|Designated||28 August 2008|
|Official name||Rhin Supérieur|
|Designated||5 September 2008|
The Upper Rhine (German : Oberrhein, German: [ˈoːbɐˌʁaɪ̯n] (
The Upper Rhine is one of four sections of the river (the others being the High Rhine, Middle Rhine and Lower Rhine) between Lake Constance and the North Sea. The countries and states along the Upper Rhine are Switzerland, France (Alsace) and the German states of Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate and Hesse. The largest cities along the river are Basel, Mulhouse, Strasbourg, Karlsruhe, Mannheim, Ludwigshafen and Mainz.
The Upper Rhine was straightened between 1817 and 1876 by Johann Gottfried Tulla and made navigable between 1928 and 1977. The Treaty of Versailles allows France to use the Upper Rhine for hydroelectricity in the Grand Canal d'Alsace.
On the left bank are the French region of Alsace and the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate; on the right bank are the German states of Baden-Württemberg and Hesse. The first few kilometres are in the Swiss city of Basel.
Around 35 million years ago, a rift valley of about 300 kilometres (190 mi) long and 50 kilometres (31 mi) wide came into being between the present cities of Basel and Frankfurt. This was due to tensile stresses in the Earth's crust and mantle, which resulted in lowering the earth's surface. The moat has been partially filled up again by sedimentation. On the edges we find mountain ridges, the so-called "rift flanks". On the eastern side, they are the Black Forest and Odenwald mountains, in the west the Vosges and Palatinate Forest. During the Tertiary, the High Rhine continued west from Basel and flowed via the Doubs and the Saône, into the Rhône. The rift diverted the Rhine into the newly formed Upper Rhine Valley.
The Rhine knee at Basel marks the transition from the High Rhine to the Upper Rhine with a change of direction from West to North and a change of landscape from the relatively small-chamber high-Rhine cuesta landscape to the wide rift zone of the Upper Rhine Rift Valley. The two largest tributaries come from the right: the Neckar in Mannheim, the Main across from Mainz. In the northwest corner of the Upper Rhine Valley, at Rhine-kilometre 529.1, near Bingen, where the Nahe flows into the Rhine, the Rhine flows into a gorge in the Rhenish Massif and thereby changes into the Middle Rhine.
In 1685, Louis XIV started a project to move the Upper Rhine, change its course and drain the floodplain, in order to gain land. By 1840, the river had been moved up to 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) to the east, taking territory away from Baden. Around 1790, large parts of the Rhine Valley were deforested, creating arable land, fields and pasture to feed the population. The Upper Rhine was straightened between 1817 and 1876 by Johann Gottfried Tulla and changed from a relatively sluggish meandering river with major and many smaller branches into a fast flowing stream flanked by embankments. The length of the Upper Rhine was reduced by 81 kilometres (50 mi). Some cut-off river arms and ox-bows remain; they are typically called the Old Rhine (German : Altrhein) or Gießen.
The Rhine between Basel and Iffezheim is almost entirely canalised. On a stretch of 180 kilometres (110 mi), there are 10 dams, provided with hydropower stations and locks. Between Basel and Breisach, the old river bed carries hardly any water; almost all water is diverted through the Grand Canal d'Alsace on the French side, to ensure safe shipping and hydropower generation around the clock. Only when there is a large supply of water, then the old river bed will receive more water than the canal. France gained the right to do this in the 1919 Treaty of Versailles; the right applies to the segment between Basel and Neuburgweier/Lauterbourg, where the Rhine forms the border between France and Germany.
The straightening (1817–76) and channeling (1928–77) reduced the water table by up to 16 metres (52 ft) and thus had a negative effect on flora and fauna. Gravel is also missing from the river, due to the dams. This has caused erosion below the dam at Iffezheim. To counter this, 173,000 cubic metres (6,100,000 cu ft) per year of a mixture of sand and gravel with an average grain diameter of 20 millimetres (0.79 in) (corresponding to the local sediment transport capacity) has been dumped into the river, since 1978, using two motorized barges.
The floodplains between Mainz and Bingen are important for nature conservation. In this section, the so-called Island Rhine, there are many nature reserves and bird sanctuaries.
