The Murray River is Australia's longest and largest river, originating in the Great Dividing Range in southeastern Australia and flowing into the Great Australian Bay in the Indian Ocean. The main tributaries of the Murray River are the Darling River and the Melun Beach River.
Due to the dry and hot tropical desert climate, the river flow is small throughout the year, and the seasonal fluctuations vary greatly. When the water rises in winter, boats can pass up the river 300 kilometers from the estuary. During the dry season, the shallow water and the estuary sandbar hinder navigation. The upstream mainstream navigation starts at Albury.
Australia is an arid continent, and the Murray River Basin receives 58% of local precipitation. The Murray River Basin is perhaps Australia's most important irrigated area and a major food supplier. You will learn more interesting facts about the Murray River in this post.
Size And Description of Murray River
The Murray River is Australia's longest river, originating in the Australian Alps, Australia's highest mountain range, part of the Great Dividing Range. The Murray River flows to the northwest and forms the border between Victoria and New South Wales. It moves south for the last 500km, entering South Australia, passing through Lake Alexandrina, and finally flowing into the Indian Ocean at Goolwa. The Murray River Basin is located at longitude 139°13'～152°28' east and latitude 24°43'～37°34' south. Most of the basin is flat, with an altitude of more than 200m, a typical plain area.
In terms of length and basin area, the Murray River is the most important river in the Australian continent and the river with the largest flow in the Australian continent. It forms the Murray-Darling Basin with the Darling River. The main tributaries on the left bank of the Murray River are Mitta Mitta River, Kiewa River, Ovens River, Goulburn River, Campaspe River, Loddon River, etc. The main tributaries on its right bank are the Lachlan River, Murrumbidgee River, Darling River, and so on.
Murray River Size
The mainstream of the Murray River is 2,589 kilometers (1,608 miles) long, with a basin area of more than 1 million square kilometers (400,000 square miles), with an average annual flow of 190 cubic meters per second and a runoff of 5.95 billion cubic meters. If calculated by its longest tributary, the Darling River, the Murray-Darling Basin has a total length of 3,750 kilometers (2,330 miles), a total runoff of 22.7 billion cubic meters, a developable runoff of 13 billion cubic meters, and an exploitable groundwater volume of 6 billion cubic meters.
|mainstream length||2,589 kilometers (1,608 miles)|
|the Murray-Darling length||3,750 kilometers (2,330 miles)|
|basin area||more than 1 million square kilometers (400,000 square miles)|
|average annual flow||190 cubic meters per second|
|runoff||5.95 billion cubic meters|
The entire Murray River basin has little rainfall and is threatened by long-term drought. The average annual precipitation in this area is only 425mm, and the precipitation in the whole basin varies greatly, as well as the annual runoff of the river; in some areas (such as Corowa), the evaporation even exceeds the precipitation. It has even dried out completely during dry periods, although this is fairly rare, with only 2 or 3 official records in history. The upper reaches of the Murray River rely on the supply of mountain precipitation and snow water. Although the flow has not stopped, the water level is very low.
Because the flow of the Murray River varies widely, so does the ecosystem. Many fish species inhabit the Murray River, including Murray cod, Golden perch, Silver Perch, trout cod, Macquarie perch, eel-tailed catfish, and more. In addition to fish, Murray River Crayfish, giraffes, water rats, and platypus also inhabit the Murray River Basin. It is also the main growth area of river red gum.
Since Europeans immigrated to Australia in history, the ecological system of the Murray River and its tributaries has been gradually destroyed, and many exotic fish have also posed a great threat to local native fish. The number of many unique creatures has gradually decreased or even disappeared. Carp has even become the only fish in some areas. The great drought between 2000 and 2007 also put enormous pressure on the growth of Eucalyptus Chinensis.
The Murray River has a rich history as Aboriginal groups have relied on it for their livelihoods for centuries. It is also culturally significant to the indigenous tribes living in the river basin. Discovered by European explorers in 1824, the river has since been used for navigation, irrigation, and water supply. The Murray River today is home to dams, locks, and weirs that control water flow during droughts or floods and hydropower projects. Social and recreational facilities such as the annual canoe race are popular on the Murray River.