Tigris River: Facts and Information

Tigris River Facts

  • The Tigris River forms the border between Syria and Turkey.

  • Baghdad, Iraq’s capital, is built on the banks of the Tigris.
  • The river is heavily dammed. Its waters are used to irrigate the semi-desert ares of Turkey and Iraq which are next to the Tigris River valley.
  • The largest dam in Iraq is the Mosul Dam.
  • Before it was dammed, the Tigris used to frequently flood in the Spring after the snow in the Turkish mountains (the source of the Tigris) started to melt in April.
  • It’s drainage basin covers nearly 375000 square km.
  • More than 50 different types of fish can be found in the Tigris River.
  • Mesopotamia is the word used to describe the section of land between the Tigris River and the Euphrates River. Mesopotamia is often called the ‘cradle of civilization’. In the Bronze Age the area was home to the Sumner, Akkadian, Babylonian and Assyrian empires.
  • Shallow-draught boats can navigate the Tigris River as far as Baghdad in Iraq.
  • The Tigris has four important tributaries – the Greater Zab, the Lesser Zab, the Adhem River and the Diyala River.
  • In 1954, during flood season, the water level in the Tigris rose by over 8 metres.
  • The course of the river has altered over time. Today, the Tigris joins the Euphrates to form the Shatt-al-Arab River, before flowing into the Persian Gulf. In ancinet times, it is believed that the Tigris and the Euphrates had different outlets.
  • The last sighting of lions on the banks of the Tigris was in 1926, but foxes jackals and hyenas can still be seen from the river today.

Tigris River Fact File

Countries: Turkey, Syria, Iraq

Length: 1850 km (1150 miles)

Source: Lake Hazar, Turkey

Mouth: Shatt al-Arab, Iraq (Persian Gulf)

Tigris River

What next? Discover some more facts about rivers by visiting our rivers resources page.

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