General Question

bluemukaki's avatar

When you just quickly glance at a map, what direction do you assume a river flows?

Asked by bluemukaki (4332points) October 1st, 2008

Before you look at contours or any kind of geography, do you immediately assume a river flows in a particular direction? I for me I assume they flow south (i.e. Down on a map). Does anyone else do this?

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30 Answers

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

I always assume south.

hearkat's avatar

Usually I would assume South or East, since I live on the East coast and think it would flow toward the ocean.

battlemarz's avatar

I would assume it flows towards the largest body of water, but I never really thought about it.

Cardinal's avatar

N or S and E or W depending on location of the river relative to the continental divide.

Magnus's avatar

Yes, either south or east if horizontal. I believe it’s because we read that way.

wilhel1812's avatar

I assume it flows downwards it might be south or it might be something else depending on what direction i’m holding the map.

critter1982's avatar

From one end to the other.

gailcalled's avatar

Check out the Indus. It starts by flowing due North and then hits all the points on the compass.

All rivers start in higher ground so look for the bumpy drawings that signify mountains.

boxing's avatar

Like gailcalled said, high to low is the answer.

Since sea level is the lowest, no wonder so many rivers eventually reach the ocean. Many more can’t though.

fireside's avatar

The entire 154 miles of the lower Hudson River is tidal and can undergo a reversal in the direction of flow four times a day.


gailcalled's avatar

fireside: That’s my river; I have lived at the south end in Manhattan and seen its little dribbley start at Lake Tear of the Clouds. And now I see it every time I drive to our little county seat, called….Hudson. I love learning more tidbits about it.

robmandu's avatar

Yah, for something like this, without checking terrain maps, I’d really have no idea. Not sure if I’d try to make an assumption.

fireside's avatar

@ Gail – I’ve lived in upstate ny, the hudson valley, and around nyc. the river is muuuuuch prettier once you get past the tidal pool : )

gailcalled's avatar

@Fire: It is gorgeous here (12165). And spectacular from Olana, Frederick Church’s home. He chose the site for the views, as I am sure you know.Even taking someone to Amtrack from the Hudson station is well-worth the 30 minute drive each way.

(Where in upstate NY?)

PupnTaco's avatar

I always assume rivers flow from their source in the direction of the ocean or a large body of water.

EmpressPixie's avatar

I generally assume—and there is no reason for this—that they flow towards the equator if they are n/s and towards the nearest ocean if they are e/w.

Nimis's avatar

Like Hearkat, but west (instead of east).
(Hailing from the west coast.)

wilhel1812's avatar

any arabs here? it’d be interresting to know if they assume it flows east to west

gailcalled's avatar

@Strat; Check Fireside’s reference: ^^ The entire 154 miles of the lower Hudson River is tidal and can undergo a reversal in the direction of flow four times a day.

So, downstream would be upstream sometimes and vice versa.

stratman37's avatar

gail, only YOU would know that! Thanx

gailcalled's avatar

Strat: Not this time: Fireside knew that one, even though I live in the Upper Hudson Valley. (Fireside did this research.)

fireside's avatar

@Gail – Aww, shucks

gailcalled's avatar

@fireside; credit where credit’s due. Altho today I’d probably have to use a debit card.

stratman37's avatar

Gail, was that a pun you just uttered? Hey, Jack! Come look at this!

Nimis's avatar

The siren song of the Pun is irresistable!

gailcalled's avatar

@strat; Thankfully, that was not a pun. That was a double entrendre followed by a bad joke. If this is going to trigger a pun run, I will delete that answer.

stratman37's avatar

don’t worry, I’ve learned my lesson. But thanx for the clarification!

chromaBYTE's avatar

Living on the south-eastern side of an island makes me assume that they flow east or south, or both.

In other cases, I just assume it flows towards the closest bit of ocean visible on the map.

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