Weser

  (Redirected from Weser river)

The Weser ([ˈveːzɐ]) is a river of Lower Saxony in north-west Germany. It begins at Hannoversch Münden through the confluence of the Werra and Fulda. It passes through the Hanseatic city of Bremen. Its mouth is 50 km (31 mi) further north against the ports of Bremerhaven and Nordenham. The latter is on the Butjadingen Peninsula. It then merges into the North Sea via two highly saline, estuarine mouths.

Weser
Werser (Low German)
Weser2.JPG
The Weser near Bad Oeynhausen
Weser Einzugsgebiet.png
Watershed of the Weser
Weser is located in Germany
Weser
European context: mouth within Germany.
Etymology*weis, Germanic, meaning to flow
Location
CountryGermany
States
Cities
Physical characteristics
Source 
 • locationConfluence of the Fulda and Werra Rivers in Hann. Münden
 • coordinates51°25′17″N 9°38′53″E / 51.42139°N 9.64806°E / 51.42139; 9.64806
 • elevation116 m (381 ft)
MouthWadden Sea of the North Sea
 • location
Between Bremerhaven and Nordenham
 • coordinates
53°32′8″N 8°33′56″E / 53.53556°N 8.56556°E / 53.53556; 8.56556Coordinates: 53°32′8″N 8°33′56″E / 53.53556°N 8.56556°E / 53.53556; 8.56556
 • elevation
0 m (0 ft)
Length452 km (281 mi)
Basin size46,306 km2 (17,879 sq mi)
Discharge 
 • average327 m3/s (11,500 cu ft/s)
Basin features
River systemWeser basin
Tributaries 
 • leftDiemel, Emmer, Werre, Große Aue, Hunte
 • rightAller, Lesum
Orthographic projection centred over Bremen and the Weser watershed.png

It connects to the canal network running east-west across the North German Plain.

The river combined with the Werra – a dialectal form of Weser – runs 744 km (462 mi). This makes up the longest river wholly in Germany. The Weser itself is 452 km (281 mi) long. The Werra rises in Thuringia, the German State south of the main projection (tongue) of Lower Saxony.

EtymologyEdit

The Weser and the Werra were the same words in different dialects. The difference reflects the old linguistic border between Central and Low German, passing through Hannoversch Münden.

The name is cognate with the Wear in England and Vistula in Poland, derived from the root *weis- "to flow", which gave Old English/Old Frisian wāse "mud, ooze", Old Norse veisa "slime, stagnant pool", Dutch waas "haze; soggy land" (see Waasland), Old Saxon waso "wet ground, mire", Old High German wasal "rain", and French vase "mud, sludge".

CourseEdit

The Weser-Werra is the longest river solely in Germany.

The Weser starts at the confluence of the Fulda and the Werra. It then runs down to the Porta Westfalica (gorge) between two high hill ranges, the Wiehengebirge, west and the Weserbergland in the east.

Between Minden and the North Sea, humans have largely canalised the river up to a limit of 1,200-ton ships. Eight hydroelectric dams stand at the ends of adjacent weirstreams that make up the river. The navigation is linked west to the Dortmund–Ems Canal via the Coastal Canal. It is linked east at Bremerhaven to the Elbe.

A large reservoir, the Edersee, on the Eder, the main tributary of the Fulda, is used to allow enough water depth for shipping year-round. The dam, built in 1914, was bombed and severely damaged by British aircraft in May 1943, great destruction and about 70 deaths downstream. It was rebuilt within four months. The reservoir is a major summer resort area. Turbines driven by its sluices provide electricity.

The Weser enters the North Sea in the southernmost part of the German Bight. In the sea it splits into two arms – the riverbed at the end of the last ice age. These sea arms are called Alte Weser (old Weser) and Neue Weser (new Weser). They are the waterways for ships heading for the ports of Bremerhaven, Nordenham, and Bremen. The Alte Weser Lighthouse marks the northernmost point of the Weser. This replaced the Roter Sand Lighthouse in 1964.

TributariesEdit

The largest tributary of the Weser is the Aller, which joins south of Bremen. Tributaries of the Weser and the Werra (from source to mouth) are:

Modes of the list:

  • Listed upstream, but sides seen with the flow
  • Distances ("km …") from the hydrographical limit towards the sea
    • "II", "III"and "IV" mark distances of secondary/tertiary tributaries from the confluence with the Weser etc.
  • After the names, lengths and basin sizes are given.
  • Lengths with longer affluents are given behind the slash, lengths including an upper course with another name with "or"
 
Weser and its tributaries in blue, other rivers in grey

List:

