Dictionary of Geotourism

2020 Edition
| Editors: Anze Chen, Young Ng, Erkuang Zhang, Mingzhong Tian

Internal River

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-2538-0_1164

Synonym: Interior river; Endorheic river

Rivers that do not flow into the ocean but rather into an inland lake or are lost in the desert are called endorheic rivers. These rivers are mainly located in arid and semi-arid areas with sparse rainfall or in closed mountain plateaus, basins and low-lying areas. They usually have sparse, small and short tributaries, and most flow into the basin alone, lacking a complete fluvial system. They generally have small water volumes, and most are seasonal intermittent rivers. The longest endorheic river in China is the Tarim River, which is 2,197 km long and has a river basin of 198,000 km2. This river is the lifeline of the oasis economy, natural ecology and people’s livelihood in the Tarim Basin.

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