Amazing 101 Famous Tributaries Facts That May Surprise You | Kidadl


Amazing 101 Famous Tributaries Facts That May Surprise You

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Read these Tokyo facts to learn all about the Japanese capital.

Are you someone who is a nature lover?

Is your Instagram feed filled with picturesque sights of rivers and oceans? Is residing on the banks of a river one of your ambitious dreams; if yes, then we have some amazing facts for you.

We have covered a considerable number of rivers and their tributaries and have tried to explain some interesting facts about these tributaries. We are sure by the end of this fact file, your desire to live among the meadows, green space, along the clear crystal water of the river will further be strengthened. We are here to help you make a sound choice by polishing your knowledge about famous rivers and tributaries.

What is a tributary?

A tributary is a small stream or river that flows into a larger stream or river.

  • The larger, or parent river is the mainstem. When a tributary meets the mainstem, it is called a confluence. Thus, the confluence is the place where tributaries and the mainstem meet.
  • Affluents, often called tributaries, do not flow directly into the sea.
  • Surface water and groundwater are drained from the surrounding drainage basin through tributaries and the mainstem river.
  • The surface water and the groundwater then flow to the ocean.
  • The majority of large rivers are connected with a number of tributaries.
  • It is a known fact that water comes downstream from a variety of sources, including groundwater, small lakes, and huge lakes.
  • Water is continuously looking for a lower ground to settle on.
  • Small streams run downwards, combining with other sources of water to form larger rivers.
  • When two rivers come together, they form a larger river. The group of rivers together is called a watershed. This is how tributaries are formed.
  • The place where tributaries originate is called the source of tributaries. This is the location from where the journey of water towards the ocean and sea begins.
  • These water sources are generally located on high altitudes or higher ground than normal. Whereas the water may come from different types of sources like lakes, melting glaciers, undersea springs, to name a few.
  • The little Lake Itasca in Minnesota, for example, is the source of the massive Mississippi River.
  • The Mississippi River is fed by hundreds of tiny streams.
  • At the same time, distributaries are the stark opposite of tributaries.
  • A distributary is a river or stream that diverges from the mainstem and runs in the opposite direction. Thus, while tributaries are where sources of water meet, distributaries are the place where rivers and streams separate from each other.
  • Distributaries are what we call bifurcation. The manner in which tributaries are listed and classified is quite interesting.
  • One popular method is listing the tributaries in order of proximity to the river's source and finishing with those closest to the river's mouth.
  • The Strahler Stream Order looks at how tributaries are organized in a hierarchy of first, second, third, and higher orders, with the first-order tributary usually being the smallest.
  • A second-order tributary, for example, is formed when two or more first-order tributaries merge to generate a second-order tributary.
  • The Thur River in Switzerland and the Ill River in Austria, for example, are the tributaries of the Rhine arranged according to their distance from the source.

History Of Tributaries

Tributaries are derived from the word the tributary system of China and other Asian societies. The people who paid tribute came from polities that were self-governing in their day-to-day operations but recognized the Chinese emperor's ultimate authority.

  • Therefore a tributary came to be known as a person who owed tribute and respect to a higher-ranking official. This system was more prevalent in China and it had a significant number of tributary states.
  • These were mainly Asian societies of Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, and Burma as well as island kingdoms of Ryukyus, Java, and many other Central Asian kingdoms.
  • Usually, to mark the tribute, a tributary would offer many gifts to the emperor.
  • The emperor received gifts like elephants and young, beautiful girls from Korea or exquisite and rare collections of plants and animals, books, or silk embroidered for court robes. In this way, Chinese authorities enjoyed a life of luxuries as they received the tribute missions from time to time.
  • Drawing a parallel to this tributary system of China. The river and its tributaries function quite similarly.
  • Just as we learned that the tributary offered tribute to the despotic state and contributed its resource to the greater state, in a similar manner a little river lends its waters to a larger one.
  • For example, the Missouri River may be considered a tributary to the Mississippi.
  • There is no tribute or contribution of wealth but a contribution of water by a smaller river stream to a larger one and that is what we call tributaries.

Which famous river has two tributaries?

There are almost 165 major rivers all over the world. Out of these, the longest river is the River Nile. The length of the Nile is about 4,132 mi (6,649.8 km). The River Nile is also popularly called the father of the African rivers.

