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The river in Croatia among the shortest in the world

Rijeka Dubrovačka

Rijeka Dubrovačka (Photo credit: Bracodbk/CC BY-SA 3.0)

The Ombla River, located northeast of Dubrovnik in Croatia, is the not only the shortest river in Croatia, it is also one of the shortest rivers in the world.

Measuring around just 30 meters (98 feet) in length, the Ombla River is ranked the 4th shortest river in the world, according to the Guinness World Records.

The river flows into the Rijeka Dubrovačka, a ria created by the Adriatic Sea near the village of Komolac in Dubrovnik-Neretva County.

This ria is a flooded river valley formed over geological time due to changes in sea levels. The Ombla originates from a karst spring, fed by groundwater from the Trebišnjica river, which flows through the nearby Popovo Polje.

With a minimal elevation drop of just over 2 meters (6 feet 7 inches), the Ombla discharges an average of 24.1 cubic meters (850 cubic feet) of water per second. The river’s drainage basin covers 600 square kilometers (230 square miles) and primarily involves groundwater flow.

Ombla River

Ombla River (Photo credit: Bracodbk/CC BY-SA 3.0)

The river has been serving as a vital source of drinking water for Dubrovnik since 1897, and is also at the centre of a long-standing plan to construct a hydroelectric power plant. A major worry is that constructing the underground reservoir could potentially trigger earthquakes.

Near the source is the habitat of the giant pincer, one of the largest European insects, Večernji list writes.

The Ombla River and the surrounding area, collectively known as Rijeka Dubrovačka, host several villages home to approximately 12,000 people.

Ombla River

The Ombla rises at the foot of Golubov Kamen massif, additional springs formed uphill after heavy rains (Photo credit: Bracodbk/CC BY-SA 3.0)

Since the 16th century, the river has been known as Ombla or Umbla, among other similar names like Rika, Rieka, Ričina, and Rijeka, all of which mean “River.” In the 19th century, the name Orion was also used, seemingly derived from the classical period name Arion.

This scenic region, rich in natural beauty and cultural heritage, is a crucial part of Dubrovnik-Neretva County in the southernmost part of Croatia’s mainland.

The shortest river in the world is the Tamborasi River in Indonesia which is just 20 meters long.

The Kovasselva River in Norway is just behind it in second place followed by Georgia’s Reprua River.

Shortest Rivers In The World

Rank River, Country Length

1. Tamborasi River, Indonesia 20 meters

2. Kovasselva River, Norway 20 meters

3. Reprua River, Georgia 27 meters

4. Ombla River, Croatia 30 meters

5. Jezernica River, Slovenia 55 meters

6. Roe River, Montana, United States 61 meters

7. Rio Los Patos, Dominican Republic 61 meters

8. D River, Oregon, United States 130 meters

9. Azuis River, Brazil 147 meters

10. Aril River, Italy 175 meters

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