Ohio River: description, nature of the flow

Ohio River: description, nature of the flow
Ohio River: description, nature of the flow

The largest full-flowing left tributary of the Mississippi River is the Ohio River, which carries its waters in the eastern United States. Before we characterize it, let's consider what the water bodies of North America are and briefly imagine the territory through which the 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, the Pacific and the Atlantic. The main watershed is shifted to the Pacific Ocean (to the west), which receives much less fresh water from the mainland 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 northern Mexican Highlands.

The rivers of North America are divided into three types according to food sources: groundwater, glacial, snow and rain. The Ohio River (a tributary of the Mississippi) has a mixed appearance.

Ohio river

Ohio State Geography

The river is located in the Midwest of the USA. The area of ​​​​the territory is more than 116 thousand square kilometers, which puts the region among all the states on the 34thplace.

The state borders Canada to the north, Pennsylvania to the east, West Virginia to the southeast, and Kentucky, Indiana, and Michigan to the south, west, and northwest, respectively. The river of the same name flows along the southern border of the state. One of America's greatest lakes, Erie, is located on the northern border.

Across the northern territory of the state (along Lake Erie) stretches the coastal lowlands. Its northwestern part is occupied by the region, which is called the "Great Black Swamp". Once upon a time, for a century and a half, these places were vast swampy areas, alternating with small dry islands of land. Now, due to the increase in the number of migrants in these territories, the lands are almost completely drained and turned into fertile agricultural land.

The southern part is occupied by the Alleeny (Allegan) plateau, which is part of the Appalachian mountain system. It is cut by the channels of numerous rivers. The largest of these is the Ohio River (a tributary of the Mississippi).

To the east, the hills of the plateau gradually pass into the mountains of West Virginia. The forested southeast hills are home to Ohio's natural parks, with Hawking Hills being the most popular.

Description of the Ohio River

Description of the Ohio River

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

The river originatesOhio near Pittsburgh, where the Monongahila 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. On the Appalachian Plateau, the river flows all the way to Louisville Ohio, then its channel runs through the Central Plains.

There are many large cities along the banks of the Ohio River, the largest of which are the following: Huntington, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Portsmouth, Louisville, Covington, Evansville, Wheeling and Metropolis.

The nature of the flow of the Ohio River


The Ohio River, as noted above, has a mixed supply. Near the city of Metropolis, the average water consumption is approximately 8000 cubic meters. per second, and the annual flow is approximately 250 km3.

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

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

Tributes and flow patterns of the Ohio River

Its largest tributary (left) - r. Tennessee. It is formed by the confluence of the Holston and French Broad rivers near Knoxville. Right major tributaries: Miami, Muskingham (Muskingum), Sayoto, Wabash. Other major left tributaries: Licking, Kentucky, S alt, Kanoua, Guyandotte.

The Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers, which form the Ohio River, originate inAppalachian mountains. To Louisville, the reservoir flows through the Appalachian Plateau, and then through the Central Plains.

Mississippi tributary


The Ohio River is navigable throughout (2.7 meters is the guaranteed depth of the ship's passage). In order to provide depths for the passage of ships on the river, several hydroelectric facilities have been built.

About 4,000 kilometers is the total length of shipping lanes in the river basin. Several canals have been constructed near the city of Louisville to bypass the existing rapids in these places. There are also large hydroelectric power stations in the river basin. 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, Ohio, with Point Pleasant in West Virginia.

Another curious fact is that Asteroid (439) Ohio, discovered in 1898, was named after a river.

Popular topic