Rhine, Alpenrhein

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The Rhine (; ; ; ; ) is a European river that begins in the Swiss canton of Graubünden in the southeastern Swiss Alps, forms part of the Franco-German border, then flows through Germany and eventually empties into the North Sea in the Netherlands. It is the twelfth longest river in Europe, at about , with an average discharge .


From Reichenau, the Rhine flows east as the Alpenrhein or "Alpine Rhine", passes Chur turning north to form another 20 km further north the border between Liechtenstein and then Austria, on the east side and Canton of St. Gallen of Switzerland, on the west side. As an effect of human work it empties into Lake Constance on Austrian territory and not on the border that follows its old natural river bed. It emerges from Lake Constance, flows generally westward, as the Hochrhein, passes the Rhine Falls, and is joined by its major tributary, the river Aar. The Aar more than doubles the Rhine's water discharge, to an average of nearly , and provides more than a fifth of the discharge at the Dutch border. The Aar also contains the waters from the summit of Finsteraarhorn, the highest point of the Rhine basin. The Rhine roughly forms the boundary with Germany from Lake Constance with the exceptions of the canton of Schaffhausen and a part of the canton of Zürich, until it turns north at the so-called Rhine knee at Basel, leaving Switzerland.

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  • WikipediaRhine online water guide and mapBibliography on Water Resources and International LawThe *rei– rootBritain's drowned landscapes

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