Nile: length, water regime, the nature of the flow and the economic importance of the river
Many nations of the world have their own “sacred” river. The Russians have the Volga, the Ukrainians the Dnieper, and the Germans the Rhine. Sacred to all Egyptians is the Nile River. After all, its shores, by and large, are the only oasis of life among the vast expanses of desert. We will tell you about this important, majestic and unimaginably long river in our article.
Nil: 9 Curious Facts
We will begin our acquaintance with the Nile by listing the most interesting facts about this watercourse:
- The river flows through the territory of ten African countries.
- The total length of the Nile is equal to the distance from London to New York (in a straight line).
- It was on the banks of this river that the most ancient civilization of the planet, the Egyptian, originated.
- Stone blocks for the construction of the world famous pyramids Egyptians delivered it along the bed of the Nile.
- In the waters of the Nile lives a special type of perch, reaching in the weight of 100-120 kg.
- Approximately 9/10 of the inhabitants of modern Egypt live on the banks of this river.
- The Nile is one of the most polluted watercourses on our planet. A huge amount of household and industrial waste is dumped into its waters every year.
- The Nile Delta is one of the most ancient centers of agriculture in the whole world.
- A large number of dangerous and bloodthirsty crocodiles still inhabit the waters of this river.
Nile length: disputes and options
More recently, in schools, we were told that the Nile is the longest river in the world. However, recent geographic studies have shown that this is not the case. In particular, Brazilian scientists found that the length of the Nile is inferior to the Amazon almost 150 kilometers.
To this day, disputes over where the Nile begins are not fading among geographers. Some researchers believe that the counting of the watercourse should be carried out from Lake Victoria, located in East Africa. Others are convinced that the source of the Nile is the Kagera River, which flows into the same lake from the west. It was discovered and carefully studied only in the second half of the XIX century. Accordingly, the total length of the Nile will be different. In the first case - 5600 km, and in the second - 6850 km.
One way or another, a large number of different watercourses flow into Lake Victoria.And it is quite difficult to determine exactly which of them is the beginning of Nil himself.
Nile River: general characteristics and water regime
Actually this river becomes the Nile only around the city of Khartoum in Sudan. It is here that the White Nile merges with Blue. The first is much longer than the second. However, it is the Blue Nile that plays a crucial role in shaping the river regime downstream of Khartoum. It originates from the Ethiopian Highlands. There emerges another major tributary of the Nile - Atbara.
Accepting the waters of Atbara, the Nile flows through desert terrain and has no tributaries up to the Mediterranean Sea. The flow of water in the river varies greatly during the calendar year. The average flow rate at the mouth of the Nile is 2830 m3/from.
The river has a peculiar water regime. Once a year the water level in it rises sharply, flooding huge areas of the coastal territory. This is due to the rainy season, which usually falls in December - March. At this time of the year, the Blue Nile turns into a turbulent stream, which, together with water, carries tons of fertile silt from the Ethiopian highlands into the delta.
To the north of Cairo, the river’s delta begins, which stretches nearly 250 kilometers along the Mediterranean coast. Here the Nile falls into nine large and a number of smaller sleeves connected by numerous ducts. In the northern (coastal) part of this region there are many lagoon-type lakes. The total area of the Nile delta is about 25,000 square meters. km, which is roughly comparable to the Crimean peninsula.
By the way, the ancient Greek geographers called the delta estuary of the Nile. After all, she reminded her form the same letter of the alphabet. After that, the mouths of many other river systems of the planet began to be called deltas, and the word itself successfully stuck in geographic terminology.
Value of the river
The river basin of the Nile covers the territories of ten African states. It:
- South Sudan;
- DR Congo;
About one fifth of the total length of the river falls on Egypt. On the shores and in the Nile Delta a number of large cities grew. Among them - Cairo, Alexandria, Khartoum, Aswan, Luxor, Karnak and others.
The Nile is the only river in Africa that completely crosses the Sahara Desert, a grandiose scale, and at the same time brings its waters to the Mediterranean Sea.Of course, its importance for North Africa is very difficult to overestimate. In addition to fresh water, the Nile also brings Egypt a large amount of fertile silt, thanks to which agriculture is actively developing in the country.
Of great economic importance was the construction in the second half of the twentieth century Ausan hydraulic system. It allowed to settle the river flow and eliminate the threat of annual large floods. In addition, conditions have emerged for year-round irrigation, which made it possible to harvest up to three harvests per year in the region.