  • The River Nile travels through eastern Africa from south to north. It ultimately drains into the Mediterranean sea.
  • Some of its important basins are Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Sudan, and the cultivated part of Egypt.
  • The Nile has only two principal tributaries.
  • The first tributary is the Blue Nile and the Atbara. The second stream is the white Nile.
  • The White Nile flows into the Victoria and Albert Lakes in Tanzania whereas the Blue Nile has its highland in Ethiopia.
  • The Blue Nile covers a distance of about 875 mi (1408.1 km) from Lake Tana till it reaches Khartoum, Sudan. Khartoum is the point of confluence for both white and Blue Nile. This is the place where the blue and White Nile meet.
  • It is the blue Nile which carries two-thirds of the water volume of the river and also carries most of the slit of the river.
  • As a matter of fact, the White Nile is called white because the water here has light-colored sediment of clay. This sediment gives the White Nile the color of light gray, hence the name white.
  • The constant availability of water in the Nile along with its high temperature and gentle flow of water makes the banks of the River Nile extremely suitable for cultivation.
  • Besides this, the river and its bank itself is home to a large variety of aquatic species and aquatic vegetation like rhinoceros, hippopotamus, wildebeest, baboons, frog, mongoose, turtle, and more than 300 different species of birds.
  • The water is getting more and more polluted due to increased human developments and this led to a decline in the number of species.
  • However, the river continues to serve as a significant trade route that connects Africa to the European market and other significant trade centers.
Some of the most famous river systems of the world are Nile, Amazon, and Yangtze.

Geographical Tributaries

The geographical meaning of tributaries can very well be understood by our prior discussions.

  • To put forward in even simpler words we can say that a tributary or affluent is a stream or river, this stream or river flows into the mainstem which is also known as the parent river or lake.
  • It is not to say that the tributary does not flow alone and directly reaches the confluence point of a larger river.
  • On the contrary, a tributary does not instantly flow into a sea or ocean.
  • A tributary is called a tributary because it flows into and meets another river, if it goes to meet the sea directly it would be called a river and not a tributary.
  • Small streams will normally choose the path of least resistance, which is downhill until they reach the lowest point.
  • This is accomplished via a series of main tributaries that join together to form a river that flows into the sea.

World Famous Tributaries

There are some very major river systems in the world. A river and its tributaries together form a river system. We have listed down some very famous tributaries here:

