List of rivers discharging into the North Sea

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The main affluents of North Sea, Skagerrak and Kattegat
Name Mean
Length Basin States Course
Rhine 2900 m³/s
2300 m³/s   (proper)  
1238.8 km (with Hinterrhein)
1240 km (with Vorderrhein)
197,100 km2 (76,100 sq mi)
(with Meuse)[1]
Switzerland (sources), Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, France, Netherlands,
Luxembourg (Moselle), Italy (Reno di Lei)
'''smallest flow': DischmabachLandwasserAlbulaHinterrhein (sum = 72 km) → Rhine
longest course: Rein da MedelVorderrhein (sum = 74 km)→ Rhine
Elbe   870 m³/s 1094 km (nominally)
1245 km (hydrologically)
148,268 km2 (57,247 sq mi)[1] the Czech Republic (sources), Germany, Austria (Lainsitz), Poland (Dzika Orlica and smaller affluents) longer and larger tributary Vltava
Glomma   698 m³/s   601 km   41,917 km2 (16,184 sq mi) Norway, Sweden (affluents) Glomma → lake Aursunden → Glomma → Skagerrak
Göta älv   575 m³/s     93 km (nominally)
  720 km (hydrologically)
  50,229.3 km2 (19,393.6 sq mi) Sweden, Norway (Trysilelva) Rogen → lake FemundTrysilelvaKlarälven → lake Vänern → Göta älv → Kattegat[2]
Meuse   357 m³/s   874 km   33,000 km2 (13,000 sq mi)[1] France (source), Belgium, Netherlands,
Luxembourg (Chiers), Germany (Rur, S(ch)walm, Niers)
sharing mouths of the Rhine
Weser   327 m³/s   451.4 km (nominally)
  751 km (with Werra)
  41,094 km2 (15,866 sq mi)[3] Germany formed by confluence of Werra (longer) and Fulda (larger)
Drammenselva   314 m³/s     48 km (nominally)
  301 km (system)
  17,110 km2 (6,610 sq mi) Norway … → Slidrefjorden → Strondafjorden → Aurdalsfjorden → BegnaSperillen → Ådalselva → Randselva → Storelva
Tyrifjorden → Drammenselva → Oslofjord
  250 m³/s
(without tide flows)
    62 km (nominally)
  359 km (with Trent)
  24,240 km2 (9,360 sq mi)[4] England common estuary of Trent and Ouse (see below)
Tay   170 m³/s   193 km   6,216 km2 (2,400 sq mi)[5] Scotland River Tay → Firth of Tay (estuary, included in the figures)
Otra   150 m³/s   245 km   3,740 km2 (1,440 sq mi) Norway Skagerrak
Sira   130 m³/s   152 km   1.902 km2 (0.734 sq mi) Norway
Scheldt   127 m³/s   360 km   21,863 km2 (8,441 sq mi)[1] France (source). Belgium, Netherlands (estuary)
River Forth   112 m³/s     47 km (nominally)
    55 km (hydrologically)
  1,029 km2 (397 sq mi)[6][7] Scotland Firth of Forth
Numedalslågen   111 m³/s   352 km   5,554 km2 (2,144 sq mi) Norway Skagerrak
Trent     99 m³/s   297 km   10,452 km2 (4,036 sq mi) England → Humber (see above)
Tweed     85 m³/s   156 km   1,080 km2 (420 sq mi)[8] Scotland (source). England
Lagan     82 m³/s   244 km   6,451.8 km2 (2,491.1 sq mi) Sweden Kattegat[2]
Ems     80.5 m³/s   371 km   13,160 km2 (5,080 sq mi)[1] Germany, Netherlands (estuary)
Thames     65.8 m³/s   346 km   12,935 km2 (4,994 sq mi)[9] England
Spey     64 m³/s   173 km   3,008 km2 (1,161 sq mi)[10] Scotland Moray Firth
Ätran     52.5 m³/s   243 km   3,342.2 km2 (1,290.4 sq mi) Sweden Kattegat[2]
River Tyne     44.6 m³/s   321.4 km   2,200 km2 (850 sq mi)[3] England
Yorkshire Ouse     44 m³/s   208 km (with Ure)   3,315 km2 (1,280 sq mi) England Ure → Ouse → Humber (see above)
Nissan     41 m³/s   200 km   2.6857 km2 (1.0370 sq mi) Sweden Kattegat
Skjern Å     36.6 m³/s     94 km   2,100 km2 (810 sq mi)[11] Denmark Ringkøbing Fjord (lagoon)
Great Ouse     35 m³/s   270 km   8,530 km2 (3,290 sq mi) England The Wash
Gudenå  32.4 m³/s[12]     149 km  2,643 km2 (1,020 sq mi)[11] Denmark Kattegat[2]

