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a.
summer
b
winter
Table 1 is a list of the major sediment-transporting rivers of the world along with their mean
annual discharge (cubic m per second), drainage area (thousands of square km), mean annual
sediment transport (millions of tons per year), and sediment load (in kg per cubic m). [For
more on river locations with source and outflow information, see Link 11B-1.]
Table 1. Major Sediment-Transporting Rivers of the World
River
Discharge
Drainage
Sediment
Sediment
(m'/s)
(10' km?)
transport
load
(10 T/yr)
(kg/m')
Amazon
181,200
5,798
363.6
0.1
Chang (Yangtze)
21,800
1,950
500
0.7
Mississippi
17,800
3,234
312.7
0.6
Irrawaddy
13,600
432
300
0.7
Brahmaputra
12,200
668
727.3
1.9
Ganges
11,800
959
1,454.5
3.9
Mekong
11,000
798
170
0.5
Indus
5,600
972
436.4
2.5
Red
3,900
120
130
1.1
Nile
2,800
2,990
110.9
1.2
Missouri (Mississippi)
2,000
1,375
218.2
3.5
Kosi (Ganges
1,800
62
172.7
3.0
Huang He (Yellow)
1,500
676
1,890.9
39.9
Colorado
160
640
135.5
27.6
Ching (Huang He)
60
57
409.1
229.0
Lo (Huang He)
26
190.9
Source: Adapted from O. Sarnelle, FW109, Conservation of Freshwater Ecosystems, Michigan State University
With the help of Google Earth or a world map if necessary, locate the following: South
America's Amazon is the main tropical river; the Irrawaddy, Brahmaputra, Ganges (and Kosi
tributary), Mekong, and Indus are southern Asian rivers where monsoon climates prevail; the
Nile drains from tropical African highlands across arid land north to the Mediterranean Sea;
the Mississippi-Missouri-Red system and the Colorado drain mid-latitude North America;
the Chang (Yangtze) and Huang He (Yellow) river systems of China are also located in mid-
dle latitude, temperate climates.
7. From Table 1, the river with the greatest average annual sediment transport is the
River.
a.
Amazon
b.
Ganges
C .
Huang He
8. Based on the available information, the main factor contributing to this river's great sedi-
ment load must be
. This factor is also evident in the sediment load or amount
of material suspended per cubic m of water in the Ching branch.
a.
extensive source of particulate materials
b.
vast drainage basin
C.
heavy tropical precipitation
The Amazon River annually discharges
times the annual discharge of the
Mississippi River.
a.
b.
10
C.
100
10. The Amazon River's sediment load is
times the sediment load of the Missis-
sippi River.
a.
0.17
b.
1.1
C .
10.5
11. Taking into account the Amazon River receives heavy tropical precipitation over a large
drainage basin, the total sediment transport and sediment load are relatively small com-
pared to the other rivers listed in Table 1. The principal reason for this is likely to be
in the drainage basin.
165 / 231

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