Ural (river)

The Ural (Russian: Урал, pronounced [ʊˈraɫ]), known before 1775 as Yaik (Russian: Яик, Bashkir: Яйыҡ, romanized: Yayıq, pronounced [jɑˈjɯq]; Kazakh: Жайық, romanized: Jaiyq, pronounced [ʑɑˈjəq]), is a river flowing through Russia and Kazakhstan in the continental border between Europe and Asia. It originates in the southern Ural Mountains and discharges into the Caspian Sea. At 2,428 kilometres (1,509 mi), it is the third-longest river in Europe after the Volga and the Danube, and the 18th-longest river in Asia. The Ural is conventionally considered part of the boundary between the continents of Europe and Asia.

The river Ural from an airplane between Uralsk and Atyrau, Kazakhstan
CountriesKazakhstan, Russia
CitiesMagnitogorsk, Orsk, Novotroitsk, Orenburg, Oral, Atyrau
Physical characteristics
  locationUral Mountains
MouthCaspian Sea
46°53′N 51°37′E
Length2,428 km (1,509 mi)
Basin size231,000 km2 (89,000 sq mi)
  average400 m3/s (14,000 cu ft/s)
Official nameUral River Delta and adjacent Caspian Sea coast
Designated10 March 2009
Reference no.1856[1]

The Ural rises near Mount Kruglaya in the Ural Mountains, flows south parallel and west of the north-flowing Tobol, through Magnitogorsk, and around the southern end of the Urals, through Orsk where it turns west for about 300 kilometres (190 mi), to Orenburg, where the river Sakmara joins. From Orenburg it continues west, passing into Kazakhstan, then turning south again at Oral, and meandering through a broad flat plain until it reaches the Caspian a few miles below Atyrau, where it forms a fine 'digitate' (tree-like) delta.[2]

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