resources of
these rivers and use them for developing eastern part of country. Number of
dams and irrigation projects were started. In this whole area of turkey, there is plan for notable expansion of irrigation work for growing crops so it will help
the eastern parts of Turkey to help boost the economy. If water is extracted to
fuel irrigation to these points, might impact flow down stream to Syria and
Iraq. Water quality may also go down and there are additional consequences.
This project consists of a large # of dams being build as well as hydro power
stations and irrigation systems.
• Atttaturk is one of the dams on the Euphrates and it was completed in 2003
Problems and Geopolitics
• Many dams are being built to control water and as a result of that a traditional
flow of high peak in spring and low flow throughout late summer and fall is
being changed by release of water from these dams
• By time you get to Iraq, water passes many dams so you get steady flow
throughout entire year. Turkey says this is good thing because don’t need to
worry about flooding. You have more water in summer when you need it most
for irrigating crops. Can plant things easier. Iraq is saying no this is bad. In
summer and fall, get way less water. Total amount of water we get is far less.
• There are downstream effects of building dams. When dam was built,
downstream affects were usually in same country – according to what we have
learned already. This is different scenario. Most dams built in turkey have
affects by downstream countries of Syria and Iraq. There are positive and
negative impacts. Look at chart. The reduced peak floods makes you lose
power of control over water flows. The amount is controlled by country
upstream. There is also overall reduction of water flow. As more and more
irrigation, more pollution. Water quality is going down as well.
• Things will get worse as Syria and Iraq also want to extend their crop growth
not only Turkey.
• Projections for future for total demand and supply in 1995 was less than
supply. By 2010, supply and demand will be same. In 2040, need about 50
cubic km from Euphrates, which is demand. This cannot happen at same time.
Similar thing happening in Tigris. Will have little surplus. This is assuming
that amount of water of the rivers is remaining constant. This is assumed to
decrease for future however. There is huge problem because demand is
increasing for future. About 20 cubic meters a year difference between
Euphrates and Tigris
• Most of water in Euphrates is coming from Turkey. More than half is from
turkey from Tigris. As opposed, 98% of Iraq gets water from one of these two
basins. Has done this for thousands of years. Most of water falls in turkey. • This raises questions like who decided how much water each country gets?
What rights do the diff states have and how should that water be allocated?
• Principles have been formed on how to deal with international water rights.
Well water is falling in turkey so they can use it and don’t need to share it. If
falling in your country and territory, its yours. This is one argument that can
be made. This is resource right approach. Means that its on your territory so
you can use it. Against that is historical rights. Historically people downstream
have relied on this resource so wont be right to take away because take away
their livelihoods. These people have a right to use that water because have
been doing so for a long time. These 2 approaches are actually called absolute
territorieal sovernighty which says all rights go to upstream state. Harmon was
most vocal opponent of that. Other approach said that whatever you do, cant
do anything that has negative impact on flow of downstream state. Turkey can
build dams but should allow water to go through as it always has historically
called absolute territorial integrity. Neither of these approaches is used in
international law or negotiations. An alternative has been formed called
limited territorieal svernightly saying you do have rights being downstream
and upstream but don’t do significant harm to downstream countries. Other
one is equitable utilization saying reasonably one must balance it.
• Fighting has been going on between countries for last two decades on who
will get how much water
• Current situation: negotiations aren’t going anywhere because upstream
country is also strongest military and economic power. Iraq is recovering from
wars and doesn’t have chance to enforce its will on turkey. For Syria, has
limited military right too and cant enforce anything. Downstream countries are
dependent mainly on these rivers. Turkey doesn’t necessarily need these
rivers. Turkey has alternative resources to boost its economy. The 2 countries
that need the water the most have the least to say about it.
• Climate is changing and population is growing.
• Over whole region by end of century there will be less rainfall. Population of
Syria is expected to double and Iraq will more than double. The demands will
be even more of problem for downstream countries.
• These problems will get bigger in future which is water quantity. Associated
with that is problem with salinization (water staying behind dams and
evaporating and minerals staying in there and making it salty). This makes
water quality decline
The Marshes • These 2 regions are of interest. One is Kurdistan and lowland Marshes.
Shaded area is area that potentially could be independent Kurdistan if there
will ever be one (unlikely). Will stretch to part of Iraq, Iran and chunk of
• Lowland Marshes: near Persian Gulf where Tigris is coming and merging with
Euphrates where there is shat el arab. There they come together there is
number of marshes. Its flat area.
• By 2000 90% of marshes were destroyed
• This is due to dams being built
River 6 (PART 1) – The Danube
• Danube is 3000 km and is an elongated basin, which goes through a # of
countries and this basin is mostly in Eastern Europe
• The basin covers 11 countries including Switzerland, Slovakia, Hungary,
Romania, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Bolivia,
• The river starts in Black Forest Mountains not in theAlps
• The main tributaries are Te inn, Tisa, Sava Rivers
• There are 3 main region on the river. First is uplands through black forest area
up until lowland basin. Second is middle sector than you have lower sector,
which goes up to delta and to the black sea.
• Hufingen is a small river near Danube. Linz is towards bottom end of it • Cities are along the way too. regensberg is an old town and the bridge is from
1140. Its very old. It’s a heritage site
• Bigger town is Passau. About 50000 people. University town. The inn river
joins the Danube at Passau
• If you leave the upper sector and go into middle sector, you enter low line
basin that has salt and has good fertile soils and great location for doing
agriculture. This was historical rich area in sense that it had minerals that it
needed. This is where you find the 4 capitals that are locate on Danube.
