Sil (river)

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For the river in Italy, see Sile (river).
Sil (Río Sil)
River
CanondoSil.JPG
The Sil Canyon as seen from the river
Country Spain
Autonomous Community Castilla y Leon, Galicia
Tributaries
 - left Boeza, Cabrera, Bibei,
Navea, Mao
 - right Caboalles, Cúa, Selmo,
Soldón, Lor, Cabe
City Ponferrada
Source Villablino
 - location León, Castilla y León, Spain
 - coordinates 43°01′54″N 6°09′19″W / 43.031615°N 6.155348°W / 43.031615; -6.155348
Source confluence Os Peares
 - location Ourense, Galicia, Spain
 - coordinates 42°27′14″N 7°43′48″W / 42.453844°N 7.729912°W / 42.453844; -7.729912
Mouth Miño Estuary
 - location Atlantic Ocean, Spain & Portugal
 - elevation 0 m (0 ft)
Length 228 km (142 mi)
Reservoirs Las Rozas, Bárcena, Peñarrubia, Pumares, Santiago,
San Martiño, Sequeiros, Santo Estevo, San Pedro ou Pombeiros
Sil River

The Sil is a river in León (Castile and León) and Galicia, Spain, a tributary of the Miño. Its total length is 225 kilometres (140 mi). The source of the Sil is in the Cantabrian Mountains in the Leonese town of Villablino. It flows through the provinces of León and Ourense. The largest city on the Sil is Ponferrada (León). The Sil flows into the Miño upstream from Ourense.

Mouth[edit]

The river joins the Miño river in Los Peares, in the province of Orense.

Generally, the hierarchy between rivers is performed by taking into account which junction has more volume and length. In this case, as with the Esla and Pisuerga with the Duero, the Sil has flows larger than the Miño at the junction. There is a saying that goes, "The Miño has the fame, but the Sil gives it water" (in Spanish, El Miño lleva la fama y el Sil le da el agua). The Sil river also surpasses the Miño in length by about 20 kilometres (12 mi).

Course[edit]

The Sil runs through the León districts of Bahia, Laciana, El Bierzo and La Cabrera, and Orense Valdeorras, among other locations across Villablino, Ponferrada, O Barco de Valdeorras, La Rua, Quiroga and Ribas do Sil.

Tributaries[edit]

  • Left bank: Valseco, Boeza, Oza, Cabrera, Bibei, Navea and Mao.
  • Right bank: Caboalles, Valdeprado, Barredos, Cúa, Burbia, Selmo, Soldón, Lor and Cabe.

Gold deposits[edit]

The river has been a rich source of alluvial gold, and was most extensively exploited during the Roman period, following the conquest of north-west Spain by Augustus in 25 BC. The upper reaches of the river possessed large placer deposits, and the region around Las Medulas yielded large amounts of gold. It was extracted using hydraulic mining, involving the building of numerous aqueducts to expose and wash the alluvial formations.

See also[edit]