Portal:Rivers

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Introduction

The Amazon River (dark blue) and the rivers which flow into it (medium blue)

A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its course without reaching another body of water. Small rivers can be referred to using names such as stream, creek, brook, rivulet, and rill. There are no official definitions for the generic term river as applied to geographic features, although in some countries or communities a stream is defined by its size. Many names for small rivers are specific to geographic location; examples are "run" in some parts of the United States, "burn" in Scotland and northeast England, and "beck" in northern England. Sometimes a river is defined as being larger than a creek, but not always: the language is vague.

Rivers are part of the hydrological cycle. Water generally collects in a river from precipitation through a drainage basin from surface runoff and other sources such as groundwater recharge, springs, and the release of stored water in natural ice and snowpacks (e.g., from glaciers).

Rivers and streams are often considered major features within a landscape; however, they actually only cover around 0.1% of the land on Earth. They are made more obvious and significant to humans by the fact that many human cities and civilizations are built around the freshwater supplied by rivers and streams. Most of the major cities of the world are situated on the banks of rivers, as they are, or were, used as a source of water, for obtaining food, for transport, as borders, as a defensive measure, as a source of hydropower to drive machinery, for bathing, and as a means of disposing of waste. (Full article...)

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Waterfall in Macleay Park

Balch Creek is a 3.5-mile (5.6 km) tributary of the Willamette River in the U.S. state of Oregon. Beginning at the crest of the Tualatin Mountains (West Hills), the creek flows generally east down a canyon along Northwest Cornell Road in unincorporated Multnomah County and through the Macleay Park section of Forest Park, a large municipal park in Portland. At the lower end of the park, the stream enters a pipe and remains underground until reaching the river. Danford Balch, after whom the creek is named, settled a land claim along the creek in the mid-19th century. After murdering his son-in-law, he became the first person legally hanged in Oregon.

Basalt, mostly covered by silt in the uplands and sediment in the lowlands, underlies the Balch Creek watershed. The upper part of the watershed includes private residential land, the Audubon Society of Portland nature sanctuary, and part of Forest Park. Mixed conifer forest of Coast Douglas-fir, western redcedar, and western hemlock with a well-developed understory of shrubs and flowering plants is the natural vegetation. Sixty-two species of mammals and more than 112 species of birds use Forest Park. A small population of coastal cutthroat trout resides in the stream, which in 2005 was the only major water body in Portland that met state standards for bacteria, temperature, and dissolved oxygen. (Full article...)

Selected Quote

Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr circa 1930-edit.jpg
A river is more than an amenity, it is a treasure.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., Speaking About the Delaware River, 1931

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Dordogne 2.jpg
Photograph: Lviatour

Dordogne in Perigord, south-western France, near Castelnaud-la-Chapelle

General images

The following are images from various river-related articles on Wikipedia.

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Maksimovsky rock in the Chusovaya River in Russia

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