Volta River

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Volta River
The Adome Bridge crosses the Volta river south of the Akosombo Dam.
Country Ghana
Mouth Gulf of Guinea
 - location Atlantic Ocean
 - coordinates 5°46′N 0°41′E / 5.767°N 0.683°E / 5.767; 0.683Coordinates: 5°46′N 0°41′E / 5.767°N 0.683°E / 5.767; 0.683 [1]
Length 1,500 km (932 mi)
Basin 407,093 km2 (157,179 sq mi) [2]
Discharge mouth
 - average 1,210 m3/s (42,731 cu ft/s) [3]
Volta river black white red descriptions and surrounding countries.jpg
Map of the Volta River and its main three tributaries, the White Volta, Red Volta, and Black Volta rivers.

The Volta River is a river, primarily flowing in Volta Region and Dagbon in the Northern Region of Ghana, that drains into the Atlantic Ocean at the Gulf of Guinea in Ada. It has three main tributaries—the Black Volta, White Volta and Red Volta.


Lake Volta is a reservoir impounded by the Akosombo Dam on the lower Volta River in southern Ghana. It is one of the largest reservoirs in the world. It extends from the Akosombo Dam in southeastern Ghana to the town of Yapei in Dagbon, some 400 kilometres (250 mi) to the north.

The reservoir's dam generates electricity for the Volta River Authority, and the reservoir provides inland water transport routes. It may be a resource for irrigation and fish farming.

The depth of the river is 45 feet (14 m) below Lake Volta. The Volta River is crossed by the Adome Bridge below the Akosombo Dam and the reservoir.


The Volta River was named by Portuguese gold traders in Ghana. It was their farthest extent of exploration before returning (volta is Portuguese for "twist" or "turn").[4] "River of return" (perhaps because it was where ships turned around and headed for home) or “river of bend,” in reference to its course.[4][5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Volta at GEOnet Names Server
  2. ^ Volta, Watersheds of the World. Water Resources eAtlas. Retrieved on October 6, 2007.
  3. ^ Volta River, Encyclopædia Britannica. 2007. Encyclopædia Britannica Online Library Edition. Retrieved on October 6, 2007.
  4. ^ a b Volta - etymology
  5. ^ Wilks,Ivor. Wangara, Akan, and Portuguese in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries (1997). Bakewell, Peter, ed. Mines of Silver and Gold in the Americas. Aldershot: Variorum, Ashgate Publishing Limited. p. 15.