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Confluence of rivers, the Mosel flows into the Rhein at Koblenz.
Confluence of the Bhagirathi and Alaknanda Rivers to produce the Ganges at Devprayag, India. Note the swirl of sediment from the Alaknanda.
Confluence of canals
This simplified diagram shows how a section of the Industrial Canal in New Orleans also serves as the channel for the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet Canal. At the bottom, a portion of the Intracoastal is also shown to be confluent with the Mississippi River.

Confluence, in geography, describes the meeting of two or more bodies of water. The opposite of a watershed, it usually refers to the point where a tributary joins a more major river, called the mainstem, when that major river is also the highest order stream in the drainage basin.

The term is also used to describe the meeting of tidal or other non-riverine bodies of water, such as two canals[1] or a canal and a lake.[2] A one-mile (1.6 km) portion of the Industrial Canal in New Orleans accommodates the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet Canal; therefore those three waterways are confluent there.


Notable confluences

Integer latitudes and longitudes

Lat. 23°00'00"S X Long. 49º00'00"W

Confluence also describes a location where integer latitude and integer longitude lines cross. The point in extreme northeastern New Jersey at 41°0′0″N 74°0′0″W / 41°N 74°W / 41; -74 is such a confluence point. The Degree Confluence Project endeavors to catalog and photograph all such points on the globe.[3]

See also


  1. ^ The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers refers to the confluence of the Assawoman Canal with the Bethany Loop Canal in Delaware. See: "CENAP-OP-R-Quarterly Report, 2004-05-12". Philadelphia Engineer District. Retrieved 2006-03-11.  
  2. ^ Engineers in New Orleans refer to the confluence of the 17th Street Canal and Lake Pontchartrain. See: "Interim Closure Structure at 17th St. Canal". Task Force Guardian. Retrieved 2006-03-11.  
  3. ^ "DCP: Information". Degree Confluence Project. Retrieved 2006-03-11.  


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