Know : A list of the oldest rivers on Earth

Meuse RiverThe age of a river is difficult to determine. Generally, the age is estimated based upon which mountains are the source of the river, the age of any mountains it dissects, the sea or ocean to which it eventually outflows, and where it forms its delta. For instance, if a river dissects a mountain range, then this often means the river existed before the mountain range rose.

Each of these factors can make a final contribution in determining the age of a river. Below follows an incomplete list of rivers older than 1 Ma (One million years = 1,000,000 years).

Continent color key
Africa Asia Oceania Europe North America South America
River Age (Ma) Outflow Most significant criterion for the age
1. 380 North Sea Paleozoic, dissects the Ardennes during the Hercynian
2. 350-400 Lake Eyre
Predates the Alice Springs Orogeny; many other rivers in the Northern Territory are of a similar age

(Chang Jiang)

365 East China Sea Crosses Paleozoic and Mesozoic mountains
(Kanawha River)
300 Kanawha River Dissects the Appalachian Mountains
4. Susquehanna River 300 Chesapeake Bay Dissects the Appalachian Mountains
5. Nile 250 Mediterranean Sea Mesozoic
6. Rhine 240 North Sea Triassic, maybe older because of the Hercynian; not the Eocene with the Alps, nor the Miocene with the Upper Rhine Graben
7. Save 205 Indian Ocean Formed during rifting when Gondwana broke up.
8. Amazon 200 Atlantic Ocean Jurassic, but it seems to have flowed in the opposite direction as an extension of the Congo, i.e. long before the formation of Andes
9. Amur 125 Sea of Okhotsk Known to be at least Cretaceous in age, but crosses mountains even older
10. Macleay River 80 Tasman Sea Predates uplift of Great Escarpment
11. Murrumbidgee River 75 Murray River Predates uplift of Australian Alps
12. Colorado
(Western U.S.)
75 Gulf of California Uplift during Laramide orogeny, see Geology of the Grand Canyon area
13. Thames 58 North Sea Late Palaeocene Period Thanetian Stage.


45 Arabian Sea Source in the Himalayas and Karakoram Mountains

Courtesy : Wikipedia


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