Guadalquivir River - Encyclopedia

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GUADALQUIVIR (ancient Baetis, Moorish Wadi al Kebir, "the Great River"), a river of southern Spain. What is regarded as the main stream rises 4475 ft. above sea-level between the Sierra de Cazorla and Sierra del Pozo, in the province of Jaen. It does not become a large river until it is joined by the Guadiana Menor (Guadianamenor) on the left, and the Guadalimar on the right. Lower down it receives many tributaries, the chief being the Genil or Jenil, from the left. The general direction of the river is west by south, but a few miles above Seville it changes to south by west. Below Coria it traverses the series of broad fens known as Las Marismas, the greatest area of swamp in the Iberian Peninsula. Here it forms two subsidiary channels, the western 31 M., the eastern 12 m. long, which rejoin the main stream on the borders of the province of Cadiz. Below Sanlucar the river enters the Atlantic after a total course of 360 m. It drains an area of 21,865 sq. m. Though the shortest of the great rivers of the peninsula, it is the only one which flows at all seasons with a full stream, being red in winter by the rains, in summer by the melted snows of the Sierra Nevada. In the time of the Moors it was navigable up to Cordova, but owing to the accumulation of silt in its lower reaches it is now only navigable up to Seville by vessels of 1200 to 1500 tons.

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