Top 10 Largest Rivers in the World by Volume Discharge
In our body, veins play the most significant role in carrying blood to our hearts, which keeps us alive. Likewise, the veins of the earth — rivers create and sustain lives on earth. Rivers start from a high altitude and stream down to oceans, seas, lakes, other rivers or get absorbed by the ground. On their way, they carve their own path and create lives.
Besides carrying deep secrets in their bed, rivers bear so much for living creatures. Rivers provide fresh water for drinking, agriculture, traveling, power generation, and whatnot. They provide habitat and food for many animals, plants, and other organisms.
So, if you are curious to know the top 10 largest rivers in the world by volume, then you are in the right spot.
Let’s discuss them one by one.
Largest River In The World by Volume | By Average Discharge
Here is our list of the top 10 largest rivers in the world by volume of water. In this list, we have included those rivers with the highest average discharge i.e. their flow rate.
Amazon River (Amazon–Ucayali–Tambo–Ene–Mantaro)
Amazon River is the natural wonder on earth. For centuries, it has possessed great mystique and allure for adventurers, explorers, and travellers. Amazon is the largest river on earth, with an average discharge of 209,000 m³/s — bigger than the combined discharge of the next seven largest rivers on our list.
The river is also the longest disputed river in the world. Amazon River has the world’s largest drainage area of 7.05 million km². It carries 1/5th of the world’s freshwater to the sea.
The river starts from Andes Mountain in Peru and travels through Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Brazil, and Guyana.
The river also contains the most exotic 2,700 species of freshwater fish.
Congo River (Congo–Chambeshi)
The deepest river in the world, the Congo River, is the second spot among the largest rivers in the world by volume, with an average discharge of 41,800 m³/s. Congo River is even too deep for light to penetrate.
The River system of Congo-Lualaba-Chambeshi is the second-longest river system in Africa (after the Nile), and the 9th largest in the world. Congo River also flows down to the Atlantic Ocean.
Its drainage basin covers an area of almost 4 million square kilometers. It flows through eight African countries — Cameroon, Tanzania, the Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic Angola, Eastern Zambia, North Angola, Burundi, and Rwanda.
With an average discharge of 33,000 m³/s, the Orinoco River in South America is in the fourth spot on our list of the largest rivers in the world by volume discharge. Orinoco River is also one of the longest rivers in South America at 2,010 km. Colombia, Venezuela, and Guyana are in its drainage basin, after which it ends up in the Atlantic Ocean. Orinoco River has a drainage area of 1,380,000 km².
It provides habitat to rich species of animals and plants (including giant anaconda and crocodile), and its belt is the world’s largest certified petroleum deposit.
Madeira River (Madeira–Mamoré–Grande–Caine–Rocha)
Madeira River is the largest tributary of the Amazon River. The average discharge of Madeira River is 31,200 m³/s making it the 4th largest river in the world by volume. Madeira River has a drainage area of 1,485,200 km².
The river flows across Brazil, Peru, and Bolivia until it drains into the Amazon River in Brazil. It is known for its biodiversity, with more than 1000 fish species.
Yangtze River (Yangtze–Jinsha–Tongtian–Dangqu River System)
This next one is from China, with its 30,166 m³/s average discharge and drainage area of 1,800,000 km².
Yangtze River is the longest river in Asia. The river comes from the peak of the Tanggula Mountains in Tibet and ends up in the East China Sea. Yangtze River delta consists of 40% of China’s population, and it is also the most economically developed. The basin is also fertile, with major crops like grains, wheat, barley, and rice produced in this region.
On the 6th spot in our list of the top largest rivers in the world by volume, is River Negro again situated in South America. The river drains Brazil, Venezuela, and Colombia. Negro River has an average discharge of 26,700 km³/s and a drainage area of 720,114 km² The river empties into the Amazon River.
Río De La Plata River (Río De La Plata–Paraná–Rio Grande)
It is formed by the confluence of two rivers — Parana and Uruguay.
It is the second longest river in South America and 6th in the world — with a draining area of 2,582,672 km². In terms of average discharge, it is the 7th largest in our list, with 22,000 m³/s volume. The river system travels through Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, and Uruguay until ending up in the Atlantic Ocean.
Brahmaputra River (Brahmaputra–Yarlung- Tsangpo)
Brahmaputra River has an average volume of 19,800 m³/s. India, China, Nepal, Bangladesh, Disputed India/China, and Bhutan are part of its drainage basin. Brahmaputra River has a drainage area of 712,035 km².
It finally flows down to the Ganges River in India.
Yenisei River (Yenisey–Angara–Selenga–Ider)
With a drainage area of 2,580,000 km², the Yenisei River is the 5th longest river in the world. In our list of the top 10 largest rivers in the world by volume, it is in the 9th spot with 18,050 m³/s volume of water flow. Yenisei River starts from Mongolia and travels through Russia to finally emptying in the Kara Sea. It is the largest drain into the Arctic ocean. The river is important as it generates hydroelectricity and consists of a big oil refinery.
Mississippi River (Mississippi–Missouri–Jefferson–Beaverhead–Red Rock–Hell Roaring)
It is the fourth longest river in the world with a flow area of 2,980,000 km². The Mississippi River system has an average discharge of 16,792 m³/s. It starts from Lake in Minnesota, USA, drains in the USA, and two Canadian provinces to finally empty into the Gulf of Mexico.
To Sum Up
The South American region is blessed with some largest rivers in the world by volume. Amazon River in this region is the largest and the longest in the world. In our list, we have three rivers from Asia, followed by one from Africa and one from North America.