The Ob River is one of Asia’s major rivers. It is ranked one of the longest rivers in the world. The river flows through Russia and covers a distance of 2,268 miles. The main course of the Ob River is situated in Russia. The river has numerous tributaries some of which flow from Russia, China, Kazakhstan, and Mongolia. The river’s biggest tributary is the Irtysh River which originates in China. The Ob River drains into the Arctic Ocean in the northwestern coast of Russia.
Ob River in Russia
The main Ob River is located in Russia. It is formed at the meeting point of two rivers; Katun and Biya Rivers. Katun River and Biya River flow downstream from the Altai mountain ranges in Russia toward the northwestern region of the country. Katun River flows from the slopes of Mount Byelukha. It covers a distance of 430 miles, and its drainage basin is 23,500 square miles. Biya River flows from Lake Teletskoye covering a distance of 187 miles, and its drainage basin is 14,285 square miles. Biya and Katun River join in the area near Biysk to form the Ob River. The Ob Rivers flows through complex terrain in the north of Russia and pours into the Gulf of Ob.
Ob-Irtysh River in China
Irtysh River is Ob’s largest and longest tributary. It originates from the northwestern region of Xinjiang in China and parts of Mongolia. The Irtysh River flows from the Altai Mountains situated in China and Mongolia. The river flows westward through the Chinese border into Kazakhstan.
Ob-Irtysh River in Kazakhstan
The river flows towards the North Western region of Kazakhstan and enters Russia through the Siberian Plains. Irtysh River flows through a swampy region in the western region of Russia and joins the Ob River near Khanty-Mansiysk in Russia. The Irtysh River is 2,640 miles long from its source to its confluence with the Ob River. The entire Ob-Irtysh River flows for a distance of 3,360 miles. It is Asia’s fourth longest river system. The river’s drainage basin covers an expansive area from the Siberian plains to the Altai mountain ranges. The Ob River flows through diverse landscapes including swamps, steppes, semi-desert, and Arctic tundra areas.
Uses of the Ob River
Ob River is an essential natural resource in the Asian region. In the 19th and early 20th century, the Ob River was the key mode of transport in the areas it passed through. Numerous ports were established along the river where traders conducted their business. The river is still used to transport cargo and navigators to this date. Ob River supports farmers along its drainage basin by providing irrigation water in the farms. Some of the crops grown on the upper side of the river are grapes and melons. Additionally, Ob River is a crucial source for drinking water for many residents in China, Kazakhstan, and Russia. The enormous river also supports hydro-electric power generation. Some power stations operate along the river. The largest power station on Ob River is Novosibirskaya. Lastly, Ob River has a rich marine life that is important for the big fishing industry in Russia. The river has more than 50 fish species in its ecosystem including the valuable sturgeon.
About the Author
Benjamin Elisha Sawe holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Statistics and an MBA in Strategic Management. He is a frequent World Atlas contributor.
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