Ohio River: description, nature of the flow


The largest affluent left tributary of the Mississippi River is the Ohio River, which carries its waters in the eastern United States. Before we give it a description, consider what constitutes the reservoirs of North America and briefly represent the territory through which Ohio flows.

General information about the rivers of North America

All water bodies of North America belong to the basins of three oceans: the Arctic, Pacific and Atlantic. The main watershed is shifted to the Pacific Ocean (to the west), which receives much less freshwater from the continent than the Atlantic. In North America, the area of ​​internal runoff is insignificant, and it occupies only a certain part of the Great Basin and a small zone of the north of the Mexican Highlands.

Rivers of North America are divided into three types according to the power sources: groundwater, glacial, snow and rainwater. For the Ohio River (Mississippi tributary) is characterized by a mixed species.


Ohio State: geography

There is a river in the Midwest USA. The territory area is more than 116 thousand square kilometers, which puts the region among all the states in 34th place.

Borders the state in the north with Canada, in the east - with Pennsylvania, in the south-east - with West Virginia, in the south, west and north-west, respectively, with the states of Kentucky, Indiana and Michigan. The river of the same name flows along the southern border of the state. One of America’s greatest lakes called Erie is located on the northern border.

The coastal lowland extends across the northern state of the state (along Lake Erie). Its northwestern part is occupied by the region, which is called the "Big Black Marsh". Sometime over the course of a century and a half, these places were the most extensive wetlands alternating with small dry islands of the earth. Now, thanks to an increase in the number of immigrants in these territories, the land is almost completely drained and turned into fertile agricultural lands.

The southern part is occupied by the Allegheny Plateau (Allegan), which is part of the Appalachian mountain system. It is dissected by the beds of numerous rivers. The largest of these is the Ohio River (Mississippi tributary).

To the east, the plateau hills are gradually moving into the mountains of West Virginia. On the southeastern hills covered with forests, there are natural parks of Ohio, among which the most popular is Hawking Hills.


Ohio River Description

The area of ​​the river basin is 528100 square meters. kilometers There are large floods in the cold period of the year, low low flow in summer and autumn with a minimum in the period from August to September.

The Ohio River originates near Pittsburgh, where the confluence of the Monongaheel and Allegheny rivers flow from the Appalachian Mountains. The length of the river is 1579 km. The total length together with Allegheny is 2102 kilometers. Across the Appalachian Plateau, the river flows all the way to Louisville, Ohio, and then its course lies along the Central Plains.

On the banks of the Ohio River are many major cities, the largest of which are as follows: Huntington, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Portsmouth, Louisville, Covington, Evansville, Wheeling and Metropolis.



The Ohio River, as noted above, has a mixed supply. Near the city of Metropolis, the average water consumption is approximately 8, 000 cubic meters. per second, and the annual flow is approximately 250 cubic km.

The largest water rises at Pittsburgh reach 10-12 meters, at Cincinnati - from 17 to 20 meters, at the mouth of the river - 14‒16 meters. Floods often occur here, especially catastrophic in 1887, 1913, 1927 and in 1937.

Unfortunately, the river waters are heavily polluted by industrial wastewater from numerous enterprises located on the banks of the reservoir.

Tributaries and character of the Ohio River

Its largest tributary (left) - p. Tennessee. It is formed by the confluence at the city of Knoxville of the rivers Halston and French Brod. Right large tributaries: Miami, Maskingham (Maskingum), Sayoto, Wabash. The remaining largest left tributaries are: Licking, Kentucky, Salt, Canawa, Guyandotte.

The Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers, forming the Ohio River, originate in the Appalachian Mountains. Prior to Louisville, the reservoir flows through the Appalachian Plateau, and then through the territory of the Central Plains.



The Ohio River is navigable throughout (2.7 meters - guaranteed depth of the channel). In order to provide depths for the passage of vessels on the river, several waterworks were built.

Approximately 4, 000 kilometers is the total length of navigable waterways in the river basin. There are several canals built around the city of Louisville to bypass the rapids in these places. Also in the river basin there are large hydroelectric power stations. Most of them are located on the Tennessee River.


It should be noted in conclusion that a bridge was built across the river in 1928, connecting the city of Gallipolis of Ohio with the Point Pleasant of West Virginia.

And another curious fact is that the Asteroid (439) Ohio, discovered in 1898, was named after the river.

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