Two rivers converging into one is obviously extremely common, most often when one is clearly dominant over the other (whereby the lesser one is the 'tributary' of the greater) but also sometimes where the two rivers are roughly equally-sized. I know it is also possible for rivers to divide, although this is less common.

Is it hydrologically/geologically plausible to have a single point that is the confluence of more than two rivers? Would such a configuration be stable?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ There are many many lakes in this world into which three or more rivers flow, and one river flows out. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Jul 11, 2019 at 13:00
  • $\begingroup$ simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trois-Rivi%C3%A8res At Trois-Rivières, Quebec, an island (I guess actually two islands) divides a river into three then the three parts enter a bigger river. Would this count? I suppose it formed due to glaciation. $\endgroup$
    – puppetsock
    Jul 11, 2019 at 14:10
  • $\begingroup$ It's not only plausible, it exists in several places. And the other situations you allude to exist. Is there something I'm missing here? Is there some reason why a simple search on Google and Maps isn't going to cut it? I don't want to assume you posted a question here in lieu of basic research. $\endgroup$ Jul 11, 2019 at 14:43
  • $\begingroup$ My Google fu was inadequate; I searched for "triple confluence" and "confluence of three rivers" and got loads of results about Pittsburgh (which doesn't meet my requirements because it's really an ordinary confluence where the downstream river has a different name to the inbound two) and others that didn't seem quite right. I missed the link to Passau from the wikipedia article, though. $\endgroup$
    – Stephen
    Jul 11, 2019 at 16:45
  • $\begingroup$ Okay, I'm glad to hear you tried. I added a couple more rivers to your list. $\endgroup$ Jul 11, 2019 at 18:00

3 Answers 3


It's not just plausible, it even exists.

For example, in Passau the Inn, Danube and Ilz join into one river:


The only thing making this confluence less likely is that rivers are likely to join earlier and it's unlikely for two rivers to confluence with a different one roughly at the same spot. I suppose a natural barrier lake could make it more likely.


Very plausible.

One example is the Feather River of California. The West Branch and Middle Fork combine at the top of Lake Oroville, which is a long skinny lake running north/south. At the bottom of the lake, the Middle Fork and South Fork also converge.

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The American River, just south of Feather in California, has multiple branches that converge in various places. Depending on how you count it, I think several spots qualify. In particular though, look at the North Fork.

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Look for mountainous areas because this restricts how and where the rivers can flow and makes it more likely for branches to come together.


If the rivers are directly affected by tidal changes. I live in a low lying area with a river next to me which from where I am is twenty miles away from the coast. It flows both ways albeit the inbound current is slower and swirls around tons. Point being right where I can put my boat in it splits into two streams/rivers.


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