Euphrates River: map, location, features and more!

Last Updated on August 1, 2023 by Hernan Gimenez

The whole planet is surrounded by rivers, from the Nile in Africa to the Orinoco in South America, and knowing them is very important; enter this article and learn all about the Euphrates, one of the most important rivers in Asia.
río de Éufrates

Location and map of the Euphrates River

Among the location of this great river Euphrates, we have that it belongs to the Asian continent, more specifically to Western Asia, is located further west as the Tigris River thus defining what was the ancient Mesopotamia. Below is the map of the Euphrates River to detail its exact location.

Characteristics of the Euphrates River

The Euphrates is a fundamental river in the history of the most ancient civilisations of mankind and offers mysteries that have endured throughout history. Before we tell you what you need to know about this river, here are the main characteristics of the Euphrates.

Ubicación y mapa del Río Éufrates

Length

Together with the Kara River, the Euphrates is almost three thousand kilometres long, but without the Kara River, it is exactly 2289 kilometres long, which makes it a small river compared to rivers in Asia itself, such as the Mekong River (see link Mekong River) or rivers in South America, such as the Amazon River (see link Amazon River).

Euphrates River basin and flow rate

The Euphrates River basin covers an area of 765,000 square kilometres, its flow rate is about 360 square metres per second and its altitude is 4,500 metres above sea level.

The flow of this river is not so abundant if we compare it with the size of the basin, the Euphrates flows through arid and desert areas where the use that is given to its waters is very wide, for example in Turkey there is a large number of dams along its route through the Turkish nation.

History of the Euphrates River

This ancient river has an ancient history, providing water to one of the first complex civilisations of mankind, the Sumerian civilisation, which existed some 4,000 years before the Christian era. On the banks of the Euphrates they managed to build a large number of cities such as Sippar, Uruk, Eridu and many others.

In the history of the Euphrates, it is said that after the Sumerian Empire, empires such as the Babylonian or Assyrian Empires would cover this river valley. For hundreds of years, this river would be the border that separated both the Romans and the Egyptians from the Persian Empire.

It is believed that in ancient times this river was up to seven times larger than it is today and on its banks settled and gave life to civilisations such as the Arab, Byzantine, Roman and Greek civilisations.

Nexos El Tigris y el Éufrates

The course of the Euphrates River

The Euphrates has its source in Turkey, as we have already mentioned, and it flows from the massifs known as Anatolia towards Syria, where, in its upper course, the Euphrates flows through canyons and gorges before entering Syria.

Near the border between the two countries, at what is known as ancient Carchemish, and then on to leave Syrian territory at Abu Kemal, the river generally flows in a south-easterly direction.

Tributaries of the Euphrates River

The Euphrates has three main tributaries, namely:

  • The Sajur River.
  • The Balij River.
  • The Khabur River.

From Syria, the river flows into Iraq, where it joins the Tigris to form the Shatt al-Arab, which continues its course to the Persian Gulf.

According to some historians, the Euphrates flowed into the sea and did not touch the Tigris. The responsibility for the formation of the Persian Gulf is attributed to these two rivers because of the silt that they carry.

Waterworks on the Euphrates River

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Embalse de Atatürk

 

Turkey, more than any other country through which the Euphrates flows, has built a large number of dams, not only on the river but also on its tributaries. Here is a list of the most important waterworks:

  • Hancagiz Dam.
  • Çamgazi Dam.
  • Karakaya Dam.
  • Keban Dam.
  • Birecik Dam.
  • Karkamış Dam.
  • Atatürk Dam.

Euphrates River Prophecy

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In ancient times, the nation now known as Iraq was formerly known as Mesopotamia, one of the oldest great civilisations. This nation is crossed by the Euphrates River, which has been diminishing its basin and flow, which is related to what the Book of Revelation prophesied as a sign of the end of time.

The drought of this millennial river is linked to the end of mankind. This has been in vogue in recent years, according to the lowering of the waters of the Euphrates in recent times.

Pollution of the Euphrates River

The waters of the river are highly polluted, with studies by the World Health Organisation showing that high fish mortality has led to worrying levels of ammonia, heavy metals and bacteria. Recent reports of local fishermen suddenly turning up tonnes of dead carp, a staple of the Iraqi diet, have caused great concern among the local population.

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