The Ob-Irtysh River

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The 25 Longest Rivers in the World
The River as a Lifeline
The River as a Boundary
Geography links

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The Ob-Irtysh is the world's seventh-longest river at 3,354 miles long. It begins at the junction of the Biya and Katun rivers, in the Altai Mountains, and flows through Siberia to the Gulf of Ob. It is made up of the Ob, the main river, and the Irtysh, its main tributary. Geographers most often refer to the two together, as the Ob-Irtysh River. Other large tributaries include the Tom, the Chulym, the Ket, the Tym, the Vakh, the Vasyugan, and the Sosva. But only the Irtysh, as the main tributary, gets its name in the title.

The river is frozen for from five to six months of the year, but transportation is high and heavy for the rest of the year, both for trade and for sightseeing.

The river's fisheries, long famous for their productivity, have been damaged by pollution, part of it from nuclear waste.

A series of canals connects the Ob with the Yenisei River.



 Facts About the Ob-Irtysh River


3,354 miles


Altai Mountains


Gulf of Ob

Countries Flows Through


Major Cities Flows By/Through

Novosobirsk, Barnaul, Mogochin, Akademgorodok

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David White