The Upper Rhine plays a key role in flood control on the Middle and Lower Rhine. As a result of the straightening of the Upper Rhine, floods from the Alps now reach the Middle Rhine much faster than in the past. Thus, the risk of such a peak coinciding with a flood peak of Neckar, Moselle or Main has increased. About 123 square kilometres (47 sq mi) of floodplain have been lost. Authorities in riparian states of France, Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate have launched the Integrated Rhine Programme, a framework for designating water retention areas. to combat downstream flooding. A French-German treaty was concluded in 1982, in which the parties agreed to restore the retention capacity on the stretch below Iffezheim to the level it had before the area was developed.
This means: For the stretch between Iffezheim and the mouth of the Neckar, attenuation of the apex of a 200-year flood (i.e. a flood that statistically occurs once in 200 years) of the Rhine to a discharge of 5,000 cubic metres per second (180,000 cu ft/s) at the Maxau gauge station, that is, a reduction from 5,700 cubic metres per second (200,000 cu ft/s) to 5,000 cubic metres per second (180,000 cu ft/s).
For this purpose the following measures are planned and partially implemented:
The effectiveness of the flood protection measures was verified using a computer model. The State Institute for the Environment, Nature Protection and Measurements in Baden-Württemberg carried out forecast calculations with the help of a mathematical "synoptic flood progression model". The analysis of the calculations and the evaluation of the results were made on the basis of the requirements and methods set by the international Flood Study Commission for the Rhine. The implementation of the proposed flood control measures on the Upper Rhine can prevent the occurrence of a 200-year-flood between Iffezheim and Bingen, with an overall economic loss estimated at around 6.2 billion euros.
The Upper Rhine tri-national region (French: Région Métropolitaine Trinationale du Rhin Supérieur, German: Trinationale Metropolregion Oberrhein) is a Euroregion that covers the border areas of the Upper Rhine (the northern part of the Upper Rhine valley and the Palatinate are not included as they are not border areas) and parts of the High Rhine. As the name suggests, it is a tri-national region comprising parts of France, Germany and Switzerland. The regional Upper Rhine Conference is a framework for future political and administrative cooperation in the area.
The Rhine is one of the major European rivers, which has its sources in Switzerland and flows in a mostly northerly direction through Germany and the Netherlands, emptying into the North Sea. The river begins in the Swiss canton of Graubünden in the southeastern Swiss Alps, forms part of the Swiss-Liechtenstein, Swiss-Austrian, Swiss-German and then the Franco-German border, then flows through the German Rhineland and the Netherlands and eventually empties into the North Sea.
Baden-Württemberg is a state in southwest Germany, east of the Rhine, which forms the border with France. It is Germany's third-largest state, with an area of 35,751 km2 (13,804 sq mi) and 11 million inhabitants. Baden-Württemberg is a parliamentary republic and partly sovereign, federated state which was formed in 1952 by a merger of the states of Württemberg-Baden, South Baden and Württemberg-Hohenzollern. The largest city in Baden-Württemberg is the state capital of Stuttgart, followed by Karlsruhe and Mannheim. Other cities are Freiburg im Breisgau, Heidelberg, Heilbronn, Pforzheim, Reutlingen, Tübingen and Ulm.
The Neckar is a 362-kilometre-long (225 mi) river in Germany, mainly flowing through the southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg, with a short section through Hesse. The Neckar is a major right tributary of the Rhine. Rising in the Schwarzwald-Baar-Kreis near Schwenningen in the Schwenninger Moos conservation area at a height of 706 m (2,316 ft) above sea level, it passes through Rottweil, Rottenburg am Neckar, Kilchberg, Tübingen, Wernau, Nürtingen, Plochingen, Esslingen, Stuttgart, Ludwigsburg, Marbach, Heilbronn and Heidelberg, before discharging on average 145 m3/s (5,100 cu ft/s) of water into the Rhine at Mannheim, at 95 m (312 ft) above sea level, making the Neckar its 4th largest tributary, and the 10th largest river in Germany. Since 1968, the Neckar has been navigable for cargo ships via 27 locks for about 200 kilometres (120 mi) upstream from Mannheim to the river port of Plochingen, at the confluence with the Fils.
Karlsruhe is one of the four administrative regions of Baden-Württemberg, Germany, located in the north-west of the state. It is subdivided into the three regional associations : Mittlerer Oberrhein, Rhein-Neckar (Rhine-Neckar) and Nordschwarzwald (Northern Black Forest).
