|Sepid Rud, White River, Sefid River|
|Provinces||Kurdistan, East Azarbaijan, Ardabil, Zanjan, Qazvin, Tehran, Gilan|
|- left||Qizil Owzan|
|- location||Alborz Mountains|
|Length||670 km (416 mi)|
|Basin||13,450 km2 (5,193 sq mi)|
Sefīd-Rūd drainage basin
The Sefīd-Rūd (Persian: Sefidrud, pronounced: [sefiːdruːd]) is a river approximately 670 kilometres (416 mi) long, rising in the Alborz mountain range of northwestern Iran and flowing generally northeast to enter the Caspian Sea at Rasht. The river is Iran's second longest river after the Karun.
The Sefid-Rud has cut a water gap through the Alborz mountain range, the Manjil gap, capturing its two headwater tributaries, the Qizil Üzan and Shahrood rivers. It then widens the valley between the Talesh Hills and the main Alborz range. The gap provides a major route between Tehran and Gīlān Province with its Caspian lowlands.
Dam and reservoir
The Sefid-Rud was dammed in 1962 by the Shahbanu Farah Dam (later renamed Manjil Dam), which created a 1.86 cubic kilometres (0.45 cu mi) reservoir and allowed the irrigation of an additional 2,380 km2 (919 sq mi). The reservoir mediates some flooding and significantly increased rice production in the Sefid Rud Delta. The hydroelectric component of the dam generates 87,000 kilowatts. The completion of the dam had a negative impact on the river's fisheries, through reduced stream flow (due to diversion), increased water temperature, and decreased food availability, especially for sturgeon but also for the Caspian trout.
The river was known in antiquity by the names Mardos (Greek: Μαρδος; Latin: Mardus) and Amardos (Greek: Αμαρδος; Latin: Amardus). In the Hellenistic period the north side of the Sefid (then Mardus) was occupied by the mountain tribe the Cadusii.
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- Strabo, xi. 13
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