In geography, a confluence is the meeting of two or more bodies of water. Known also as a conflux, it refers either to the point where a tributary joins a larger river, called the main stem, or where two streams meet to become the source of a river of a new name, such as the confluence of the Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania creating the Ohio River.
The term is also used to describe the meeting of tidal or other non-riverine bodies of water, such as two canals or a canal and a lake. Below is a collection of 10 incredible confluences around the world. For more, there is a fascinating list of notable confluences on Wikipedia that I recommend you check out.
The confluences below were selected for their dramatic visual contrast. Thus, culturally significant confluences such as the Sangam near Allahabad, India, where the sacred rivers Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswati meet to create one of the holiest places in Hinduism, were not included for this reason. Please enjoy the list below and let us know of any other interesting confluences you are aware of. Perhaps we can do a follow-up post if there is interest!
1. Confluence of the Rhone and Arve Rivers in Geneva, Switzerland
In this incredible photograph we see the confluence of the Rhone and Arve rivers in Geneva, Switzerland. The river on the left is the Rhone, which is just exiting Lake Lehman. The river on the right is the Arve, which receives water from the many glaciers of the Chamonix valley (mainly the Mer de Glace) before flowing north-west into the Rhone on the west side of Geneva, where its much higher level of silt brings forth a striking contrast between the two rivers.