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Guadalquivir(gwä'thälkēvēr`), river, c.350 mi (560 km) long, rising in the Sierra de Cazorla, SE Spain, and flowing generally SW past Córdoba and Seville into the Atlantic Ocean near Sanlúcar de Barrameda. Known to the Arabs as Wadi al-Kebir [the large river], it is the longest stream in the Andalusia region of S Spain. There are several hydroelectric plants along its course. In its middle course it flows through a populous fertile region at the foot of the Sierra Morena, where it is used extensively for irrigation. The area has a rich variety of plant life. The lower course of the Guadalquivir traverses extensive marshlands (Las Marismas) that are used for rice cultivation. The river is tidal to Seville (c.50 mi/80 km upstream), a major inland port and head of navigation for oceangoing vessels, and it is canalized between Seville and the sea.
a river in southern Spain. Length, 560 km; basin area, 57,000 sq km. The Guadalquivir originates in the northern part of the Andalusian Mountains, and its valley widens in the Andalusian Lowland; the width of the riverbed between the cities of Córdoba and Seville is 150-200 m. Below Seville the Guadalquivir flows along a flat coastal lowland and divides into branches. Before emptying into the Gulf of Cádiz on the Atlantic Ocean, the river regathers its waters into a single riverbed, then forms an estuary reaching 7 km in width. Its principal tributaries are the Guadiana Menor and Genii on the left and the Guadalimar and Rio de Huelva on the right. It is fed primarily by rain and reaches its water level in February and March. The average flow rate is 164 cu m per sec. It is navigable up to the city of Córdoba and as far as Seville for maritime vessels (at high tides). The Guadalquivir is used for irrigation.