Tributary

A tributary[1] or affluent[2] is a stream or river that flows into a larger stream or main stem (or parent) river or a lake.[3] A tributary does not flow directly into a sea or ocean.[4] Tributaries and the main stem river drain the surrounding drainage basin of its surface water and groundwater, leading the water out into an ocean.

A confluence, where two or more bodies of water meet together, usually refers to the joining of tributaries.

The opposite to a tributary is a distributary, a river or stream that branches off from and flows away from the main stream.[5] Distributaries are most often found in river deltas.

Aerial Photo of Harpers Ferry (15646790473)
Looking upstream, the Shenandoah River (left) is a tributary of the larger Potomac River (right)

Terminology

Harpers Ferry WV aerial
Looking downstream, the Shenandoah River (bottom right) meets the Potomac River which flows from bottom left to top right, so the Shenandoah is a right tributary of the Potomac, not a left tributary

"Right tributary" and "left tributary" (or "right-bank tributary" and "left-bank tributary") are terms stating the orientation of the tributary relative to the flow of the main stem river. These terms are defined from the perspective of looking downstream (in the direction the water current of the main stem is going).[6]

In the United States, where tributaries sometimes have the same name as the river into which they feed, they are called forks. These are typically designated by compass direction. For example, the American River receives flow from its North, Middle, and South forks. The Chicago River's North Branch has the East, West, and Middle Fork; the South Branch has its South Fork, and used to have a West Fork as well (now filled in).

Forks are sometimes designated as right or left. Here, the "handedness" is from the point of view of an observer facing upstream. For instance, Steer Creek has a left tributary which is called Right Fork Steer Creek.

Ordering and enumeration

Tributaries are sometimes listed starting with those nearest to the source of the river and ending with those nearest to the mouth of the river. The Strahler Stream Order examines the arrangement of tributaries in a hierarchy of first, second, third, and higher orders, with the first-order tributary being typically the least in size. For example, a second-order tributary would be the result of two or more first-order tributaries combining to form the second-order tributary.[6]

Another method is to list tributaries from mouth to source, in the form of a tree structure, stored as a tree data structure.

Gallery

Vermilion wabashrivermap

The water basin of the Wabash River; the other rivers (not including the Ohio River) are tributaries of the Wabash River. The Vermillion River (and its forks) is a highlighted example of a tributary of the Wabash River. The Wabash River is also a tributary of the Ohio River.

Amazonriverbasin basemap

The basin of the Amazon River is a system made up of many tributary streams. The streams shown on the map besides the Amazon are tributaries of the Amazon. The Amazon is not a tributary of any other rivers because it ends in the Atlantic Ocean.

Liaorivermap

The Liao River is a much simpler example of a river basin with tributaries. The main tributaries noted on this map are the Hun River, Taizi River, Dongliao River, Xinkai River, Xiliao River, Xar Moron River and the Laoha River. The Xiliao River has the tributaries on the map the Xar Moron and Laoha Rivers.

Jialingrivermap

Jialing River tributaries (which itself is a tributary of the Yangtze River).

Huairivermap

Huai River tributaries (which itself is a tributary of the Yangtze River).

See also

References

  1. ^ "tributary". PhysicalGeography.net, Michael Pidwirny & Scott Jones, 2009. Viewed 17 September 2012.
  2. ^ "affluent". The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. Viewed 30 Sep. 2008.
  3. ^ "Definition of TRIBUTARY". Merriam-Webster.
  4. ^ Krebs, Robert E. (2003). The Basics of Earth Science. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-313-31930-3.
  5. ^ "opposite to a tributary". PhysicalGeography.net, Michael Pidwirny & Scott Jones, 2009. Viewed 17 September 2012.
  6. ^ a b Bisson, Peter and Wondzell, Steven. “Olympic Experimental State Forest Synthesis of Riparian Research and Monitoring”, United States Forest Service, p. 15 (December 1, 2009).
Beaver Brook (Merrimack River tributary)

Beaver Brook is a 30.7-mile-long (49.4 km) river located in New Hampshire and Massachusetts in the United States. It is a tributary of the Merrimack River, part of the Gulf of Maine watershed.

Beaver Brook rises in Chester, New Hampshire, and flows south into Derry, passing through Harantis Lake, Adams Pond, and Beaver Lake. Continuing south, the brook forms the boundary between Londonderry and Windham, then flows through Pelham. The brook crosses the state line into Dracut, Massachusetts, and reaches the Merrimack River in the city of Lowell.

Most of the brook's course is through gently hilly terrain that is rapidly being converted into suburban land use.

Levee

A levee (), dike, dyke, embankment, floodbank or stopbank is an elongated naturally occurring ridge or artificially constructed fill or wall, which regulates water levels. It is usually earthen and often parallel to the course of a river in its floodplain or along low-lying coastlines.

List of rivers of Massachusetts

List of rivers in Massachusetts (U.S. state).

All Massachusetts rivers flow to the Atlantic Ocean. The list is arranged by drainage basin from north to south, with respective tributaries indented under each larger stream's name, arranged travelling upstream along the larger stream.

List of rivers of Minnesota

List of rivers in Minnesota (U.S. state).

List of rivers of Missouri

List of rivers in Missouri (U.S. state).

List of rivers of Virginia

This is a list of rivers in the U.S. state of Virginia.

List of rivers of West Virginia

This is a list of rivers in the U.S. state of West Virginia.

List of West Virginia rivers includes streams formally designated as rivers. There are also smaller streams (i.e., branches, creeks, drains, forks, licks, runs, etc.) in the state. Exclusive of major tributaries, there are about 46 named rivers in West Virginia. Though relatively few in number, rivers have traditionally provided easy avenues of transportation through the rough terrain of the Mountain State, first by Native Americans and later by European settlers. Even today, the larger rivers transport large volumes of commercial goods, while the smaller ones provide recreational opportunities such as canoeing, fishing, swimming, and white-water rafting.

