|The Leine near Sarstedt-Ruthe|
|Location||Thuringia, Lower Saxony; Germany|
|Reference no.||DE: 488|
|Length||281 km (175 mi)|
|Source||In Leinefelde in the Eichsfeld|
|Mouth||Near Schwarmstedt into the Aller at km 52.26
|Progression||Aller → Weser → North Sea|
|Catchment||6,512 km2 (2,514 sq mi)|
|Discharge||Average mid: 5.3 m³/s at Göttingen gauge
32.0 m³/s Greene
52.3 m³/s Herrenhausen
61.7 m³/s Schwarmstedt
|Right tributaries||Garte, Rhume, Aue, Gande, Innerste, Auter|
|Left tributaries||Espolde, Ilme, Saale, Haller, Westaue|
|Large towns||Leinefelde, Northeim, Einbeck, Alfeld,
Laatzen, Seelze, Garbsen, Neustadt am Rübenberge
|Small towns||Heilbad Heiligenstadt, Gronau, Elze, Pattensen|
|Villages||Freden, Burgstemmen, Bordenau, Bothmer (Schwarmstedt)|
The river's source is located close to the town of Leinefelde in Thuringia. About 40 kilometres (25 mi) downriver, the river enters Lower Saxony and runs northwards.
Important towns upstream to down along its course are Göttingen, Einbeck, Alfeld and Gronau, before the river enters Hanover, the largest city on its banks. Downstream some 40 kilometres (25 mi) north of Hanover, near Schwarmstedt, the river joins the Aller and reaches the North Sea via the Weser. Only in its northern (lower) reaches is it navigable by today's smallest commercial carriers, though in the past it served as an important pre-railway barge transport artery as far upriver as Göttingen.
The river is somewhat polluted from industries and so not used for drinking water but the pollution was never severe enough to prevent fish from living in it. Like many western rivers since the 1960s, it has enjoyed successively cleaner waters since the implementation of environmental controls. People enjoy sport fishing from small boats and from along the banks, although yields are normally low.
At at least one point (Göttingen) the river is partially diverted into a canal that runs more or less parallel to the river.
In his 1986 bestseller Red Storm Rising, author Tom Clancy uses the Leine as a major obstacle to the Soviet Union's Red Army in its drive to the River Rhine and the North Sea ports of the Netherlands and Belgium through West Germany.
References and footnotes
- Längen (in km) der Hauptschifffahrtswege (Hauptstrecken und bestimmte Nebenstrecken) der Binnenwasserstraßen des Bundes, Wasser- und Schifffahrtsverwaltung des Bundes
- Uwe Schmida: Die Leine - Eine fotografische Reise. ISBN 3-00-020567-5
- Gerd Lüttig: Neue Ergebnisse quartärgeologischer Forschung im Raume Alfeld-Hameln-Elze. In: Geologisches Jahrbuch Band 77, Seite 337–390. Hannover, Juni 1960.
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