  • A river system consists of the main river and all of its tributaries that run into a lake or the ocean.
  • The source of water may come from highlands like springs, waterfalls, and mountains.
  • Tributaries of Amazon- The Amazon River system is the second largest river in the world, preceded only by the River Nile.
  • The total length of the Amazon River is 4,000 mi (6,437.3 km). It begins from the Andes and empties into the Atlantic Ocean, in Brazil.
  • Unlike the River Nile, the Amazon River is known to have the largest number of tributaries.
  • As many as 1,100 tributaries are part of the Amazon River and at least 17 of these tributaries are more than 930 mi (1,496.6 km) in length.
  • Interestingly almost one-fifth of the water running on the surface of the Earth is carried by the River Amazon.
  • The Amazon and its tributaries are divided into two sections.
  • The Upper Amazon is made up of rivers that begin in Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil and run into the Solimoes River.
  • The lower Amazon includes the tributaries east of Manaus and the main river all the way to the Atlantic.
  • Tributary of Mississippi, Missouri- The Mississippi is the second-longest river of North America. The longest river is the tributary of the Mississippi, the Missouri River.
  • The Missouri River has a total length of 2,341 mi (3,767.4 km) whereas the length of Mississippi is 1,376 mi (2,214.4 km).
  • The Mississippi River runs entirely within the United States' borders. It starts in Minnesota's Lake Itasca and flows almost due south across the continent, collecting water from its major tributaries, the Missouri River to the west and the Ohio River to the east.
  • Missouri is one of the most famous tributaries of Mississippi. Because of the massive quantities of sediment, it pushed through the river system, the Missouri River was given the nickname 'Big Muddy' many years ago.
  • However, as dams and channelization have expanded over time, the amount of sediment transported has decreased.
  • Today, the Missouri River can very well be described as a gentle giant.
  • St Louis is the city located at the confluence of where the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers join.
  • Tributaries of Ganga- One of the most religious and sacred rivers to the followers of the Hindu religion, the River Ganges is the greatest river on the subcontinent of Asia.
  • Hindus call the River Ganges 'mother Ganga' or 'she', treating the river as a form of a goddess. It is a belief among Hindus that the water of the river purifies the body and dissolves all sin of a human’s life. However, it cannot be denied that the Ganges is also one of the most polluted rivers in the world.
  • Every day people use the water of the river for cleaning and bathing purposes but a major portion of pollution comes from industries.
  • The Ganges originates at Bhagirathi from Gangotri glaciers in the Himalayas.
  • The Gangotri glaciers are about 22,965.9 ft (7,000 m) above sea level. It finally goes into the Bay of Bengal after a course of 1,562 mi (2,513.7 km) run.
  • Some of its most famous tributaries are Bhagirathi, Alaknanda, Ramganga, Ghagra, Gomti, Yamuna, Kosi and Mahananda. Yamuna is located in the west and is the longest tributary of the Ganga. Ghagra emerges in the glaciers of Mapchachungo. Then Kosi is to the north of Mount Everest in Tibet.
  • Son is the right bank tributary of Ganga. And Mahananda which rises in Darjeeling hills, is the left bank tributary of Ganga in West Bengal.
  • Tributaries of Brahmaputra- Brahmaputra is one of the major rivers of central and south Asia.
  • The total length of the Brahmaputra is 1,800 mi (2,896.8 km).
  • The source of the river Brahmaputra is the Chemayungdung glacier in the Himalayas in Nepal and then it meets the River Ganges, the two rivers then empty themselves into the bay of Bengal.
  • Floods, channel shifting, and bank erosion are all common occurrences on the Brahmaputra. It has the world's largest number of freshwater riverine islands, including Majuli, which is the world's largest freshwater riverine island.
  • The Brahmaputra flows through Arunachal Pradesh, China, Assam, Tibet, and Bangladesh. Some of the major left bank territories in Arunachal Pradesh are Burhi Dihing, Dhansari (South), and Kalang.
  • Some important right bank tributaries are the Subansiri, Kameng, Manas, and Sankosh. The Subansiri which has its origin in Tibet is an antecedent river. Rango Tsangpo is one of the major right bank tributaries of the Brahmaputra in Tibet
  • Tributaries of Yangtze River- The longest river in China, the Yangtze River also accounts for the third-longest river in the world. The total length of the river is about 3,915 mi (6,300.58 km). The literal meaning of the word the Yangtze is 'child of the ocean'.
  • The Yangtze is also the primary waterway and the biggest source of water in China, more than any other river.
  • More than one-third of the total population of China resides on the banks of Yangtze.
  • The river plays a significant role in Chinese agriculture, industry, and transportation.
  • As per the data of the world wildlife fund, more than 280 species of mammals, 145 species of amphibians, 166 species of reptiles, and 378 fish species are found in the river of Yangtze.
  • Around 700 tributaries feed the river, including eight major rivers: the Yalung, Min, Jialing, Han, Wu, the river on the right bank are, Yuan, Xiang, and Gan rivers.
  • Rivers are important not only for the scenic beauty or for your Instagram feed or for the serenity that it provides but also because of their wide varieties of flora and fauna, the importance for agriculture and cultivation, a significant source of water, widespread vegetation, and many other such advantages.
  • There are 165 major rivers in the world, the geography of nature is majestic in the sense that it may take hours for someone to understand the origins, confluences, and sources of these many rivers.
  • Human activities have become a block in the natural flow of these rivers and tributaries.
  • We are constructing major dams, changing the direction of the river, and polluting the rivers.
  • The cost of human development is borne by aquatic plants and animals.
  • It is about time that instead of admiring the beauty of rivers, we start doing our bit to keep our rivers clean.
  • We can even classify many tributaries.
  • The first method of the downstream tributaries draining, is the flowing and seeping of groundwater, like a drainage basin or drain land.
  • In this first method, the downstream water flowing, gets soaked in the land as more water, in the drainage basin or drain the land.
  • In the second method, the water flowing remains as surface water, which increases more water on the surface.
  • The main river originates from the river valley. Every river has its largest tributary and a famous tributary. For example, the largest tributary of the main river, the Ganges River is the famous tributary of Ghagra.
  • The largest tributary and a famous tributary of the main river in America is the Mississippi River.
  • The largest tributary is a common fact for every main river. The tributaries of the Ohio River are Tennessee, Cumberland, and many more.
  • We can classify tributaries on the basis of their banks.
  • There is the left bank tributary and the right bank tributary.
  • The left bank tributary indicates the bank is located on the left side of the river. The left bank tributary of the River Ganga is Gandak. The draining away of water is called runoff. Most rivers have a runoff.
  • When we think about storing water for use, at that time the tributary enters the frame.
  • Most tributaries drain in the ground, or most tributaries remain as surface water, they do not flow directly into the ocean.
  • The Amazon River starts from the Andes Mountains.
  • The Andes Mountains are located along the entire western coast of South America.
  • While studying Earth science, it is realized that many tributaries, larger tributaries having a larger stream have human activity at their basin.
  • Since humans need water as a basic requirement for their human activity, civilization is found at the basin of many tributaries, larger tributaries having a larger stream.
  • Even major cities like New York City have a tributary, even if they are tiny little streams.
  • The largest tributary in New York city is the Mohawk River.
  • The St Louis River is quite famous. St Louis is a city, and the river named after it is called the St Louis River, famously the tributary enters, known as Lake Superior tributary.
  • The Elbe and the Rhine flow into the North Sea. The rivers join the sea at this point.
  • Some of the larger river being famous river systems are the Amazon, Amur, Brahmaputra, and many more. They even have many tributaries.
Written By
Supriya Jain

<p>As a skilled member of the Kidadl team, Shruti brings extensive experience and expertise in professional content writing. With a Bachelor's degree in Commerce from Punjab University and an MBA in Business Administration from IMT Nagpur, Shruti has worked in diverse roles such as sales intern, content writer, executive trainee, and business development consultant. Her exceptional writing skills cover a wide range of areas, including SOP, SEO, B2B/B2C, and academic content.</p>

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