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Largest-Area Drainage Basin High Points

Basins with over 750,000 square kilometers

RankDrainage BasinArea-SqKmPeak Elev-M
CountryRange (Level 2)Ascents
1.Amazon5,954,977Nevado Yerupaj√°6617PeruAndes4
2.Congo3,710,814Volcan Karisimbi4519Congo DRC/RwandaEast Africa Mountains12
3.Mississippi3,237,325Mount Elbert4399United StatesRocky Mountains1720
4.Nile3,120,127Mount Stanley5109Congo DRC/UgandaEast Africa Mountains39
5.Ob3,023,973Gora Belukha4506Russia/KazakhstanMongolia Ranges4
6.Parana2,644,925Nevado de Cachi6380ArgentinaAndes2
7.Yenisey2,588,752Gora Ak-Oyuk3604RussiaMongolia Ranges0
8.Lena2,469,126Pik BAM3072RussiaBaikal Area Ranges0
9.Niger2,165,404Mont Oku3011CameroonWest Africa Mountains3
10.Amur2,060,295Paektu-san2744China/North KoreaKorea-Amur Area5
11.Mackenzie1,801,938Mount Columbia3741CanadaRocky Mountains32
12.Yangtze1,745,204Gongga Shan7556ChinaTibet and Central China2
13.Ganges1,645,637Mount Everest8849China/NepalHimalaya63
14.Zambezi1,391,359Sapitwa Peak3002MalawiSouthern Africa23
15.St. Lawrence1,342,160Mount Marcy1629United StatesNorth America Plains2209
16.Nelson1,089,692Mount Forbes3617CanadaRocky Mountains6
17.Murray1,067,522Mount Kosciuszko2228AustraliaGreat Dividing Range292
18.Indus1,006,625K28614Pakistan/ChinaCentral Asia Ranges15
19.Orinoco984,503Ritacuba Blanco5410ColombiaAndes17
20.Orange983,780Thabana Ntlenyana3482LesothoSouthern Africa29
21.Shatt-al-Arab907,730Zard Kuh4221IranZagros Mountains2
22.Yukon861,461Denali6190United StatesAlaska-Yukon Ranges258
23.Huang He835,345Amnye Maqen6282ChinaTibet and Central China0
24.Jubba804,395Mount Kenya5199KenyaEast Africa Mountains45
25.Mekong803,785Kawagebo6740ChinaTibet and Central China0
26.Danube799,041Piz Bernina4049SwitzerlandAlps43
27.Tocantins772,662Chapada dos Veadeiros-Pico 16601670BrazilBrazilian Highlands0

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List Description

This list shows the 27 largest primary river basins in the world by area, all of which are over 750,000 square kilometers. Only basins of rivers that empty into the ocean are included--excluded are tributary basins of rivers that flow into other rivers, and internal drainage basins then end in a internal sea or dry depression. For example, the Missouri River Basin is not here, since the Missouri flows into the Mississippi; and the basin of the Caspian Sea or Volga River are not here, either, since they never flow into an ocean.

Of course, there are many unlisted river basins here with higher peaks than many of the peaks on this list. But those peaks are not in a large basin.


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