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Ruhr (river)

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Ruhr (river)

Ruhr
The Ruhr in Essen-Kettwig.
Origin Sauerland
Mouth Rhine
Basin countries Germany
Length 217 km
Source elevation 674 m
Avg. discharge 79 m³/s
Basin area 4,485 km²

The Ruhr is a medium-size river in western Germany (North Rhine-Westphalia), a right tributary (east-side) of the Rhine.

Description and history

The Ruhr valley near Bochum during a flood

The source of the Ruhr is near the town of Winterberg in the mountainous Sauerland region, at an elevation of approximately 2,200 feet (670 m). It flows into the lower Rhine river at an elevation of only 56 feet (17 m) in the municipal area of Duisburg. Its total length is 218 km (135 mi), its average discharge is 79 m³/s (cubic metres per second) at Mülheim near its mouth. Thus, its discharge is, for example, comparable to that of the Ems river in Northern Germany or the Thames river in the United Kingdom.

The Ruhr first passes the towns of Meschede, Arnsberg, Wickede, Fröndenberg, Holzwickede, Iserlohn and Schwerte. Then the river marks the southern limit of the Ruhr area, passing Hagen, Dortmund, Herdecke, Wetter, Witten, Bochum, Hattingen, Essen, Mülheim and Duisburg.

The Ruhr Area was Germany's primary industrial area during the early- to mid-20th century. Most factories were located there. The Occupation of the Ruhr from 1923-24 by French forces, due to the Weimar Republic's failure to contionue paying reparations from World War I provoked passive resistance, which saw production in the factories grind to a halt. As a result, the German hyperinflation crisis grew even worse.

During World War II, two of the dams on the Ruhr, the Möhne Dam and the Sorpe Dam were targets for Operation Chastise, in which special "bouncing bombs" were developed to take out the dams and flood the valley, with the hope of seriously effecting the German industries there. The story was told in a 1951 book and the popular 1955 film made from it, The Dam Busters.

The drainage basin of the Ruhr

Lakes

There are five Ruhr reservoirs on the river, often used for leisure activities.

  • Hengsteysee between Dortmund and Hagen, surface area: 1.36 km² height of the weir 4.5m
  • Harkortsee between Herdecke and Wetter; surface area: 1.37 km², height of the weir 7.8m
  • Kemnader See between Witten and Bochum; surface area: 1.25 km², height of the weir 2m
  • Baldeneysee in Essen-Werden; surface area: 2.64 km², height of the weir 8.5m
  • Kettwiger See in Essen-Kettwig; surface area: 0.55 km², height of the weir 6m

See also

References

Notes

Sources

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External links

  • Media related to Ruhr at Wikimedia Commons
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