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Last updated date: 17th Apr 2024
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Overview of Rivers

Rivers are one of the primary sources of water on the earth. As most of the rivers carry freshwater, it is one of the main support systems for life on earth. If you want to know what rivers are, you can get the definition in the primary level geography books. Moreover, you can learn about the uses of rivers from the books too. So, you can easily describe a river. Here, you can go through a brief overview of the rivers. All points related to what rivers are and how rivers are formed are covered in this article.

How are Rivers Formed?

The best way to define river is to check how are rivers formed. A river is formed when moving water comes down from an elevation. Thus, you get an answer to what are rivers. The primary reason for this type of geographical phenomenon is gravity. This is a boon to the people living in lower elevation areas as rivers have many uses. To describe a river, you may say that the water of every river either meets the sea or another river at some geographical point.

Another way to define a river is with respect to its type. All the rivers are either rainfed or snow-fed. The snow-fed rivers are important rivers as they are perennial. Rainfed rivers often dry off. The origin of rivers is also essential for the formation of rivers.

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Uses of Rivers

Since the onset of life on earth, every civilisation has taken place at the river banks. So, you get a clear picture of geography rivers. Wherever there is a big city or town, a river would surely be near it. As per the uses of rivers, the list is given below:

  1. The rivers act as a primary source of drinking water, irrigation, and agriculture.

  2. An important river makes way for the generation of electricity.

  3. Rivers ensure the presence of fertile soil in an area.

  4. The biggest river of Asia supports the life of the most densely populated country, China.

  5. An important river also gives the chance to fish, which can be a business. 

There are more uses for rivers, but everything depends on the formation of rivers. It also depends on the types of rivers, as discussed earlier, and the origin of rivers.

The origin of rivers plays a vital role as it determines the general health of the river. Often rainfed rivers are of no use to the people and plants as they have no water throughout the year.

Formation of River

The formation of the river stands on three things, its origin, its route, and its mouth. If the river originates from a glacier, it can be perennial. No matter what the geographical condition in the lower elevation is, it will flow throughout the year. Similarly, if a river originates from a lake, it would be rainfed and can dry off mostly.

If you study how rivers are formed, you must know more about the river’s route. Any river which goes through the plain can make an oxbow lake rather than the one which passes through rough terrain.

This is the only reason why most hilly rivers do not form an oxbow lake, nor do they deposit any alluvial soil. As per the river’s mouth, most of them meet the sea while others end up meeting other rivers.

All About Rivers and Mountains

This is yet another topic that comes under the field of geography rivers. Here you can go through the facts related to the rivers and mountains.

As the mountains act as the towers for freshwater, the rivers originating from the mountains always carry drinkable water. So this is an important fact to know about rivers and mountains.

Another fact to know about rivers and mountains is that mountains allow the rivers to carry the rocks, which turn into the soil as they flow to the lower elevation. This soil is fertile, and it makes the plain land fit for irrigation.

So, now you know the importance of rivers in our life as it correlates with the mountains. Even the biggest river in Asia, Yangtze, originates from the Jari Hills and ends up in the East China Sea.

If you have read the article till now, you can easily define a river and describe a river in many ways.

FAQs on Rivers

1. What is the importance of rivers in our life?

No matter the origin of rivers or their types, you should consider each of them as essential rivers if you get water from them. The fundamental importance of a river is related to drinking and irrigation. Secondly, without the rivers, there would be no industrial development too. In most industries, the primary raw material that is needed is river water. In geography rivers are essential as people search for important cities and civilisations with the help of the rivers. Thus you can know about the historical importance of rivers. As an essential fact, the biggest river of Asia, Yangtze, was near to the ancient Chinese civilisation.

2. Why must you know about the rivers?

Everyone needs to know what are rivers. The knowledge of rivers can help a person to describe a river and to determine the uses of rivers. However, it can also help the person to know how are rivers formed. A person having proper knowledge of a river can understand its environmental value. Learning about the river, one can have an appropriate conception regarding pollution and river water treatment. Knowledge of rivers is also vital for the people who keep an interest in water sports. People who are into rafting, snorkelling, and swimming should have proper knowledge about the rivers. In most countries, there are professional posts for these kinds of jobs.