• Frist one is Vienna. Most pleasant city to live in in the world. Vienna is
famous for classical composers like Mozart and Beethoven.
• Bratislava is next capitol and its capitol of Slovakia. Its old roman town.
• Budapest is another capitol. Its originally two cities, one on either side of
• Last is Belgrade capitol of Serbia. This is where the last of the tributaries, the
sava, joins. This might be the oldest settlement in Europe where humans left
Africa and went to middle east. First settlement could have been at the sava
and Danube which later formed Belgrade. Many wars have been fought where
Belgrade was target. Involved in 115 wars. Completely destroyed 44 times and
• After Belgrade, you go through mountainous region where the river cuts
through and it has deep gorge there. That gorge is called irongate.
• Gorges area: there are 2 dams built there. Both called iron-gate dam 1 and 2.
At this point he Danube forms border between Serbia and Romania. Two
countries solve on who would be responsible by splitting the dam. The
functioning of the dam and the electricity it generates is equally split.
• The backwater behind dam through these gorges is very large. It stretches
back almost 300 km.
• It was noticed in orsova. Orsova partly got flooded and they decided to rebuild
the city at a higher level. If you go downstream of orsova you enter low line
area of Danube until you hit the delta area. The delta is great place for wildlife
because you have wetlands there and you have various branches where there is
flooding at various stages and its ideal place for wildlife. The delta from the
Danube is also a unesco world heritage site. it suffered through out end of
dictatorship of Romania. The government there was convinced the delta was
good for agriculture. He wanted to convert it to agricultural land. People said
this is bad because soil would be too salty. He ignored them. Part of delta was
converted that conversion stopped when he died. • Most of the delta is located in Romania and is known for wildlife fish and
• Mining, Agriculture, Industrial areas and transportation is big in this area and
these cities compete against each other for use of river
• Pollution is also a problem in this river
• In upper and middle parts of river, you get minerals, which are direct break
down of alpine rocks that are transported by river. This is natural pollution.
Downstream, you see other things like copper mercury and sinze. These are
not natural products. These are there because of mining and wastewater. Just
know that it is possible to track whatever of pollution is in the river and we
can see what type of cause it had either natural or human
• We have various types of activities. Mining, industry, transport, dams being
built, fishing for food.. etc. They are not all compatible with each other.
Problem is that Danube deals with 11 countries. They found solution for
• In 1994, the 11 countries signed the Danube river protection convention. Took
until 1998 until last country approved of it. This convention states that the
countries will cooperate with one another to promote sustainability and
equality of the water resources. This entails that they look at rational and
subtantial use of surface and ground water. The countries involved will have
preventable pressure to prevent pollution and risks and hazards. If something
did happen, countries will come together to prevent what will happen like a
spill. They will all help each other to try and contain the hazard like spill.
This convention was one of the first major treaties between countries to agree
to manage a river basin. It’s an example for other countries the in world to see
how well these 11 countries came together. They are the role a good model
and are setting a great example
River 6 (PART 2) - The Rhine
• This is a much smaller and shorter river than the Danube. Less than half the
length of the Danube. The basin is about a quarter of the size of the Danube.
• This river starts in theAlps and there are many countries involved in this some
of which are France, Switzerland,Austria, Germany, Belgium etc. Rhine-Danube in History
• The gap in the Rhine’s shape is actually the Danube. The Rhine grows around
the Danube over long time scaled. Rivers Change
• The Rhine tapped into the doubs then into zurich tributary. Took more than 4
million years for this to happen. Just know that rivers change! The Danube
over time is getting shorter because it is losing headwater and the Rhine is
capturing those. This is why Danube doesn’t start at Alps. These rivers starting
there have been tapped into by the Rhine
• The Rhine basin now flows through the Netherlands. In the past, all of
Netherlands was part of sea and the Rhine base started at Germany, which was
coastline. 10 mya we had small Rhine River. Its been growing since. As time
went on, the Netherlands got Sea water retreated.
• About 400000 years ago during one of ice ages, there was big ice sheet
covering northern Europe. The Rhine and other rivers were carrying water
towards north from Alps. The water couldn’t escape this ice cap so a massive
lake was being formed. This lake burst through and made its way through
Atlantic. This is first occasion that the English Channel was formed. This
channel wasn’t always exposed. This is presumably real creation of this
channel. The last time there was land that was exposed before English
Channel was about 20000 years ago. England and Europe were connected and
only Rhine River separated them.
• Another bit of history that deals with the romans about 2000 year ago. They
had empire that extended in various directions. The Northern edge of that was
made by the Rhine and Danube. They find that these rivers were good natural
borders to defend against the barbarians on northern side.
• The northern edge of the empire was the Danube river.All the forests involved
in Danube were forts that were for defence purposes. These two rivers made
border of empire. To some extent, we can still see this in Europe.
• Main valley is called Middle Rhine
• Three main tributaries are the neckar, main, and mosel.
• The Rhine is used for inland shipping in Europe, as is Danube. It was
impossible to go by inland shipping from the Danube into the Rhine. Since
1992, that is no longer necessary. They made a map that links the tributaries of
Rhine directly to Danube. • River shipping in Europe has become easier because barges can make their
way from western Europe to black sea in one go.
• These rivers are popular for flow traffic and because of this a # of
simplifications have been made to straightening of river bends. The amount of
goods being shipped has only increased
• There is upper Rhine, middle Rhine starts were the zig zag bend is and lower
Rhine is the area where we find most of current or recent pollution because
this is where you find most of the industry
• There are 3 rivers coming in from east. Most famous is the ruhr. Other
tribuaties are the lipps and the emscher.
Industry and Pollution
• Lower Rhine is were you find most of the pollut