Shatt al-Arab

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Shatt al-Arab

 

a river in the Mesopotamian Lowland.

The Shatt al-Arab is 195 km long and drains an area of more than 1 million sq km. Formed near the city of al-Qurnah by the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, it forms a delta before emptying into the Persian Gulf. The channel of the river is between 700 and 1,000 m wide and from 7 to 20 m deep. The Karun River is a left tributary of the Shatt al-Arab.

High water on the Shatt al-Arab occurs in the spring; the water level is low in the autumn. The mean flow rate generally ranges from 1,000–2,000 cu m per sec to 6,000–8,000 cu m per sec; in particularly wet years it may reach 10,000–12,000 cu m per sec. The river is navigable; oceangoing vessels can sail as far as Basra. The cities of Basra (Iraq) and Abadan (Iran) are situated on the Shatt al-Arab.