Drainage divide

Major drainage divides (red ridgelines[1]) and drainage basins (green regions) in Europe. (Note the German labels.)

A drainage divide, water divide, divide, ridgeline,[1] watershed, or water parting is the line that separates neighbouring drainage basins. On rugged land, the divide lies along topographical ridges, and may be in the form of a single range of hills or mountains, known as a dividing range. On flat terrain, especially where the ground is marshy, the divide may be harder to discern.

A valley floor divide is a low drainage divide that runs across a valley, sometimes created by deposition or stream capture.

Since ridgelines are relatively easy to see and agree about, drainage divides are often natural borders defining political boundaries, as with the 18th century North America Royal Proclamation of 1763 that preceded the American Revolution.

Types

Drainage divides can be divided into three types:

Other Languages
Alemannisch: Wasserscheide
العربية: حد التصريف
azərbaycanca: Axar-baxar
تۆرکجه: آخار-باخار
Bân-lâm-gú: Soaⁿ-niā
беларуская: Водападзел
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Водападзел
български: Вододел
bosanski: Vododjelnica
čeština: Rozvodí
dansk: Vandskel
Deutsch: Wasserscheide
eesti: Veelahe
Esperanto: Akvodislimo
فارسی: خط‌الرأس
한국어: 분수계
հայերեն: Ջրբաժան
hrvatski: Razvodnica
italiano: Spartiacque
ქართული: წყალგამყოფი
Kiswahili: Tengamaji
Kreyòl ayisyen: Demakasyon
Кыргызча: Суу бөлгүч
lietuvių: Vandenskyra
македонски: Вододелница
Bahasa Melayu: Legeh
Nederlands: Waterscheiding
日本語: 分水界
norsk: Vannskille
norsk nynorsk: Vasskilje
occitan: Aigavèrs
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Suvayirgʻich
polski: Dział wód
Ripoarisch: Wasserscheed
română: Cumpăna apelor
русский: Водораздел
саха тыла: Дьирбии
Simple English: Drainage basin
slovenčina: Rozvodie
slovenščina: Razvodje
српски / srpski: Вододелница
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Vododjelnica
svenska: Vattendelare
татарча/tatarça: Субүләр
Türkmençe: Taraz
українська: Вододіл
Tiếng Việt: Đường phân thủy
中文: 分水岭