Nerodimka River Bifurcation

Feb 28, 2024 0 comments

The Nerodimka river in the Nerodime region of Kosovo is the only river in Europe that drains into two different seas, a phenomenon known as bifurcation. The left branch flows into the Black Sea, and the right branch flows into the Aegean Sea.

The Nerodimka River originates as Golema Reka in the Nerodimka mountain range, forming from two primary tributaries, Golema (Velika) Reka and Mala Reka, which converge near the village of Nerodime e Epërme. It then flows in a west-east direction, with its basin splitting on the outskirts of Ferizaj. The northern branch empties into the Sitnica River, which eventually connects to the Black Sea via the Iber, Morava, and Danube rivers. Meanwhile, the primary southern branch merges with another arm of the Nerodimka River, continuing its journey towards the Aegean Sea through the Lepenc and Vardar rivers.

The exact point where Nerodimka River bifurcates. Photo credit: Ottis/Wikimedia Commons

The bifurcation itself is an engineered feature, facilitated by the construction of an artificial canal, although the flow downstream remains natural. In the 14th century, during the reign of King Milutin, a canal was excavated to link the Sazlia pond with the Nerodimka River, effectively creating an artificial split. This canal diverted water from the Nerodimka towards the south, into the Lepenec River, which is part of the Aegean Sea drainage basin. Meanwhile, the Sitnica River, originating from the Sazlia pond, flows northwards into the Iber River, belonging to the Black Sea drainage basin.

The bifurcation of Nerodimka has been under state protection since 1979, and it is declared as a strict wildlife sanctuary.

Also Read:
Wagrowiec Bifurcation: A Unique Hydrological Phenomenon
Parting of The Waters: A Creek That Flows Into Two Oceans
Isa lake: The Two-Ocean Lake

Photo credit: Musli Berisha/Wikimedia Commons


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