What Is the Deepest River in the World?
The deepest river in the world is the Congo River, which is located in Africa. At its deepest point, the river reaches a depth of approximately 720 feet. This depth makes the Congo River about 64 feet deeper than the second deepest river in the world, which is the Yangtze River in China. The Congo River is also an extremely long river that runs for about 2,715 miles, which also makes it the second longest in Africa. However, this measurement does include the Lualaba River, which is considered the source of the Congo River. Some measurements also include the Chambeshi River because it is a tributary of the Lualaba River. When the length of the Chambeshi is included, the Congo River has a length of 2,920 miles, which makes it the 9th longest river in the world. The Congo River discharges at an average rate of 1.4 million cubic feet per second, giving it yet another distinction: the second largest river in the world by measure of discharge volume.
Course of the Congo River
The headwaters of the Congo River begin in the East African Rift, which is located along an active tectonic plate zone. Geologists have determined that the African Plate is currently separating into two plates: the Nubian and the Somali. The Congo River is formed by two main tributaries: the Lualaba River and the Chambeshi River. The Lualaba River begins in the highlands region of the East African Rift, where it is fed by a number of waterways including waters from Lake Mweru and Lake Tanganyika. The Chambeshi River, which is the longer of the two main tributaries, begins in the northeastern region of Zambia. The Lualaba River becomes the Congo River after flowing over the Boyoma Falls, whereas the Chambeshi joins it later downstream. From here, the Congo River takes a northward path until it reaches the town of Kisangani in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. At this point, the river begins to flow northwest until it reaches the towns of Bumba and Lisala, where it begins to run in a southwestern direction. The Congo River then forms a long section of the border between the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the Republic of the Congo, and then flows back into the DRC for a short distance before forming the border between the DRC and Angola. The Congo River eventually empties into the Gulf of Guinea in the South Atlantic Ocean at the town of Muanda, DRC.
Major Feature of the Congo River
The Congo River represents an important water source for several countries in Africa, while also creating a diverse ecosystem that is home to numerous plant and animal species. Its most notable feature is the Congo River Basin, which covers a total area of 1.55 million square miles and makes up 13% of the entire area of Africa. The basin is home to large wetland areas that stretch through large expanses of undeveloped rainforests. The area is considered the second lung of the world (the Amazon River being the first lung), which refers the fact that it is an important carbon sink zone that helps prevent global climate change. In addition to providing refuge to unique animal species, it is also home to 40 million people.