Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Snow, Ice and Glaciers

Part of the series Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series pp 161-162


Confluence of Rivers

  • Anju ChaudharyAffiliated withWater Resources System Division, National Institute of Hydrology Email author 


Confluence of rivers is defined as a meeting point of two or more rivers. In other words it usually refers to the point where a tributary joins a major river, called the mainstream. In general, downstream of the confluence, the river having the combined flow of rivers/streams is known as the main stream, but in some cases a new name is also given to the river after the meeting of two streams/rivers. Two examples of confluence of rivers are given below (Figures 1 and 2).
Confluence of Rivers, Figure 1

Confluence of Spiti river with Satluj river in the Himachal Pradesh (India).
Confluence of Rivers, Figure 2

Confluence of Alaknanda river with Bhagirathi river at Deoprayag in the Uttrakhand (India). This river is known as Ganga after confluence of Alaknanda and Bhagirathi rivers.

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