Little River (Merrimack River tributary)

The Little River is a 12.9-mile-long (20.8 km) river located in New Hampshire and Massachusetts in the United States. It is a tributary of the Merrimack River, part of the Gulf of Maine watershed.

The Little River rises in Kingston, New Hampshire, flows south through Plaistow, and enters the city of Haverhill, Massachusetts, where it joins the Merrimack River. Most of the Little River's course is marked by suburban and urban development.

Mad River (Cold River tributary)

The Mad River is a 1.4-mile (2.3 km) long mountain brook on the Maine–New Hampshire border in the United States, within the eastern White Mountains. It is a tributary of the Cold River, part of the Saco River watershed.

The Mad River rises in New Hampshire in the col between West Royce and East Royce mountains, at an elevation of 2,500 feet (760 m) above sea level. The river quickly drops to the south down the slopes of Royce Mountain, entering Maine and dropping over Mad River Falls, a tall cascade. The river joins the Cold River in the floor of Evans Notch, a narrow pass through the White Mountains.

Otter Brook (Ashuelot River tributary)

Otter Brook is a 13.2 mile long (21.2 km) river located in southwestern New Hampshire in the United States. It is a tributary of The Branch of the Ashuelot River, itself a tributary of the Connecticut River, which flows to Long Island Sound.

Otter Brook begins at the outlet of Chandler Meadow, in the town of Stoddard, New Hampshire. It flows southwest through the towns of Nelson, Sullivan, and Roxbury, eventually entering the city of Keene, where it joins Minnewawa Brook to form The Branch.

The brook passes through Ellis Reservoir (a small lake in Sullivan) and Otter Brook Lake, a flood control reservoir built on the boundary between Keene and Roxbury. The dam which created Otter Brook lake was completed in 1958. From the village of East Sullivan to Otter Brook Lake, the brook is followed by New Hampshire Route 9.

Salmon Brook (Merrimack River tributary)

Salmon Brook is one of the 6 major tributaries of the Merrimack River in northeastern Massachusetts in the United States. Its watershed is 31 square miles (80 km2) and is one of the 14 subwatersheds of the Merrimack River. It passes through Groton, Dunstable, and Tyngsborough, Massachusetts, and then through Nashua, New Hampshire.

South River (Ossipee River tributary)

The South River is a 10.6 mile long (17.1 km) river in eastern New Hampshire and western Maine in the United States. It is a tributary of the Ossipee River, which flows east to the Saco River and ultimately the Atlantic Ocean.

The South River begins at the outlet of Province Lake in the town of Effingham, New Hampshire and proceeds north past the village of Center Effingham. Jogging east, the river enters Parsonsfield, Maine, then turns north again to reach the Ossipee River.

Suzerainty

Suzerainty (, and ) is any relationship in which one region or nation controls the foreign policy and relations of a tributary state, while allowing the tributary nation to have internal autonomy.Suzerainty differs from true sovereignty in that, though the tributary state or person is technically independent and enjoys self-rule, in practice this self-rule is limited. Although the situation has existed in a number of historical empires, it is considered difficult to reconcile with 20th- or 21st-century concepts of international law, in which sovereignty either exists or does not. While a sovereign nation can agree by treaty to become a protectorate of a stronger power, modern international law does not recognise any way of making this relationship compulsory on the weaker power. Suzerainty is a practical, de facto situation, rather than a legal, de jure one.

Tribute

A tribute (/ˈtrɪbjuːt/) (from Latin tributum, contribution) is wealth, often in kind, that a party gives to another as a sign of respect or, as was often the case in historical contexts, of submission or allegiance. Various ancient states exacted tribute from the rulers of land which the state conquered or otherwise threatened to conquer. In case of alliances, lesser parties may pay tribute to more powerful parties as a sign of allegiance and often in order to finance projects that would benefit both parties. To be called "tribute" a recognition by the payer of political submission to the payee is normally required; the large sums, essentially protection money, paid by the later Roman and Byzantine Empires to barbarian peoples to prevent them attacking imperial territory, would not usually be termed "tribute" as the Empire accepted no inferior political position. Payments by a superior political entity to an inferior one, made for various purposes, are described by terms including "subsidy".

The ancient Persian Achaemenid Empire is an example of an ancient tribute empire; one that made relatively few demands on its non-Persian subjects other than the regular payment of tribute, which might be gold, luxury goods, animals, soldiers or slaves. However, failure to keep up the payments had dire consequences. The reliefs at Persepolis show processions of figures bearing varied types of tribute.

The medieval Mongol rulers of Russia also expected only tribute from the Russian states, which continued to govern themselves. Athens received tribute from the other cities of the Delian League. The empires of Assyria, Babylon, Carthage and Rome exacted tribute from their provinces and subject kingdoms. Ancient China received tribute from various states such as Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Borneo, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Myanmar and Central Asia (listed here). The Aztec Empire is another example. The Roman republic exacted tribute in the form of payments equivalent to proportional property taxes, for the purpose of waging war.

Tribute empires contrast with those like the Roman Empire, which more closely controlled and garrisoned subject territories. A tributary state is one that preserves its political position and such independence as it has only by paying tribute. Although, Roman Republic and Roman Empire sometimes controlled client kingdoms providing it with tribute.

Wild River (Androscoggin River tributary)

The Wild River is a 17.2-mile-long (27.7 km) river in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and Maine in the United States. It is a tributary of the Androscoggin River, which flows east and south to the Kennebec River near the Atlantic Ocean.

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