  • km 19, right: Geeste (in Bremerhaven), 42.5 km, 338 km²
  • km 33, right: Lune, 43 km, 383 km²
  • km 35.9, right: Drepte, 37.6 km, 101 km²
  • km 52.8, left: Hunte, 189 km, 2.785 km²
  • km 67.6, right: Lesum, 9.9 or 131.5, 2,188 km²
    • II: km 9.9, right Hamme, 48.5 km, 549 km²
    • ↑ main stream: Wümme, 118 / 120, 1,585 km²
  • km 72.5, left: Ochtum, 25.6 or 45 km, 917 km²
    • II: km 25.6: left Hache, 33 km, 118 km²
  • km 125.6, right: Aller, 260 km, 15,744 km²
    • II: km 63.6, left: Leine, 278 km, 5,617 km², stronger than river Aller above
      • III: km 112.7, right: Innerste, 99.7 km, 1,264 km²
      • III: km 192.8, right: Rhume, 44 km, 1,193 km², stronger than river Leine above
      • IV: km 15.6, right: Oder, 56 km, 385 km², headwater of the strongest waterway of Aller system
    • II: km 97.3, right: Örtze, 62 / 70 km, 760 km²
    • II: km 140.7, left: Oker, 218 km, 1822 km², stronger than river Aller above
  • km 184.6, right: Steinhuder Meerbach
  • km 188.7, left: Große Aue, 84.5 km, 1,522 km²
  • km 261.3, left: Werre, 71.9 km, 1485 km²
    • II: km 12.7, left: Else, 34.6 km, 416 km², branch of the Hase, an affluent of Ems
  • km 287.7, left: Exter, 26.1 km, 109 km²
  • km 323.3, left: Emmer, 61.8 km, 535 km²
  • km 387.5, left: Nethe, 50.4 km, 460 km²
  • km 406.5, left: Diemel, 110.5 km, 1,762 km²
  • km 451.5, left: Fulda, 220.4 km, 6.947 km²
II: km 45.3, left: Eder, 176.1 km, 3,361 km², headwater of the strongest waterway of Weser system
III: km 17.1, left: Schwalm, 97.1 km, 1.299 km²
↑ III: km 49.4–70.5: Edersee reservoir
II: 120.1, right: Haune, 66.5 km, 500 km²
  • ↑ main stream above km 451.5: Werra, 299.6 km, 5.497 km²
  • km 566.5, righht: Hörsel, 55.2 or 64.3, 784 km²
    • km 9.8, right: Nesse, 54.5 km, 426 km²
  • km 513.1, left: Ulster, 57.2 km, 421 km²
  • km 604.4, right: Schleuse, 34.2 km, 283 km²

Notable townsEdit

Main towns along the Weser are: Hann. Münden, Beverungen, Höxter, Holzminden, Bodenwerder, Hamelin, Hessisch Oldendorf, Rinteln, Vlotho, Bad Oeynhausen, Porta Westfalica, Minden, Petershagen, Nienburg, Achim, Bremen, Brake, Nordenham, Bremerhaven.

Popular cultureEdit

The river features in the legend and folk tale the Pied Piper of Hamelin.

ReferencesEdit

EtymologyEdit

  • Dieter Berger: Geographische Namen in Deutschland. Duden-Verlag, Mannheim 1999.
  • Hans Krahe: Sprache und Vorzeit. Quelle & Meyer, Heidelberg 1954. (Zur alteuropäischen Hydronomie.)
  • Julius Pokorny: Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. Francke, Bern 1959.

GeologyEdit

  • Karsten Meinke: Die Entwicklung der Weser im Nordwestdeutschen Flachland während des jüngeren Pleistozäns. Diss., Göttingen 1992. Mit Bodenprofilen der Weserstädte.
  • Ludger Feldmann und Klaus-Dieter Meyer (Hrsg.): Quartär in Niedersachsen. Exkursionsführer zur Jubiläums-Hauptversammlung der Deutschen Quartärvereinigung in Hannover. DEUQUA-Exkursionsführer, Hannover 1998, page 89ff.
  • Hans Heinrich Seedorf und Hans-Heinrich Meyer: Landeskunde Niedersachsen. Natur und Kulturgeschichte eines Bundeslandes. Volume 1: Historische Grundlagen und naturräumliche Ausstattung. Wachtholz, Neumünster 1992, page 105ff.
  • Ludger Feldmann: Das Quartär zwischen Harz und Allertal mit einem Beitrag zur Landschaftsgeschichte im Tertiär. Papierflieger, Clausthal-Zellerfeld 2002, page 133ff and others.

ArchaeologyEdit

  • Bremer Archäologische Blätter, Beiheft 2/2000 zur gleichnamigen Ausstellung im Focke-Museum: Siedler, Söldner und Piraten, Chauken und Sachsen im Bremer Raum, Der Landesarchäologe Bremen, ISSN 0068-0907.
  • Bremer Archäologische Blätter, Beiheft 3/2004 zur gleichnamigen Ausstellung im Focke-Museum: Gefundene Vergangenheit, Archäologie des Mittelalters in Bremen, Der Landesarchäologe Bremen, ISBN 3-7749-3233-6. (wg.Geschichte des Weserarms Balge)

HistoryEdit

  • Georg Bessell: Geschichte Bremerhavens. Morisse, Bremerhaven 1927, 1989.
  • Heinz Conradis: Der Kampf um die Weservertiefung in alter Zeit. In: Bremisches Jahrbuch. Bremen 41.1944.
  • J. W. A. Hunichs: Practische Anleitung zum Deich-, Siel- und Schlengenbau. Erster Theil, von den Sielen. Bremen 1770.
  • Die Kanalisierung der Mittelweser. Published by the Mittelweser AG, Carl Schünemann Verlag, Bremen 1960.
  • Kuratorium für Forschung im Küsteningenieurswesen: Die Küste. In: Archiv für Forschung und Technik an der Nord- und Ostsee. Boyens, Heide 51.1991. ISSN 0452-7739

DescriptionEdit

  • Karl Löbe: Das Weserbuch. Niemeyer, Hameln 1968.
  • Nils Aschenbeck, Wolf Dietmar Stock: Eine Flussfahrt von der Aller bis zur Nordsee. Atelier im Bauernhaus, Fischerhude 1998. ISBN 3-88132-350-3.