Portal:Rivers

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Introduction

Samur River in Azerbaijan – In the natural landscape

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). Potamology is the scientific study of rivers, while limnology is the study of inland waters in general.

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St. Johns River near Astor

The St. Johns River (Spanish: Río de San Juan) is the longest river in the U.S. state of Florida and its most significant for commercial and recreational use. At 310 miles (500 km) long, it winds through or borders twelve counties, three of which are the state's largest. The drop in elevation from headwaters to mouth is less than 30 feet (9 m); like most Florida waterways, the St. Johns has a very low flow rate 0.3 mph (0.13 m/s) and is often described as "lazy". It is notable among some that the river's course flows north, a relatively rare characteristic. Numerous lakes are formed by the river or flow into it, but as a river its widest point is nearly 3 miles (5 km) across. The narrowest point is in the headwaters, an unnavigable marsh in Indian River County. The St. Johns drainage basin of 8,840 square miles (22,900 km2) includes some of Florida's major wetlands. It is separated into three major basins and two associated watersheds for Lake George and the Ocklawaha River, all managed by the St. Johns River Water Management District.

A variety of people have lived on or near the St. Johns, including Paleo-indians, Archaic people, Timucua, Mocama, French and Spanish settlers, Seminoles, slaves and freemen, Florida crackers, land developers, tourists and retirees. It has been the subject of William Bartram's journals, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings' books, and Harriet Beecher Stowe's letters home. Although Florida was the location of the first permanent European colony in what would become the United States, it was the last U.S. territory on the east coast to be developed; it remained an undeveloped frontier into the 20th century. When attention was turned to the state, however, much of the land was rapidly overdeveloped in a national zeal for progress. The St. Johns, like many Florida rivers, was altered to make way for agricultural and residential centers. It suffered severe pollution and human interference that has diminished the natural order of life in and around the river. In all, 3.5 million people live within the various watersheds that feed into the St. Johns River. The St. Johns, named one of 14 American Heritage Rivers in 1998, was included on a list of America's Ten Most Endangered Rivers in 2008. Restoration efforts are under way for the basins around the St. Johns as Florida continues to deal with population increases in the river's vicinity.

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Adams The Tetons and the Snake River.jpg
Photograph: Ansel Adams

The Tetons and the Snake River (1942)

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Kettle Creek

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Modelare 3D pentru bazinul hidrografic al Raului Vadului, afluent al Oltului.gif
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Selected Quote

Spaceship Earth with David Brower.JPG
Cherish these rivers. Witness for them. Enjoy their un-improvable purpose as you sense it, and let those rivers that you never visit comfort you with the assurance that they are there, doing wonderfully what they have always done.
David Brower, Foreword to Oregon Rivers, 1997

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