By definition, a river is a naturally flowing watercourse towards another water body such as another river, sea, lake, or ocean. These, however, are not the only places a river can end up. Sometimes, the river flows underground instead of another water body. Other names for rivers include streams, rills, rivulets, brooks, and creeks. Rivers play a crucial role in the hydrological cycle since they collect water from several sources, especially precipitation.
Rivers that start with "R"
Some major rivers around the world start with the letter "R" such as the Red River of the South, the Rhine, and the Red River of the North. Others include the likes of the Rapel, Red Rock, and Ruhr.
The Rhine River is a major river in Europe with its source in Switzerland while its mouth is at the North Sea. The river has two different sources in Switzerland namely Rein Anteriur/Vorderrhein and Reichenau. The Rhine flows for a length of about 760 miles through a number of countries namely Switzerland, France, Liechtenstein, Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands. Some of the major cities along its course include Düsseldorf, Cologne, Strasbourg, Rotterdam, and Basel.
Also known as the Red River, the Red River of the South is a major river that is located in the southern region of the United States. This river, which has a length of 1,360 miles, flows through four US states namely Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and Louisiana. The source is at Harmon County in Oklahoma while its mouth is at Atchafalaya River in Louisiana. A brief section of its course acts as the border between the states of Oklahoma and Texas.
The Roanoke River is a river that flows in the US states of Virginia and North Carolina for a length of about 410 miles. The source of this river is at Lafayette, Virginia while its mouth is at Plymouth, North Carolina. With a basin size of about 9,680 square miles, the river’s tributaries include Dan River, Falling River, and the Big Otter River. Historically, the river was crucial since it was an early settlement site for the Virginia and Carolina colonies. Most of its middle course has been impounded to form water reservoirs.
The Rukarara River
Also known as the Lukarara, the Rukarara River is situated in the western region of Rwanda and has one of the shortest lengths on the list at a little over 60 miles. The river is a tributary of the Mwogo River, which, in turn, supplies water to the Nyabarongo River. The source of the Rukarara is in southern Rwanda while its mouth is at the Kamiranzovu Swamp. Interestingly, the source of this river is now the confirmed overall origin of the River Nile.
Uses of rivers
Since historic times, rivers have served as a source of food in the form of fish and other edible things. Rivers also provide water for use at homes, agriculture, and in industries. Another common use for rivers is navigation.