Araks(redirected from Aras River)
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Related to Aras River: Kura River, Karun River
Araks,river, Armenia: see ArasAras
, Armenian, Rus., Araks, Azeri Araz, river, c.600 mi (970 km) long, rising in the Transcaucasus Mts., NE Turkey. It flows generally east, forming parts of the Turkey-Armenia, Armenia-Iran, and Azerbaijan-Iran borders, before entering Azerbaijan where it joins
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a river in Transcaucasia; largest tributary of the Kura. The border between the USSR and Turkey and Iran runs along the Araks below its confluence with the Akhurian River. Length, 1,072 km; basin area, 102,000 sq km.
The Araks River rises in Turkey on the slopes of Mount Bingöl. In its upper course it is a mountain river, flowing mostly in a narrow gorge. After the Akhurian River joins the Araks from the left, the valley widens and the river flows into the Ararat Plain, where it is contained within narrow banks, dividing into branches. Below its confluence with the Nakhichevanchai, the Araks enters a canyon and flows for the most part within a narrow valley until reaching the Kura-Araks lowland. For its last 100 km the Araks flows in an avalanche-filled channel through the Muganskaia and Mil’skaia plains (Azerbaijan SSR); it flows into the Kura from the right near the city of Sabirabad.
The Araks is fed primarily by ground water and snow. High water is from March through June, with rainwater flash floods in November and December. The Araks annually carries away 7.6 cu km of water and deposits 16 million tons of alluvium. Its chief tributaries are the Akhurian, Razdan, Arpa, and Vorotan (Bargiushad) on the left; and the Kotur and Karasu on the right. The Araks is not navigable. In its lower course it is used for irrigation. According to an agreement between the USSR and Iran, construction of a Soviet-Iranian hydrotechnical complex on the Araks River began in 1970.