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Seine River, river of France, after the Loire its longest. It rises 18 miles (30 kilometres) northwest of Dijon and flows in a northwesterly direction through Paris before emptying right into the English Channel at Le Havre. The river is 485 miles (780 kilometres) lengthy and also via its tributaries drains an area of about 30,400 square miles (78,700 square kilometres). It is just one of Europe’s excellent historical rivers, and also its drainage network carries a lot of of the French inland also waterway web traffic. Due to the fact that the early Middle Ages it has actually been above all the river of Paris, and also the mutual interdependence of the river and also the city that was established at its major crossing points has been indissolubly forged. The abundant centre of its basin in the Île-de-France was the cradle of the French monarchy and also the nucleus of the expanding nation-state and is still its heartland also and city area.


Rhine, Rhône, and Seine river basins and their drainage networkEncyclopædia nlinux.org, Inc.

Physical features


The Seine rises at 1,545 feet (471 metres) over sea level on the Mont Tasselot in the Côte d’Or area of Burgundy yet is still only a tiny stream as soon as it traverses porous limestone country beyond Châtillon. Flowing northwest from Burgundy, it enters Champagne over Troyes and also traverses the dry chalk plateau of Champagne in a well-identified trench. Joined by the Aube near Romilly, the river bears west to skirt the Île-de-France in a large valley to Montereau, wright here it receives the Yonne on its left financial institution. This tributary is outstanding in increasing beyond the sedimentary rocks of the Paris Container on the impermeable crystalline highland also of the Morvan, a northward extension of the Massif Central. Turning northwest again, the Seine passes Melun and also Corbeil as its trenched valley crosses the Île-de-France toward Paris. As it enters Paris, it is joined by its good tributary the Marne on the ideal, and also, after traversing the metropolis, it receives the Oise, additionally on the appropriate. In its passage with Paris, the river has actually been trained and narrowed between riverside quays. Flowing sluggishly in sweeping loops, the Seine passes listed below Mantes-la-Jolie across Normandy towards its estuary in the English Channel. The wide estuary opens promptly and also exoften tends for 16 miles listed below Tancarville to Le Havre; it experiences the phenomenon of the tidal bore, which is known as the mascaret, although continued dredging considering that 1867 has deepened the river so that the mascaret has actually slowly diminished.

The main river of the Paris Container, the Seine, 485 miles (780 km) in size, is joined upstream on the left financial institution by its tributary the Yonne,...

From its source to Paris, the Seine traverses concentric belts of successively younger sedimentary rocks, infilling a structural basin, the centre of which is populated by the limerock platforms of the Île-de-France immediately surrounding Paris. The rocks of this basin are inclined gently towards Paris at the centre and existing a series of outward-encountering limerock (including chalk) escarpments (côtes) alternating with narrower clay vales. The côtes are breached by the Seine and also its tributaries, which have made prominent gaps. As they converge upon Paris, the trenchfavor river valleys sepaprice a number of islandlike limestone platforms spanned via fertile, quickly operated windblvery own soil (limon). These platforms have provided wealthy cereal-prospering land also from time immemorial and constitute the Île-de-France. The reduced course of the Seine, listed below Paris, is directed in a general northwesterly direction toward the sea, in conformity through the trend of the lines of structural weakness affecting the northern component of the basin. The English Channel breaches the symmeattempt of the basin on its northern side, interrupting the completeness of the concentric areas. Still in the chalk belt, the river enters the sea. The basin of the Seine presents no striking relief contrasts. Within 30 miles of its source the river is already below 800 feet, and at Paris, 227 miles from its mouth, it is just 80 feet over sea level. It is for this reason sluggish flowing and eminently navigable, the even more so bereason its regime is mainly so constant.


Many of the river basin is developed of permeable rocks, the absorptive capacity of which mitigateways the danger of river floods. Precipitation throughout the basin is modest, mainly 25 to 30 inches (650 to 750 millimetres), and is evenly distributed over the year as rain, via scurrently inregular other than on the greater southerly and eastern margins. The Yonne—distinct among the tributaries in being acquired from impermeable, crystalline highlands, where tright here is additionally considerable winter snow—also has actually the best affect on the Seine’s regime (flow) bereason of the good variability of its flow; yet the Seine is the a lot of consistent of the significant rivers of France and also the many normally navigable. Occasionally the summer level is considerably lessened (such as in the summers of 1947 and 1949), but the sandfinancial institutions that are so typical of the Loire do not appear. Low water is further masked by the regularization of the river that has actually been lugged out to improve its navigability. Winter floods are hardly ever dangerous, however in January 1910 exceptionally heavy rainfall caused the river to rise over 28 feet at Paris, flooding the comprehensive low-lying quarters alengthy its prehistoric meander loop (the Marais). To enhance this high level it is crucial to go earlier to February 1658; but in January 1924 and also in January 1955 the river aacquire rose to more than 23 feet in Paris. The average circulation at Paris is around 10,000 cubic feet (280 cubic metres) per second, as compared with the 1910 flood price of around 83,000 and also the 1947 and also 1949 minimums of about 700.

The economy

The Seine, specifically listed below Paris, is a good web traffic highway. It web links Paris with the sea and the astronomical maritime port of Le Havre. Rouen, although some 75 miles from the sea, was France’s main seaport in the 1sixth century, yet it was exceeded by Le Havre in the 1nine century. Vessels illustration up to 10 feet (3.2 metres) deserve to reach the quays of Paris. Most of the web traffic, which chiefly consists of hefty petroleum commodities and structure materials, passes upstream to the main facilities of the port of Paris at Gennevilliers. The reduced Seine mechanism is associated via that of the Rhine by means of the Marne, and also the Oise links it through the watermeans of Belgium. The web links with the Loire watermeans and via the Saône-Rhône, dating from the 17th and 18th centuries when connecting canals were built, are now of minor prestige. The water of the Seine is a crucial reresource for the riverine populace. Large electrical power stations, both thermal and nuclear, attract their cooling water from the river. In addition, half of the water supplied in the area around Paris, both for market and also for humale intake, and also three-fourths of the water provided in the area in between Rouen and also Le Havre, is taken from the river.

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Advancement of the river

Although the program of the Seine is fairly modeprice, improvements have been thought about necessary considering that the beginning of the 1ninth century. To boost navigation, the water level was raised by means of dams and by storage reservoirs in the basin of the Yonne River. Lake Setlots (1858), initially designed for the flotation of wood, and Crescent (1932) and also Chaumeçon (1934) reservoirs have actually showed valuable in reducing floods as well as in ensuring a consistent water supply in summer. Upstream from the basin four large storage reservoirs have actually been built given that 1950 on the Yonne, Marne, and Aube, and also on the Seine itself. These reasonably shenable impoundments (averaging about 25 feet in depth) cover big areas. The Seine Reservoir, for instance, covers some 6,175 acres (2,500 hectares), while the Marne Reservoir, through an area of about 11,900 acres, is the largest man-made lake in western Europe. Surrounded by woodland and also countryside, these reservoirs have actually become bird sanctuaries and also tourist attractions in a brand-new nature reserve.