The Rhine River Basin

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UEHLINGER, Urs F., Karl M. WANTZEN, Rob S. LEUVEN, Hartmut ARNDT, 2009. The Rhine River Basin. In: TOCKNER, Klement, ed.. Rivers of Europe. London:Acad. Pr., pp. 199-245. ISBN 978-0-12-369449-2

@incollection{Uehlinger2009Rhine-7202, title={The Rhine River Basin}, year={2009}, isbn={978-0-12-369449-2}, address={London}, publisher={Acad. Pr.}, booktitle={Rivers of Europe}, pages={199--245}, editor={Tockner, Klement}, author={Uehlinger, Urs F. and Wantzen, Karl M. and Leuven, Rob S. and Arndt, Hartmut} }

Wantzen, Karl M. Uehlinger, Urs F. First publ. in: Rivers of Europe / Klement Tockner u.a. - London: Acad. Pr., 2009, pp. 199-245 - ISBN 978-0-12-369449-2 terms-of-use Wantzen, Karl M. Arndt, Hartmut Arndt, Hartmut 2009 application/pdf Leuven, Rob S. 2011-03-24T17:32:36Z Uehlinger, Urs F. The Rhine River Basin 2011-03-24T17:32:36Z Leuven, Rob S. Nine countries are in part or entirely situated within the Rhine catchment, namely Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy (only 51 km²), Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, The Netherlands and Switzerland. With a total length of about 1250 km, a drainage area of 185 260 km² and an average discharge of about 2300 m³/s, the Rhine ranks 9th among Eurasian rivers. The Rhine is the primary artery of one of the most important economic regions of Europe (annual gross domestic product of 1750 billion US$). The human population of the basin equals 58 million, many of them crowded in large urban areas extending along the river between Rotterdam and Basel. The Rhine provides services for transportation, power generation, industrial production, urban sanitation, drinking water for 25 million people, agriculture and tourism, and is a classic example of a 'multipurpose' waterway (Cioc 2002). The Rhine has greatly influenced the history, culture, and economy of Europe over the last 2000 years. On the other hand, its ecological integrity and biodiversity have been severely affected by human activities, particularly in the last 200 years (Friedrich & Müller 1984). In this chapter, we first give a general overview of the Rhine basin and subsequently portray different aspects of the six morphologically distinct river sections (Figure 6.1a, b, Table 6.1) (Lauterborn 1916) that developed during the genesis of the river. These are: (1) The Alpine Rhine (Alpenrhein) and its tributaries, that is, the reach between the Rhine source (Lake Toma) and Lake Constance, (2) the High Rhine (Hochrhein) that flows from lower Lake Constance to Basel, there merging with the Aare, a paramount tributary of the Rhine with respect to discharge, (3) the Upper Rhine (Oberrhein), flowing through the rift valley of the Rhine Graben that extends from Basel to Bingen with the Neckar and Main Rivers as major tributaries, (4) the Middle Rhine (Mittelrhein), flowing through a narrow valley deeply incised in the Rhenish Slate Mountains and picking up waters of the Mosel River at Koblenz, (5) the Lower Rhine (Niederrhein), extending from Bonn to Lobith with Ruhr, Emscher and Lippe Rivers as major tributaries and (6) the Delta Rhine, where the discharge is divided in three major branches called Nederrijn Lek, Waal and IJssel. eng

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