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A rare bird can fly: the world's widest rivers

Ecologists, limnologists, hydrologists, potamologists study the structure, condition, biological and chemical composition of water bodies, watercourses of the planet. If we talk about water arteries, the most full-flowing, deep, long rivers in the world are identified. They are famous for flora, fauna, importance for humans.

Let's talk about the widest river in Russia and in the world, and find out if the channels are suitable for river navigation.

How are rivers divided by width?

The channel of a waterway is formed by the movement of water. The process lasts for centuries, the area of the passage often changes due to natural or environmental reasons. When talking about the width, we mean the maximum distance between two points of different banks, including island areas. The maximum indicator is taken as the basis. The nature of the current and the water regime are important.

Rivers are divided into three types by width:

  1. narrow (flowing mainly in mountainous areas);
  2. average;
  3. wide.

The latter include blue highways over 150 meters wide. There are waterways in the world, standing on one bank of which, the second bank is difficult to discern even with binoculars. Let's start with the Russian ones.

Russia's widest rivers

The Russian Federation is famous for its rich nature. All over the world know the names of Russian reservoirs: Baikal, Volga, Yenisei. Let's tell you which river in Russia is the widest.

Ob - 60 km

It is formed at the confluence of the Altai arteries Katun and Biya. It flows along the West Siberian plain to the north for 3,650 km. One of the widest rivers in Siberia. The widest place is the mouth of the Ob Bay, where the artery flows into the Kara Sea. It is calculated to the places where Nadym and Nyda flow into the Bay. Together with its tributary Irtysh it forms the longest waterway in the country.


Ob during floods

In the bay steep waves of irregular shape are formed, it is difficult to approach the shore of the bay from the sea, there is a maritime navigation regime. The waters are rich in fish: sturgeon, sterlet, vendace, whitefish and others. The shores in this place are monotonous, devoid of forests, marshy. The size of the Ob basin is 2990 thousand square km.

Riverboats move along the Ob in all sections, carrying cargo and passengers. The depth varies from 110 to 300 cm (relevant to Salekhard and Khanty-Mansiysk districts).

Amur - 40-50 km

The water border between Russia and China, the Amur, is one of the widest in the country. It ranks first in the country by the number and diversity of ichthyofauna: 139 subspecies of fish are found in the waters of the Amur. It floods in August and September.


View of the Amur embankment in Khabarovsk

The river is navigable from source to mouth, with the narrowest point being limited to 300 meters. Notably, the Zeya, a tributary of the Amur, is wider than the main waterway at its confluence. The upper and middle parts of the river are the border zone between China and Russia. The Russian side of the Amur needs strengthening, as floods are becoming threatening.

Read also:  Mountains and rivers

Lena - 20-30 km

The largest river in central Siberia, it is 4,400 kilometers long. For most of its journey from a nameless swamp to the Laptev Sea, the Lena is surrounded by coniferous forests, highlands, and meadows. Already in its middle course, the channel widens to 20 kilometers. Its source is in the southern Irkutsk region. On the right side of Baikal is the source of the Vitimcan, another major northern river, to which the Lena is connected via the waters of Vitim.


The mighty Lena River

Lena is known for being located entirely in the permafrost area. In the upper reaches, where there are no islands and the channel is single, the widest place is three kilometers, in places where islands cluster, the waterway spills to thirty. It freezes in reverse order.

Volga - 15-20 km

When you first find yourself on the Volga, you are struck by its beauty. It is the longest and widest river in Europe. The widest location is in neighboring Kazakhstan. The delta has 500 arms. The river's waterway provides fresh water to the Mangistau region of the Republic of Kazakhstan.


View of the Volga

The riverbed of the Volga expands after the Kama River flows into it. The character of the flow changes. During the Soviet years, dams, reservoirs, and hydroelectric power plants were built here: the Volga, Saratov, and Zhigulevskaya.

From the city of Rzhev to the mouth of the river is developed shipping and fishing. Today the waterway is one of the symbols of Russia.

Kama - 15 km

Kama is fed by melted snow and ice, has a narrow channel in the upper reaches, in the lower reaches is wide, up to 15 kilometers. It flows into the Kuibyshev reservoir, but two more reservoirs were created on the river. This improved conditions for the passage of ships.


Bridge across the Kama River near the village of Sorochi Gory

The disappearing taimen, reaching a length of 2 meters and weighing 80 kilograms, is once again found in the Kama.

The widest river in the world

Russia's waterways are not the widest in the world. Let's talk about world record holders.

The Amazon has broken three records simultaneously: the largest, full-flowing, and having the largest delta. The Amazon is recognized as a natural wonder of the world. In the middle reaches of the Amazon, the water artery is flooded, the width of the delta is 17-20 kilometers.


The Amazon is the most amazing river on the planet

The Ganges delta is much wider than the Amazon delta, but it is formed by merging with the Brahmaputra (300 km wide). Here is the Sundarban mangrove forest, famous for its size and beauty. Living in the delta of the Indian river is dangerous: floods and cyclones occur in the area.

It's time to find out which river is the widest river in the world. The artery runs through Argentina and Uruguay. The indigenous peoples called this place the "river plate" or River Plate. The modern name is the Rio de la Plata.

Represents an estuary at the confluence of the Atlantic Ocean:

  • Uruguay;
  • Parana.

Europeans first discovered estuaries in the 16th century, attempting to find a waterway from the Atlantic to the Pacific. An estuary is an estuary that extends into the marine zone. Coastal areas are flooded during floods.

Rio de La Plata

View of Buenos Aires and Rio de la Plata from an airplane

La Plata is 48 kilometers wide at its narrowest and 320 kilometers wide at its widest. The city of Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, is situated on the left bank of the confluence of rivers. The area of the basin is 3.2 million km2In the waters there is a rare river dolphin, named after the name of the estuary, the turtle.

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The width of water arteries is not of serious importance to geographers, naturalists, ecologists. Much more important is the human attitude towards water bodies. Going on vacation, fishing, do not forget to clean up litter.


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