Ob River

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The Ob River (Russian: Обь), also Obi, is a major river in western Siberia, Russia and is the country's fourth longest river. The Ob River also has the longest estuary in the world.



The Ob is known to the Khanty people as the As, Yag, Kolta and Yema; to the Nenets people as the Kolta or Kuay; and to the Siberian Tatars as the Umar or Omass.


The Ob is formed 16 miles (26 km) southwest of Biysk in Altai Krai by the confluence of the Biya and Katun rivers. Both these streams have their origin in the Altay Mountains, the Biya issuing from Lake Teletskoye, the Katun, 700 kilometres (430 mi) long, bursting out of a glacier on Mount Byelukha. The Ob zigzags west and north until it reaches 55° N, where it curves round to the northwest, and again north, wheeling finally eastwards into the Gulf of Ob, a 600-mile (970 km)-long bay of the Kara Sea, which adjoins the Arctic Ocean.

The river splits into more than one arm, especially after joining the large Irtysh tributary at about 69° E. Originating in China, the Irtysh is actually longer than the Ob from their sources to the point of their confluence. From the source of the Irtysh to the mouth of the Ob, the river flow is the longest in Russia at 5,410 kilometres (3,360 mi). Other noteworthy tributaries are: from the east, the Tom, Chulym, Ket, Tym and Vakh rivers; and, from the west and south, the Vasyugan, Irtysh (with the Ishim and Tobol rivers), and Sosva rivers.

The combined Ob-Irtysh system, the third-longest river system of Asia (after China's Yangtze and Yellow rivers), is 5,410 kilometres (3,360 mi) long, and the area of its basin 2,990,000 square kilometres (1,150,000 sq mi).

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