What are the Rivers that flow South to North?

How many Rivers flow South to North in the United States? What is the Only River in the US that flows South to North? What are the 3 Rivers that flow North in India?
What are the rivers that flow south to north
Photo by Jasper Garratt on Unsplash

The flow of water defines water volume and the speed or velocity with which it flows from one region to another. You can see on the map how rivers flow and that can make you wonder about the rivers that flow south to north. This is also beneficial for the habitants and us because it improves water quality. In this article, we will discuss the only river that flows uphill and the only river that flows backwards. Also, you will learn which rivers flow south to north in the United States. 

1. How many Rivers flow South to North in the United States?

There are at least 48 rivers that flow south to north. Some of the following rivers flow south to north in the United States:

  • San Joaquin is the second largest river that flows from south to north situated in California US. The river flows from the Sierra to the Sacramento San Joaquin delta.
  • The Chicago River that runs through the heart of Downtown flows backward rather than draining into lake Michigan.
  • St John’s in Florida is one of the few rivers that flow south to north. The entire length of the river makes it a one as an American heritage river.
  • Missouri between December of 1811 and March of 1812 experienced a sequence of earthquakes that rattled the Mississippi Valley due to which for a short term the Mississippi river seemed to flow backward.
  • The Red River is the river that has middle water due to the clays of soil that makes it flows towards the north.

2. What is the Only River in the US that flows South to North?

River flowing between a curved path
Photo by Martin Sanchez on Unsplash

Two troops from Fort Virginia near Petersburg discovered the New River in 1671. It is said to be somewhat different from other North Carolina rivers for several reasons. People say that it is the only major river to flow north. It actually flows south to northern Virginia in the United States and deep into western Virginia. Also, the below-listed rivers that flow south to north are:

  • St. John’s river, Florida
  • San Joaquin, California
  • Red River, Texas
  • Shenandoah River, Virginia
  • Chicago River, Illinois and
  • Missouri River.

3. What are the 3 Rivers that flow North in India?

The Narmada and Tapti rivers in Madhya Pradesh, as well as the Sabarmati River, which is a confluence of two streams, are the three rivers that travel north in India. They are known to be rivers flowing uphill or backward. The rivers Sabar and Hathmati flow through Rajasthan and Gujarat, and they travel northwest due to the creation of rifts caused by Himalayan instability. Also, check out which canadian province has the most lakes?

4. Does the Mississippi River flow North or South?

Dried river
Photo by Nina Luong on Unsplash

The Mississippi River is the 4th largest watershed in the world, covering 3.2 million km and one-third of US territory. Originating from Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota, this river flows generally south for almost 2,340 miles to its own River Delta in the Gulf of Mexico. This area includes Missouri and Ohio rivers, which merge with the Mississippi. The catchment region comprises rivers from Alberta in the Northwest to New York in the Northeast, albeit the Mississippi is not its longest river. The Missouri river is 200 kilometers longer than the Mississippi and it’s among the rivers that flow south to north. (How are leeves beneficial to human settlements?)

5. Does the Yellowstone River flow North?

The Yellowstone rivers flow north starting from eastward out of Montana and going up to North Dakota flowing in a backward direction. It’s around 25 miles from Williston. The Yellowstone River is known as a tributary of the river Mississippi. One thing that set Yellowstone apart from other rivers is that it is still able to maintain its natural regime meaning that there are no dams that alter the discharge on Yellowstone from top to bottom. Must read about the Types of Rivers and Facts.

6. Does the Amazon River flow North?

No, it does not. The river flows from west to east. The Amazon River spreads all across the northern part of South America and while it’s not the longest river it’s undeniably the largest river in the world. The shores of the amazon river and many of its tributaries have been settled by indigenous populations for many millennia before even the Spanish discovered South America. The river has such an enormous discharge of water that potentially could be harvested in the form of hydroelectric power plants. There are no dams on the mainstream of the Amazon River. (See What is the main source of water?)

7. What is the Only River that flows Uphill?

The Nile is the world’s longest river and the only river that flows uphill. For generations, it has flown from crimson Victoria in the south to the Mediterranean Sea in the north. On a map, the river seems to flow uphill rather than downwards. There are no other large rivers that flow from south to north. Rivers move from high regions to low land under the effect of gravity while following the path of least resistance. Lake Victoria is positioned approximately 1134 meters above sea level, whilst the Mediterranean Sea is at 0 meters. As a result of gravity and fewer impediments, water from the lake naturally flows downwards into the Mediterranean Sea. (See Whirlpool in lake facts)

8. Can a River flow in Two Directions?

Yes, the rivers can flow in both directions, however, this is only possible if there are two distinct rivers. There is only one way that the water can travel in a river, either from south to north or from north to south. They have a propensity to change course as a result of natural or even occasionally man-made circumstances, but they can only flow downhill toward lower elevations. (See What is the largest saltwater lake in the world?)

9. What is the Only River that flows Backwards?

Sun setting down besides the river
Photo by Jack Anstey on Unsplash

Rivers always flow downhill with gravity unless modified by humans there are countless examples of rivers that flow south to north on maps. It is said that the Chicago River is truly the only river that flows backwards. Some examples are the OB river in Russia, the Mackenzie in Canada, and the Nile in Egypt.

For the Nile River, it just happens that the elevation in Africa is highest near the equator in the middle of the continent and it becomes less or goes downhill farther north you go. So, in the Nile River case, it flows from the south to the north to a lot of people which means that the river flows backwards. However, always keep in mind that no matter if the river flows from north to south or south to north, they always flow downhill. Must read what is the largest glacier in the world?

10. Which River runs the Wrong Way?

The Chicago River runs in the wrong way because as the city expanded, the number of pollutants, industrial waste, and sewage also increased. It is also one of the rivers that flow south to north. Ellis Sylvester Chesbro, an engineer, came up with the idea to turn the river around and redirect Chicago’s pollution toward the Downtown area. (See What is the oldest river in the world?)

11. Which River flows Backwards in Florida?

It is the Saint John’s River. The massive rise and fall of the tides are seen in the Bay of Fundy. It is because of this reason that the Saint John’s River in Florida County flows in the other direction. (Also read 30 Largest Coastal Cities in the World)

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