Tisza
The Tisza in Szeged, Hungary
Map of the Tisza
Native name
Location
Countries
Towns
Physical characteristics
Source 
 • locationEastern Carpathians, Ukraine
 • elevation2,020 m (6,630 ft)
MouthDanube
 • location
Downstream of Novi Sad, Serbia
 • coordinates
45°8′17″N 20°16′39″E / 45.13806°N 20.27750°E / 45.13806; 20.27750[1]
Length966 km (600 mi)
Basin size156,087 km2 (60,266 sq mi)[2] 154,073.1 km2 (59,488.0 sq mi)[3]
Discharge 
 • locationNovi Slankamen, Serbia (near mouth)
 • average(Period: 1971–2000)920.1 m3/s (32,490 cu ft/s)[3]
 • minimum160 m3/s (5,700 cu ft/s)
 • maximum4,500 m3/s (160,000 cu ft/s)
Discharge 
 • locationSzeged, Hungary (173.6 km upstream of mouth - Basin size: 138,857.7 km2 (53,613.3 sq mi)[3]
 • average(Period: 1971–2000)890.5 m3/s (31,450 cu ft/s)[3] (Period: 2011–2020)784.7 m3/s (27,710 cu ft/s)[4]
Discharge 
 • locationSzolnok, Hungary (334.6 km upstream of mouth - Basin size: 72,889.4 km2 (28,142.8 sq mi)[3]
 • average(Period: 1971–2000)578.9 m3/s (20,440 cu ft/s)[3]
Discharge 
 • locationTokaj, Hungary (543.079 km upstream of mouth - Basin size: 49,120.9 km2 (18,965.7 sq mi)[3]
 • average(Period: 1971–2000)468.8 m3/s (16,560 cu ft/s)[3]
Discharge 
 • locationVásárosnamény, Hungary (684.45 km upstream of mouth - Basin size: 30,978.9 km2 (11,961.0 sq mi)[3]
 • average(Period: 1971–2000)340.6 m3/s (12,030 cu ft/s)[3] (Period: 2011–2020)321.18 m3/s (11,342 cu ft/s)[4]
Basin features
ProgressionDanubeBlack Sea
River systemDanube River
Tributaries 
 • leftVișeu, Iza, Tur, Someș, Crasna, Körös, Mureș, Bega
 • rightTarac, Talabor, Rika, Borzhava, Bodrog, Sajó, Eger, Zagyva

The Tisza, Tysa or Tisa, is one of the major rivers of Central and Eastern Europe. It was once called "the most Hungarian river" because it used to flow entirely within the Kingdom of Hungary. Today, it crosses several national borders.

The Tisza begins near Rakhiv in Ukraine, at the confluence of the White Tisa [uk] and Black Tisa [uk], which is at coordinates 48°4′29″N 24°14′40″E / 48.07472°N 24.24444°E / 48.07472; 24.24444 (the former springs in the Chornohora mountains; the latter in the Gorgany range). From there, the Tisza flows west, roughly following Ukraine's borders with Romania and Hungary, then briefly as the border between Slovakia and Hungary, before entering into Hungary, and finally into Serbia. The Tisza enters Hungary at Tiszabecs, traversing the country from north to south. A few kilometers south of the Hungarian city of Szeged, it enters Serbia. Finally, it joins the Danube near the village of Stari Slankamen in Vojvodina, Serbia.

