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The Irtysh River is a river in Russia, China, and Kazakhstan. It is the chief tributary of the Ob River and is also the longest tributary river in the world. The river’s source lies in the Mongolian Altai in Dzungaria, close to the border with Mongolia.
See the fact file below for more information on the Irtysh River or alternatively, you can download our 19-page Irtysh River worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- The Irtysh River, Kazakh Ertis, Chinese (Pinyin) Ertix He or (Wade-Giles romanization) O-erh-ch’i-ssu Ho, is a major river of west-central and western Asia. At 2,640 miles (4,248 km) in length, it is one of the continent’s longest rivers.
- The Irtysh and the Ob River, of which the Irtysh is the principal tributary, together constitute the world’s seventh-longest river system.
- The Irtysh rises from the glaciers on the southwestern slopes of the Altai Mountains in the Uygur Autonomous Region of Xinjiang in far northwestern China.
- It flows west across the Chinese border through Lake Zaysan (Zhaysang) and then northwest across Kazakhstan (as the Ertis River).
- The Irtysh River was the site of ancient civilizations of the Mongol and Turkic peoples alike.
- One of the famous battles fought along this river is known as the Battle of Irtysh River, which was fought in 657 between the Tang dynasty and the Western Turkic Khaganate.
- With the battle resulting in the defeat of the latter, it was one of the key events leading to the supremacy of the Tang over the Turks in the region for some time to come.
- Over the years, different dynasties have fought numerous wars with each other to establish their power in the Irtysh River region.
- Currently, however, the river is shared by China, Kazakhstan, and Russia.
- In modern times, the waters of the Irtysh River help support the needs of a large number of people based along its banks in China, Kazakhstan, and Russia.
- In China’s Xinjiang province, the Irtysh is utilized for industrial needs, agricultural purposes, fishing, and water consumption. In Kazakhstan and Russia, the river serves as a significant transport route for maritime war machines, passenger ships, and cargo ships during the ice-free season.
- A large number of hydroelectric power stations have been built along the Irtysh in China, Kazakhstan, and Siberia alike to meet the power needs of the human settlements based near the river.
- The Ob-Irtysh River forms part of the polar freshwater habitat in Kazakhstan and Russia.
- A largely continental climate prevails in the region drained by the Irtysh.
- The vegetation pattern along the banks of the river varies greatly, moving between steppes, coniferous forests, and marshy wetlands.
- Commercially important fish species like the pikeperch, roach, sturgeon, burbot, and tschirner are found in the waters of the Irtysh.
- Siberian moles, minks, elks, foxes, and wolves, as well as a large number of avian species, can be found inhabiting the areas along the course of the river as well.
THREATS AND DISPUTES
- As per reports, the development of industrial plants and other projects in China’s Xinjiang province, near the source of the Irtysh River in the Altai mountains near Mongoli, is significantly hampering the quality of the water found in this river.
- Hazardous chemicals are being leached from the industries into the river water, loading the water with pollutants, and rendering it unsafe for human consumption.
- The growing population of China and its industrial needs are also responsible for extracting large amounts of water from the Irtysh.
- In the 2010-2011 period, 30% of the water stock of the river was consumed by the Chinese population. This could ultimately lead to serious water shortages downstream in Kazakhstan and Russia.
- The lack of proper trans-border cooperation among these nations regarding the issue of water shortages and pollution control holds a potential for provoking serious future disputes.
- Omsk, home to the headquarters of the state-owned Irtysh River Shipping Company, functions as the largest river port in Western Siberia.
- On the Kazakhstan section of the river there are currently three major hydroelectric plants, at Bakhtarma, Ust-Kamenogorsk and Shulbinsk.
- The world’s deepest lock, with a drop of 42 meters (138 ft), allows river traffic to bypass the dam at Ust-Kamenogorsk. There are plans for the construction of several more dams.
Irtysh River Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Irtysh River across 19 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Irtysh River worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Irtysh River which is a river in Russia, China, and Kazakhstan. It is the chief tributary of the Ob River and is also the longest tributary river in the world. The river’s source lies in the Mongolian Altai in Dzungaria, close to the border with Mongolia.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Irtysh River Facts
- Knowing Irtysh
- Complete Me
- A Must-Visit
- Help the Irtysh River
- Mapping the Irtysh River
- Threats and Disputes
- Irtysh Scramble
- Three in One
- Famous Rivers
- What’s New?
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Link will appear as Irtysh River Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, January 17, 2020
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.