One of nature’s truly astonishing and stunning sights is when bodies of water that display different shades meet each other without mixing.
The meeting of two or more rivers or any other bodies of water is called a confluence. This phenomenon happens when tributaries join a larger river or when streams join to become one river.
Confluences happen all over the world. These natural event can create beautiful sights with their distinct and contrasting colors. Because of debris, vegetation, silt or the chemicals differences of each body of water, cause the contrast in color to the river that they join.
Here are some of the most amazing confluences from around the world.
Confluence of Alaknanda and Bhagirathi Rivers (Devprayag, India)
These rivers are Himalayan rivers and are very significant to the culture and history of Hindu people. The Alaknanda flows 118 miles along the Alaknanda Valley. At the end of the valley, the Alaknanda will meet the turbulent and dam filled waters of the Bhagirathi River.
Confluence of the Ilz, Danube, and Inn Rivers (Passau, Germany)
The Ilz, Danube, and the Inn are rivers in Germany. The three rivers have different colors and confluence in Passau, Germany, forming a stunning three-colored river. The smaller of the three is the Ilz River, which runs through the Bavarian forest. The mountain stream Ilz River has the bluer color among the three rivers, and it meets the Danube and the Inn Rivers in Passau. The larger river will then run through Switzerland, Austria, and Germany.
Confluence of the Jialing and Yangtze Rivers (Chongqing, China)
Yangtze River and the Jialing River are just two of China’s rivers. The winding Jialing River carries clear colored water and supports fish life while the Yangtze River carries a more murky and muddy water. The Yangtze is the longest river in Asia and is very significant part of China’s history. The historical river is suffering from industrial pollution for years making its water not suitable for fishes.
When the Jialing River joins the much larger Yangtze River, it creates a very distinct contrast of colors.
Confluence of the Green and Colorado Rivers (Canyonlands National Park, UT, USA)
Known for its canyons and white water rapids, the Colorado River is one of the longest rivers in the United States. It runs through seven federal states. The Green River carries larger load of silt that causes its water to turn into almost-reddish color. The two rivers confluence in Canyonlands National Park in Utah, making a beautiful sight just like the photo above.
Two Oceans in the Gulf of Alaska
The Gulf of Alaska contains various slow-moving currents called eddies that carry different sediments. One contains heavier clay material that is packed with iron and causes the water to turn darker. When the two eddies meet, the difference in color is very clear, but they do mix eventually. This isn’t technically a confluence of two separate bodies of waters.
Confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers (Cairo, IL, USA)
The world’s tenth-longest river is also the world’s fourth-largest. The famous Mississippi River runs through Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. Its largest tributary is the Ohio River. The Ohio River carries high levels of sediments that turn its waters’ color to brown while the Mississippi River carries less sediments, thus having a greener waters. The two rivers join together below Cairo, IL. Their confluence creates a stunning sight.
Confluence of the Rio Negro and the Rio Solimoes (Near Manaus, Brazil)
Amazon River’s largest left tributary is the Rio Negro (Black River). It is also the largest black-water river in the world. Its water is not technically black but just a very dark color. Rio Negro confluences with the sandy waters of the Rio Solimoes, the upper stretches of the Amazon River in Brazil. The dark waters of Rio Negro and the sandy waters of Rio Solimoes meet side by side but do not combine. Their difference in color certainly creates a sight to behold when viewed from above.
Confluence of the Mosel and Rhine Rivers (Koblenz, Germany)
The Rhine River is one of Europe’s most popular and longer rivers. The Rhine starts from the Swiss Alps and flows throughout most of Europe. Meanwhile, the Mosel River flows through France, Luxemberg, and Germany. The two rivers meet in Koblenz.
Confluence of the Thompson and Fraser Rivers (Lytton, BC, Canada)
Fraser River is the longest river in Canada, and it carries a large amount of sediments, making its water look muddy. The Fraser River confluence with Thompson River, 3rd largest of British Columbia in Lytton. The Thompson River is known for its powerful rapids and beautiful canyons. The confluence of the clear water of Thompson River and the muddy water of Fraser River is quite a sight to behold.
Confluence of the Rhone and Arve Rivers (Geneva, Switzerland)
The Rhone has a bluer color, and it is one of three major European rivers that run through France and the Swiss Alps. The Rhone meets with the Arve River in Geneva. The Arve also flows through France and Switzerland but receives its water from the glaciers of the Chamoniz Valley. The Arve carries more silt that makes its water muddy-looking.
Confluence of the Drava and Danuve Rivers (Near Osijek, Croatia)
Europe’s second-largest river passes through the borders of ten countries. The Danube starts in Germany and empties out into the Black Sea, while the Drava River flows through Austria, Italy, Croatia, and Slovenia before meeting the Danube near Osijek.
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