The Tisza drains an area of about 156,087 km2 (60,266 sq mi)[2] and has a length of 966 km (600 mi)[5] Its mean annual discharge is seasonally 792 m3/s (28,000 cu ft/s) to 1,050 m3/s (37,000 cu ft/s). It contributes about 13% of the Danube's total runoff.[2]

Attila the Hun is said to have been buried under a diverted section of the river Tisza.[6]

Names

The river was known as the Tisia in antiquity; other ancient names for it included Pathissus (Πάθισσος in Ancient Greek and later Tissus (in Latin)), (Pliny, Naturalis historia, 4.25). It may be referred to as the Theiss in older English references, after the German name for the river, Theiß. It is known as the Tibisco in Italian, and in older French references (as for instance in relation to the naval battles on the Danube between the Ottoman Empire and the Habsburg Empire in the 17th and 18th centuries) it is often referred to as the Tibisque.[citation needed]

Another theory is that it is derived from Proto-Balto-Slavic *teišus meaning still, quiet, silent to describe the river. [citation needed]

Modern names for the Tisza in the languages of the countries it flows through include:

Regulation

The length of the Tisza in Hungary used to be 1,419 km (882 mi). It flowed through the Great Hungarian Plain, which is one of the largest flat areas in central Europe. Since plains can cause a river to flow very slowly, the Tisza used to follow a path with many curves and turns, which led to many large floods in the area.

After several small-scale attempts, István Széchenyi organised the "regulation of the Tisza" (Hungarian: a Tisza szabályozása) which started on August 27 1846, and substantially ended in 1880. The new length of the river in Hungary was reduced to 966 km (600 mi) in total, with 589 km (366 mi) of dead channels and 136 km (85 mi) of new riverbed.[7]

Lake Tisza

In the 1970s, the building of the Tisza Dam at Kisköre started with the purpose of helping to control floods as well as storing water for drought seasons. However, the resulting Lake Tisza became one of the most popular tourist destinations in Hungary since it had similar features to Lake Balaton at drastically cheaper prices and was not crowded.

Navigation

The Tisza is navigable over much of its course. The river opened up for international navigation only recently; before, Hungary distinguished "national rivers" and "international rivers", indicating whether non-Hungarian vessels were allowed or not. After Hungary joined the European Union, this distinction was lifted and vessels were allowed on the Tisza.[8]

Conditions of navigation differ with the circumstances: when the river is in flood, it is often unnavigable, just as it is at times of extreme drought.[9]

Wildlife

The Tisza has a rich and varied wildlife. Over 200 species of birds reside in the bird reserve of Tiszafüred. The flood plains along the river boast large amounts of diverse plant and animal life. In particular, the yearly "flowering" of the Tisza is considered a local natural wonder. The flowering attracts vast numbers of mayflies which is a well known spectacle.[10][11]

In September 2020, colonies of magnificent bryozoans were discovered in the river.[12]

Pollution

Main article: 2000 Baia Mare cyanide spill

In early 2000, there was a sequence of serious pollution incidents originating from accidental industrial discharges in Romania. The first, in January 2000, occurred when there was a release of sludge containing cyanide from a Romanian mine and killed 2000 tons of fish. The second, from a mine pond at Baia Borsa, northern Romania, resulted in the release of 20,000 m3 (710,000 cu ft) of sludge containing zinc, lead and copper occurred in early March 2000. A week later, the third spill occurred at the same mining site at Baia Borsa, staining the river black, possibly including heavy metals.[13]

This series of incidents were described at the time as the most serious environmental disaster to hit central Europe since the Chernobyl disaster. Usage of river water for any purpose was temporarily banned and the Hungarian government pressed the Romanians and the European Union to close all installations that could lead to further pollution.[13]

Examination of river sediments indicates that pollution incidents from mines have occurred for over a century.[14]

Geography

Drainage basin

The Tisza River is part of the Danube River catchment area. It is the tributary with the largest catchment area (~157,000 km2). It accounts for more than 19% of the Danube river basin. The Tisza water system is shared by five countries: Ukraine (8%), Slovakia (10%), Hungary (29%), Romania (46%) and Serbia (7%).

