List of rivers discharging into the North Sea

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The major rivers discharging into the North Sea are:

RiverTotal area River Basin DistrictSource
Elbe148,268 km2 (57,247 sq mi)[1]
Ems17,879 km2 (6,903 sq mi)[1]
Forth3,600 km2 (1,400 sq mi)[2]
Humber26,109 km2 (10,081 sq mi)[3]
Meuse34,548 km2 (13,339 sq mi)[1]
Rhine197,100 km2 (76,100 sq mi)[1]
Scheldt36,416 km2 (14,060 sq mi)[1]
Spey2,988 km2 (1,154 sq mi)[4]
Tay9,600 km2 (3,700 sq mi)[5]
Thames16,133 km2 (6,229 sq mi)[6]
Tyne2,200 km2 (850 sq mi)[7]
Weser46,300 km2 (17,900 sq mi)[7]
Ythan3,600 km2 (1,400 sq mi)[1]


Austrian drainage basin

Belgian drainage basin

Danish drainage basins

English drainage basins

Flowing into the North Sea - Thames and Medway

From Foreness Point to Shoeburyness

Flowing into the North Sea - North of the Thames Estuary

Aerial view of the Thames in London
The mouth of the Gaywood River at King's Lynn.
The Mouth of the River Burn at Overy Creek, Norfolk

From Shoeburyness to St Abb's Head

French drainage basin

Aa River

The Aa is an 89 km long river in northern France. Its source is near the village Bourthes. It flows through the départements and cities of Pas-de-Calais: Saint-Omer and Nord: Gravelines.

German drainage basin

The major German rivers

The three main rivers in Germany are the Rhine (Rhein in German) (main tributaries including the Neckar, the Main and the Moselle (Mosel)); the Elbe (also drains into the North Sea); and, the Danube (Donau).

German rivers draining into the North Sea

The rivers in this section are sorted south-west (Netherlands) to east (Danish border).

Netherlands drainage basin

The Rhine at the Loreley
Hotton, view on the Ourthe river and the city church.
The Scheldt in Antwerp

Norwegian drainage basin

Scotland drainage basin

Swedish drainage basin

Switzerland drainage basin

The Rhine River, together with its tributaries the Aare River and the Thur River drain about two thirds of the water into the North Sea.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f McAlister, Elaine; Nelleke Domburg, Tony Edwards, Bob Ferrier. "Hydrological Modelling of the River Ythan using ArcInfo GRID". Macaulay Land Use Research Institute. Retrieved 2008-12-04.
  2. ^ "Information Sheet on Ramsar Wetlands (RIS)" (pdf). Ramsar Information Sheet: UK13017 Firth of Forth. JNCC: Version 3.0,. 13 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-04.The catchment area of both the River Forth and Firth of Forth Estuary.
  3. ^ Appleton, Tamsin (24 November 2008). "Environment Agency - More about Humber RBD" (cached). Subjects > Water Quality > WFD > RBD information > Humber RBD > More about Humber RBD. The Environment Agency. Retrieved 2008-12-04.
  4. ^ Riddell, Keith J.; Fuller, Terence W.. "The Spey Bay geomorphological study". Babtie Group. Retrieved 2008-12-04.
  5. ^ Hopkin, John; Duffy, Philip; Blades, Heather (2002). "What causes the River Tay in Scotland to flood?" (Digitized by Google Books online). Geography Matters Scotland. Heinemann. 132. ISBN 0435e355430, 9780435355432. Retrieved 2008-12-05.
  6. ^ Ojo, Michael; Fuller, Terence W. (12 July 2007). "London Councils' TEC Executive Sub-Committee Water Framework Directive" (doc). Babtie Group. Retrieved 2008-12-04.
  7. ^ a b Milliman, John D.; Syvitski, James P. M.. "Geomorphic/Tectonic Control of Sediment Discharge to the Ocean: The Importance of Small Mountainous Rivers". Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Retrieved 2008-12-04.