The Nahe is a river in Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland, Germany, a left tributary to the Rhine. It has also given name to the wine region Nahe situated around it.
Hockenheim is a town in northwest Baden-Württemberg, Germany, about 20 km south of Mannheim and 10 km west of Walldorf. It is located in the Upper Rhine valley on the tourist theme routes "Baden Asparagus Route" and Bertha Benz Memorial Route. The town is widely known for its Hockenheimring, a motor racing course, which has hosted over 30 Formula One German Grand Prix races since 1970.
The Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region, often referred to as Rhein-Neckar-Triangle is a polycentric metropolitan region located in south western Germany, between the Frankfurt/Rhine-Main region to the North and the Stuttgart Region to the South-East.
DB Regio AG is a subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn which operates short and medium distance commuter train services in Germany.
The Sulm is a river in the Heilbronn district of Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is an unnavigable right tributary of the Neckar. It rises in the Löwenstein Mountains and after 26.3 kilometres (16.3 mi) distance and 315 metres (1,033 ft) elevation drop flows into the Neckar at Bad Friedrichshall, near Untereisesheim and Neckarsulm. Its valley together with its tributary valleys is also known as the Weinsberg Valley, after Weinsberg, which is located there. The medieval region of Sulmgau, as well as the city of Neckarsulm, were named for it. The upper valley of the Sulm is a protected area.
Southern Germany as a region has no exact boundary but is generally taken to include the areas in which Upper German dialects are spoken. That corresponds roughly to the historical stem duchies of Bavaria and Swabia or, in a modern context, to Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg within the Federal Republic of Germany, to the exclusion of the areas of the modern states of Austria and Switzerland. The Saarland and the southern parts of Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate are sometimes included as well and correspond to the historical Franconia.
Lauter may refer to:
The High Rhine is the name used for the beginning of the Rhine and specifically the portion that flows westbound from Lake Constance to Basel. The High Rhine begins at the out flow of the Rhine from the Untersee in Stein am Rhein and turns into the Upper Rhine in Basel. In contrast to the Alpine Rhine and Upper Rhine, the High Rhine flows mostly to the west.
The Selz is a river in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, and a left hand tributary of the Rhine. It flows through the largest German wine region, Rheinhessen.
Leimbach may refer to:
The Wutach is a river, 91 kilometres long, in the southeastern part of the Black Forest in the German state of Baden-Württemberg. It is a right-hand tributary of the Rhine. In its lower reaches it flows for about 6 kilometres along the border with the canton of Schaffhausen, Switzerland.
Johann Gottfried Tulla was a German engineer who accomplished the straightening of the Rhine, improving navigation and alleviating the effects of flooding. His measures gave the Upper Rhine a completely new appearance. The river was deepened and channelled between embankments which narrowed the channels to a width of 200 to 250 m ; new sections were dug to straighten out its meandering course, and numerous small islands were removed. The effect was to reduce the river's length between Basel and Worms from 355 to 275 km. However, the straightening of the Upper Rhine had increased the streaming speed and thus permanently raised the flood risk in the regions of the Middle and the Lower Rhine, partial floodplain restoration is still performed in a joint program of Germany and France.
The Rhine Railway is a railway line in the German state of Baden-Württemberg, running from Mannheim via Karlsruhe to Rastatt, partly built as a strategic railway and formerly continuing to Haguenau in Alsace, now in France.
The Speyerbach is a left tributary of the Rhine in the Palatinate part of Rhineland-Palatinate. In Speyer, the river split into Gießhübelbach and Woogbach. The Woogbach changes its name to Nonnenbach, then flows into Gießhübelbach shortly before the latter flows into the Rhine.
The Argen is a river in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It flows into Lake Constance between Kressbronn am Bodensee and Langenargen as the third largest tributary to the lake. It is 23.4 kilometres (14.5 mi) long; if one includes the Obere Argen and its source river Seelesgraben, the combined length is 73.2 kilometres (45.5 mi).
Taubergießen is a floodplain wetland on the southern Upper Rhine in the natural area Offenburg Rhine plain. Taubergießen was declared Naturschutzgebiet in 1979 and, with 1,697 hectares, is one of the largest protected areas in Baden-Württemberg. It has a north-south extension of more than 12 km. The largest width is about 2.5 km.
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