A river is a natural watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, a lake, a sea, or another river. In a few cases, a river simply flows into the ground or dries up completely at the end of its course, and does not reach another body of water. Small rivers may be called by several other names, including stream, creek, brook, rivulet, and rill. There are no official definitions for generic terms, such as river, as applied to geographic features, although in some countries or communities a stream may be defined by its size. Many names for small rivers are specific to geographic location; examples are "run" in 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.
No extraterrestrial rivers are currently known, though large flows of hydrocarbons described as rivers have recently been found on Titan. Channels may indicate past rivers on other planets, specifically outflow channels on Mars and are theorised to exist on planets and moons in habitable zones of stars.
Other articles related to "river, rivers":
... The Volga is the longest river in Europe ... tributaries, most importantly the Kama, the Oka, the Vetluga, and the Sura rivers ... The Volga and its tributaries form the Volga river system, which flows through an area of about 1.35 million square kilometers in the most heavily populated part of Russia ...
... (< *raha-ka), and cognate with Sanskrit rasā́h "liquid, juice mythical river" ... The Turkic peoples living along the river formerly referred to it as Itil or Atil "big river" ... the Itil's origin with the Kama River ...
... The Murray River (River Murray in South Australia) is Australia's longest river ... before the advent of large scale river regulation, the Mouth has always been comparatively small and shallow ... As of 2010, the Murray River system receives 58% of its natural flow ...
... The Yazoo River is a river in the U.S ... The Yazoo River was named by French explorer La Salle in 1682 as "Rivière des Yazous" in reference to the Yazoo tribe living near the river's mouth ... One long held belief is that it means "river of death" ...
... In response to PFC contamination of the Mississippi River and surrounding area, 3M states the area will be "cleaned through a combination of groundwater pump-out wells and ... which were released into the nearby Mississippi River ... The search area for PFCs in the Mississippi River now extends to five states, spanning approximately half of the river's total distance ...
Famous quotes containing the word river:
“The mountain may be approached more easily and directly on horseback and on foot from the northeast side, by the Aroostook road, and the Wassataquoik River; but in that case you see much less of the wilderness, none of the glorious river and lake scenery, and have no experience of the batteau and the boatmans life.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“Hard by the lilied Nile I saw
A duskish river dragon stretched along.
The brown habergeon of his limbs enamelled
With sanguine alamandines and rainy pearl:
And on his back there lay a young one sleeping,
No bigger than a mouse;”
—Thomas Lovell Beddoes (18031849)
“There is a great river this side of Stygia,”
—Wallace Stevens (18791955)