Gail (river)

Last updated
Gail
Gail bei Dellach.JPG
Gail River near Dellach
Location
Country Austria
Physical characteristics
Source 
  location Obertilliach, East Tyrol
Mouth  
  location
Drava River near Villach
  coordinates
46°36′23″N13°53′14″E / 46.60639°N 13.88722°E / 46.60639; 13.88722 Coordinates: 46°36′23″N13°53′14″E / 46.60639°N 13.88722°E / 46.60639; 13.88722
Length121.9 km (75.7 mi) [1]
Basin size1,413.9 km2 (545.9 sq mi) [2]
Discharge 
  average45.08 m3 (1,592 cu ft)
Basin features
Progression DravaDanubeBlack Sea

Gail (Slovene : Zilja, Italian : Zeglia) is the name of a river in southern Austria, the largest right tributary of the Drava.

Contents

Etymology

The name Gail developed from Old High German Gîla, in turn from the form *Gīla (which was also the source of the Slovene name Zilja). It is likely that the name is of substrate origin, predating the Roman presence in the area. The name is believed to derive from the pre-Romance word *gai̯li̯a (from the Indo-European root *gʰoi̯lo-), meaning 'foaming (water), powerful'. [3] The river is documented as Gila in a 1090 deed. The Slovene name Zilja is also commonly cited because the lower Gail Valley is a traditional settlement area of the Carinthian Slovenes and a language region of the distinct Gail Valley dialect.

Course

The river source is located east of the Kartitsch Saddle and the Puster Valley in the Tyrolean municipality of Obertilliach. It flows from west to east through the Southern Limestone Alps, between the Gailtal Alps in the north and the Carnic Alps in the south. The river reaches the state of Carinthia in Lesachtal and from Kötschach-Mauthen runs down the broader Gail Valley (German : Gailtal) with its steep slopes, parallel to the borders with Italy and Slovenia. Beyond its confluence with the Slizza (Gailitz) tributary in Arnoldstein, the Gail joins the Drava River beneath the western Karawanks mountain range near the village of Maria Gail, part of the city of Villach.

Dobratsch crag above the Gail Valley Dobratsch - Rote Wand.JPG
Dobratsch crag above the Gail Valley

Following the 1348 Friuli earthquake, the river's course near Villach was buried by a major landslide, causing extensive flooding. The rockslide region (Schütt) along a length of 10 km (6.2 mi) is still discernible on the steep slopes of Mt. Dobratsch north of Arnoldstein.

While the upper river course is largely preserved in its natural condition, a habitat for shorebirds like the common sandpiper, the white-throated dipper and the grey wagtail, large parts of the lower Gail have been gradually regulated since the 1870s. In recent times, some sections have been renaturated. Today the trout zone reaches up to Hermagor with 17 species, among them common barbel, the common nase, and the rare souffia.

Tributaries

River course near Sankt Stefan Gail bei Vorderberg, Blick gegen Westen.JPG
River course near Sankt Stefan
Lower Gail (with Sud Autobahn) near Villach P1070338.JPG
Lower Gail (with Süd Autobahn) near Villach

Municipalities

Related Research Articles

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Carinthia State in Austria

Carinthia is the southernmost Austrian state or Land. Situated within the Eastern Alps, it is noted for its mountains and lakes. The main language is German. Its regional dialects belong to the Southern Bavarian group. Carinthian Slovene dialects, forms of a South Slavic language that predominated in the southeastern part of the region up to the first half of the 20th century, are now spoken by a small minority in the area.

Meža river in Slovenia

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Karawanks mountain range along the border Austria / Slovenia

The Karawanks or Karavankas or Karavanks are a mountain range of the Southern Limestone Alps on the border between Slovenia to the south and Austria to the north. With a total length of 120 kilometres (75 mi) in an east-west direction, the Karawanks chain is one of the longest ranges in Europe. It is traversed by important trade routes and has a great tourist significance. Geographically and geologically, it is divided into the higher Western Karawanks and the lower-lying Eastern Karawanks. It is traversed by the Periadriatic Seam, separating the Apulian tectonic plate from the Eurasian Plate.

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Plöcken Pass mountain pass

Plöcken Pass is a high mountain pass in the Carnic Alps mountain range at the border between the Austrian state of Carinthia and the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of Italy. It links the market town of Kötschach-Mauthen in the Carinthian Gail Valley with the Paluzza municipality in the Carnia region of Friuli.

Hermagor-Pressegger See Place in Carinthia, Austria

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Lesachtal Place in Carinthia, Austria

Lesachtal is a municipality in Hermagor District, in the Austrian state of Carinthia. It comprises the western part of the eponymous valley formed by the upper Gail River, and stretches from the Carinthian border with East Tyrol down to Kötschach-Mauthen in the east.

Arnoldstein Place in Carinthia, Austria

Arnoldstein is a market town in the district of Villach-Land in the Austrian state of Carinthia.

Hohenthurn Place in Carinthia, Austria

Hohenthurn is a municipality in the district of Villach-Land in the Austrian state of Carinthia.

Nötsch im Gailtal Place in Carinthia, Austria

Nötsch im Gailtal is a market town in the district of Villach-Land in the Austrian state of Carinthia.

Stockenboi Place in Carinthia, Austria

Stockenboi is a municipality in the district of Villach-Land in the Austrian state of Carinthia.

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Slizza river

The Slizza (Italian) or Gailitz is an Alpine torrent in Italy and Austria, a right tributary of the Gail river.

Carinthian Peasant Revolt peasant revolt

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The Gail Valley dialect is the westernmost Slovene dialect in the Carinthian dialect group, spoken in parts of southern Carinthia in Austria, in the northeasternmost part of the Province of Udine in Italy, and in northeastern Upper Carniola in Slovenia.

Carnic and Gailtal Alps mountain

The Carnic and Gailtal Alps is a geographic grouping of mountain ranges belonging to the Southern Limestone Alps. They are located in Austria and Italy.

Municipality of Kranjska Gora Municipality in Slovenia

The Municipality of Kranjska Gora is a municipality on the Sava Dolinka River in the Upper Carniola region of northwest Slovenia, close to the Austrian and Italian borders. The seat of the municipality is the town of Kranjska Gora.

Gailtal Alps mountains in Austria

The Gailtal Alps, is a mountain range of the Southern Limestone Alps in Austria. It rises between the River Drava (Drau) and the Gail valley and through the southern part of East Tyrol. Its western group called "Lienz Dolomites", is sometimes counted as part of this range and sometimes seen as separate.

Reißkofel mountain in the Gailtal Alps in Carinthia

The Reißkofel is, at 2,371 metres above the Adriatic (7,779 ft), the highest mountain of the Gailtal Alps east of the Lienz Dolomites. It is situated in the centre of the Gailtal range, part of the Southern Limestone Alps, in the Austrian state of Carinthia.

References

  1. TIRIS Geographical information system of Tyrol
  2. Flächenverzeichnis der österreichischen Flussgebiete: Draugebiet.
  3. Snoj, Marko (2009). Etimološki slovar slovenskih zemljepisnih imen. Ljubljana: Modrijan. p. 481.