Long list[edit]

Austrian drainage basin[edit]

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Belgian drainage basin[edit]

Danish drainage basins[edit]

English drainage basins[edit]

Flowing into the North Sea - Thames and Medway[edit]

From Foreness Point to Shoeburyness

Flowing into the North Sea - North of the Thames Estuary[edit]

Aerial view of the Thames in London
The mouth of the Gaywood River at King's Lynn.
The Mouth of the River Burn at Overy Creek, Norfolk

From Shoeburyness to St Abb's Head

French drainage basin[edit]

Aa River

The Aa is an 89 km long river in northern France. Its source is near the village Bourthes. It flows through the départements and cities of Pas-de-Calais: Saint-Omer and Nord: Gravelines.

German drainage basin[edit]

The major German rivers

The three main rivers in Germany are the Rhine (Rhein in German) (main tributaries including the Neckar, the Main and the Moselle (Mosel)); the Elbe (also drains into the North Sea); and, the Danube (Donau).

German rivers draining into the North Sea[edit]

The rivers in this section are sorted south-west (Netherlands) to east (Danish border).

Netherlands drainage basin[edit]

The Rhine at the Loreley
Hotton, view on the Ourthe and the city church.
The Scheldt in Antwerp

Norwegian drainage basin[edit]

Scotland drainage basin[edit]

Swedish drainage basin[edit]

Switzerland drainage basin[edit]

The Rhine, together with its tributaries the Aare and the Thur drain about two thirds of the water into the North Sea.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e McAlister, Elaine; Nelleke Domburg; Tony Edwards; Bob Ferrier. "Hydrological Modelling of the River Ythan using ArcInfo GRID". Macaulay Land Use Research Institute. Archived from the original on 2008-07-26. Retrieved 2008-12-04. 
  2. ^ a b c d Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde: Gehört das Kattegatt noch zur Ostsee (Is the Kattegat a part of the Baltic Sea?) → By physical criteria, the border between North Sea and Baltic sea is in the Øresund at Drodgen Sill and in the Great Belt near Langeland
  3. ^ a b Milliman, John D.; Syvitski, James P. M. "Geomorphic/Tectonic Control of Sediment Discharge to the Ocean: The Importance of Small Mountainous Rivers". Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Retrieved 2008-12-04. 
  4. ^ Appleton, Tamsin (24 November 2008). "Environment Agency - More about Humber RBD" (cached). Subjects > Water Quality > WFD > RBD information > Humber RBD > More about Humber RBD. The Environment Agency. Retrieved 2008-12-04. 
  5. ^ Hopkin, John; Duffy, Philip; Blades, Heather (2002). "What causes the River Tay in Scotland to flood?". Geography Matters Scotland (Digitized by Google Books online). Heinemann. p. 132. ISBN 978-0-435-35543-2. Retrieved 2008-12-05. 
  6. ^ http://www.sepa,
  7. ^ "Information Sheet on Ramsar Wetlands (RIS)" (pdf). Ramsar Information Sheet: UK13017 Firth of Forth. JNCC: Version 3.0,. 13 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-04. The catchment area of both the River Forth and Firth of Forth Estuary.
  8. ^
  9. ^ Ojo, Michael; Fuller, Terence W. (12 July 2007). "London Councils' TEC Executive Sub-Committee Water Framework Directive" (doc). Babtie Group. Retrieved 2008-12-04. 
  10. ^ Riddell, Keith J.; Fuller, Terence W. "The Spey Bay geomorphological study". Babtie Group. Retrieved 2008-12-04. 
  11. ^ a b Miljø og Energiministeriet: Afstrømningsforhold i danske vandløb (2000), p. 16
  12. ^ A bit lesser than Skjern Å