Saturday 1 June 2024

River Congo: The World's Deepest River

With a depth of 220 Meters, at its deepest point; River Congo is the deepest River in the World, both by maximum depth and average depth.

For comparison purposes, the deepest point of Lake Victoria is 82 Meters, and so, River Congo at its deepest point is 2.7 times deeper than Lake Victoria.

River Nile is about 11 Meters at its deepest point, and so, River Congo is nearly 20 times deeper than River Nile (at the deepest point).

Its deepest point is in the Lower Congo, between Pool Malebo, which is just East of Brazzaville, and an area known as Pioka.

Why the massive depth?

The world-record depth of the Congo River is produced by a steep drop in elevation over a short distance.

This leads to rapidly-flowing waters, which in turn causes significant erosive potential.

About 300 KMs to its mouth in the Atlantic, the river starts dropping about 6 Meters per KM in elevation.

Over the final 100 KMs, it loses 200 Meters of elevation.

This abnormally high ratio creates a flow rate of about 1.4 - 1.5 million cubic feet per second.

This is sufficient to carve out the exceptional gorges in this section of the Lower up.

Credit: Kariuki Muiri

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