Switzerland Rivers and Lakes

Switzerland Rivers

At the conclusion of what has been said, here are the climatic data of some locations (averages of long observation periods):

Due to its position in the heart of the Alpine region, where the waters descend in all directions giving rise to great river currents, Switzerland has the high course of some of the major European rivers. Its waters belong to four main sides: the North Sea, the western Mediterranean, the Black Sea and the Adriatic.

About 67% of Switzerland’s water flows into the North Sea via the Rhine and its tributaries. The course of the Anterior Rhine belongs to it, from its origins in the China Gottardo group to its confluence with the Posterior Rhine which descends from the Spluga into the wild transversal valley crossed by the famous Via Mala, and then again the great river up to just beyond Ragaz: from here to Lake Constance and downstream from it belongs to Switzerland, except for short stretches, only the left bank (the route of the Rhine in Switzerland is 375 km long, 36,494 sq km basin). The most important tributary of the Rhine in Switzerland is the Aare (length 295 km., Basin 17.779 kmq.), Which is also the largest river whose basin belongs entirely to it. It descends from the central hydrographic node and crosses the Alps and the Altipiano with general direction SE.-NO., then turning NE. it flows in the wide furrow that extends at the foot of the Jura. A channel derives part of the waters in Lake Biel. The Aare in turn receives important tributaries, such as the Simme and the Sarine-Saane from the left, the Emme and, most important of all, the Reuss (length 158.5 km., Basin 3425 sq. Km.), From the right. This has its sources not far from those of the Aare and, after having formed the high longitudinal Urseren valley, it cuts through the Alpine and pre-Alpine region with a transverse valley: it marks the great road descending from the Gotthard to the Rhine, and crosses the most typical of the great pre-alpine lakes of Switzerland, that of the Four Cantons. Immediately downstream of the confluence with the Reuss, the Aare still receives the Limmat, an emissary of Lake Zurich, upstream of which it is named Linth. Instead, the Thur flows directly into the Rhine; near Basel the Rhine receives the Birs from the Jura. The Posterior Rhine, before joining the Anterior Rhine, receives the influx of several valleys of the Grisons, including the longitudinal one of the Landwasser. About one sixth of the waters of the Swiss territory flows into the western Mediterranean through the Rhone, which belongs to Switzerland from its sources (at the glacier of the same name descending from the Dammastock) to its entrance into Lake Geneva, and then again for a short distance downstream of this (in all for a length of 262.6 km. and 10402.9 kmq. of basin). Also part of the Rhone basin is the Doubs, which to the NW, in the Jura, partly marks the border between Switzerland and France. and then again for a short stretch downstream of this (in all for a length of 262.6 km. and 10402.9 kmq. of basin). Also part of the Rhone basin is the Doubs, which to the NW, in the Jura, partly marks the border between Switzerland and France. and then again for a short stretch downstream of this (in all for a length of 262.6 km. and 10402.9 kmq. of basin). Also part of the Rhone basin is the Doubs, which to the NW, in the Jura, partly marks the border between Switzerland and France.

The Adriatic side drains the water of 1 / 12 of Switzerland mainly through the Ticino and its tributaries. The upper course of Ticino belongs to Switzerland, from its sources, in the Monte Leone-Gottardo group, to the entrance to Lake Maggiore (91 km., 1616 sq. Km. Of basin); the Maggia, Verzasca, etc. flow directly to this. The upper course of the Maira, which descends from the Maloggia Pass area and flows into Lake Como (Adda basin), also belongs to Switzerland. Finally, 4.39% of the Swiss territory sends its waters to the Black Sea via the Inn (Danube basin), which crosses the Engadine. The course of the Inn in Switzerland is 104 km long, its basin is 2190 km wide.

The rivers of Switzerland that flow in the heart of the Alps have an alpine or glacial regime, that is, they are fed mainly by glaciers and eternal snows and therefore have summer floods at the time of the melting of these strong winter lean (Rhine, Aar, Reuss, Rhone Vallesano ). The rivers of the pre-alpine region and the plateau have strong spring floods at the time of the melting of snow and high waters in summer due to the rains, while low in autumn and winter. The rivers on the southern side of the Alps are also fed by the melting of snow and rainwater, but the maximum of the high waters caused by these moves towards autumn, and also exhibit stronger oscillations. The Jura region, and to a lesser extent also the limestone area of ​​the Alps, are rich in karst phenomena.

Since Switzerland’s rivers flow high or mid-mountain, they are generally of no importance for navigation. Only the Aare in the sub-Jurassic furrow was used in the past for communications and there are also recent projects to regularize its course and, joining it to the lakes of Biel and Neuchâtel, to establish a waterway from Lake Geneva, and therefore from the Rhone to the Rhine. But on the other hand, the waters of the rivers constitute a precious reserve of energy (see below).

The largest glaciers in the Alps belong to Switzerland: especially the Pennine and Bernese Alps are covered with majestic glaciers (see alps).

Another truly admirable feature of the Swiss landscape is constituted by the lakes, from the small picturesque lakes that peek out in large numbers in the alpine solitudes, to the large pre-alpine lakes.

The largest are the valley lakes that are located on the edge of the Alps and occupy furrows that already existed before the Quaternary glaciations, but which were overexcavated from these and had the current shape. On the southern side, Switzerland shares possession of Lake Maggiore with Italy, of which only the northern end belongs to it, and that of Lugano, which belongs to it for the most part; on the northern side it shares, respectively, with France and with Austria and Germany, the possession of the two great lakes of Geneva and Constance. In the Aare valley stretch the lakes of Brienz (29.18 sq km) and Thun (47.80 sq km), which once formed a single lake, then divided into two sections by the Lütschine delta. But the area richest in lakes is that of the Central Prealps, which is adorned with the picturesque Lake Lucerne (113,80 sq. km.); once it was much more extensive: the lakes of Sarnene and Lungern should be considered as wrecks of one of its arms.

Like Lake Lucerne, Lake Zug (38.24 sq km) is also part of the Reuss basin. The Wallensee (24.23 sq km) and Lake Zurich (88.52 sq km) are located in the Linth-Limmat basin. Rich in lakes (Sempach, Baldegge and Hallwill) are the wide valleys of the north-eastern region of Mittelland. Another series of ilakes, communicating with each other and also once more extensive, is located in the south-western part of the sub-Jurassic furrow: Lake Neuchâtel (215.81 sq km), the largest of the entirely Swiss lakes; then the lakes of Biel (39.20 sq. km.), in communication with that of Neuchâtel by means of the Zihl, and in communication with the Aare; Lake Murten (22.82 sq. km.), which flows into Lake Neuchatel through the course of the Broye, while downstream from Bern the wide Aare valley forms two long and sinuous lakes.

The Alpine region is home to numerous small lakes (see alps ; we remember that of Marjelen, in the Aletsch glacier and those of Sils, Silvaplana, St. Moritz in the Engadine, formed by cones).

Finally, in the Jura region there are karst lakes, sinkholes, etc. Lake Joux is well known; the Orbe, which carries its waters to Lake Neuchâtel, first has an underground course and then flows to the surface in large karst springs.

Switzerland Rivers