The Republic of Azerbaijan is located in the crossroad area of Southeastern Europe and Southwest Asia known as South Caucasus. Azerbaijan is bordered by Armenia, Russia, Iran, Georgia, and the Caspian Sea. Azerbaijan's hydrography belongs to the Caspian Sea drainage basin since all the rivers of Azerbaijan flow into the basin. The Caspian Sea does not have any outlets to an Ocean making it a closed drainage basin. The Kura is the longest river in Azerbaijan from its source in Turkey flowing through the Republic of Georgia then finally entering Azerbaijan. However, the Tartar River is the longest wholly in Azerbaijan when including the autonomous Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Major Rivers Of Azerbaijan
The Kura River is the longest river in Azerbaijan shared with Turkey and Georgia covering a total length of 941 miles. The source of river Kura is in northeastern Turkey then flows through Georgia then Azerbaijan where it drains in the Caspian Sea. Kura River’s main tributary is the Aras which is the second longest river in Azerbaijan with a length of 666 miles draining the south side of the Lesser Caucasus Mountains and is shared with Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Iran. The Kura River meets its main tributary the Aras River in Azerbaijan before flowing into the Caspian Sea. The Kura valley has been inhabited for thousands of years with agriculture being established more than 4,500 years ago, and as a result, large civilizations emerged but were greatly reduced by the 1200 CE due to invasions and natural disasters. Increased human use led to the damage of forests and grassland which caused intense floods through the 20th century. At present, the river has some dams and hydroelectric power and is moderately polluted by the big industrial centers.
The Alazani is an Azerbaijan river that flows through the Caucasus and it is the main tributary of river Kura in eastern Georgia and is 218 miles in length. A part of the Alazani River forms the border between Azerbaijan and Georgia before it meets with the Kura River. The Alazani was a main gateway for the Persian intruders and is the center for the wine industry in Georgia. The Alazani dries up in winter but the snow melts in late spring causing major flooding. The river is used for irrigation and drinking water with numerous small hydroelectric power plants and is also a tourist attraction for rafting. The main threat to the river is pollution from biological substances found from untreated sewage from nearby communities and cities.
River Tartar is the left tributary of river Kura and the longest river to wholly pass through Azerbaijan with a length of 124 miles. Tartar River originates in the Qonqur area where mountain ranges meet on the Karabakh Plateau and Martkert Province of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and discharge into the Kura River. In 1976 the Sarsang reservoir was established for the purpose of irrigation and electricity.
The Arpa River flows through both Armenia and Azerbaijan originating from the Vayots Dzor province of Armenia and is the last tributary of the Aras. The Arpa River is left tributary of the Aras and is best known for its beauty as it passes through a number of cities and towns. The Arpa River is 80 miles in length.
The Hydrography Of Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan has a total of nine major rivers which are more than 80 miles in length. In total Azerbaijan have about 8,359 rivers whose 8,188 are less than 25 miles in length. The hydrography in Azerbaijan can be divided into three parts which are The Kura River and its tributaries, the Aras River and its tributaries and rivers that independently flow in Azerbaijan into the Caspian Sea. The river system in Azerbaijan keep changing and evolving due to factors such as climate, vegetation, soil, landscape and geological structures.