The Tisza River Basin area and average discharge (period from 1946–2006) by country[15]

Country Area by country Discharge by country
(km2) (%) (m3/s) (km3) (%)
Hungary Hungary 46,213 29.4 47 1.5 5.7
Romania Romania 72,620 46.2 468 14.8 56.4
Serbia Serbia 10,374 6.6 4.0 0.1 0.5
Slovakia Slovakia 15,247 9.7 90 2.8 10.8
Ukraine Ukraine 12,732 8.1 221 7.0 26.6
Tisza River Basin 157,186 100.0 830 26.2 100.0

The 1800–2500 m high ridge of the Carpathian Mountains create in a semi circle the northern, eastern and southeastern boundary of the Tisza catchment. The western - southwestern reach of the watershed is comparatively low in some places – on its Hungarian and Serbian parts it is almost flat. The area is divided roughly along the centreline by the Carpathians Mountains, east of which lies the 400–600 m high plateau of the Transylvanian Basin, and the plains to the west. The highest summits of the river basin reach 1948 m in the Low Tatras (Kráľova hoľa), 2061 m in the Chornogora Mountains (Hoverla), 2303 m in the Rodna Mountains (Pietrosul Rodnei) and even higher in the Retezat Mountains of the Southern Carpathians (Peleaga, 2509 m). Areas above elevations higher than 1600 m occupy only 1% of the total; 46% of the territory lies below 200 m. The Tisza River Basin in the Slovak Republic is predominantly hilly area and the highest mountain peak in Kráľova hoľa - in the Low Tatras Mountain Range at 1948 m. The lowland area lies in the south, forming the northern edge of the Hungarian Lowland. The lowest point in the Slovak Republic is the village of Streda nad Bodrogom in the eastern Slovak lowland (96 m) in the Bodrog River Basin. The Hungarian and Vojvodina (Serbia) part of the Tisza River Basin is a flat area bordered by small ranges of hills and mountains from the north and dominated by the Hungarian lowland.[15]

Important hydrographic stations along the Tisza River (full list)[16][17][3]

Station River

kilometer

(rkm)

Altitude

(m)

Basin size

(km2)

Average discharge

(m3/s)*

Left Right
Lower Tisza
Near mouth 0 70 154,073.1 920.11
Titel 8.7 70 153,965 920.28
Novi Bečej 66 70 144,007.8 893.72
Bečej 73 71 143,994.6 892.81
Bačko Petrovo Selo 87 72 143,585 891,29
Mol 103 72 142,373.4 889.98
Ada 104 72 142,373.4 889.98
Senta 123.5 73 140,849.9 886.98
Adorjan 137 73 140,746 886.73
Novi Kneževac 144.5 73 139,717.5 885.36
Kanjiža 148.3 73 139,376.8 886.5
Srpski Krstur 156.8 73 138,857.7 888.69
Szeged 172 74 138,857.7 890.45
Middle Tisza
Maros 176 75 108,436.1 703.43
Algyő 192 76 107,941 703.85
Mindszent 217.7 77 105,881.5 703.33
Körös 244 78 102,643.7 698.78
Csongrád 246.2 78 75,520.5 583.04
Tiszaug 267.5 79 75,517 583.58
Tiszakécske 274 79 75,056.1 583.42
Martfű 306.9 80 74,462.2 582.64
Vezseny 314 80 73,895.9 581.43
Tiszavárkony 322 80 73,895.9 581.33
Szolnok 334.6 81 72,889.4 578.92
Zagyva 336 81 67,325 562.04
Szajol 344 81 66,713.4 560.39
Nagykörű 363.7 82 66,581.2 559.85
Tiszabő 366 82 66,464.6 559.58
Kőtelek 373.8 82 66,315.7 559.42
Tiszaroff 379.3 83 66,315.7 559.42
Tiszasüly 384 83 66,315.7 559.42
Tiszabura 395.6 83 65,840.4 558.14
Kisköre 403.5 83 65,624.9 557.58
Tiszafüred 430.5 88 63,967.2 553.34
Tiszabábolna 442 88 63,346 551.54
Tiszadorogma 446.2 88 63,346 551.14
Tiszacsege 453.9 89 63,164.8 550.87
Ároktő 454.9 89 63,164.8 550.87
Tiszakeszi 464.3 89 63,164.8 550.66
Tiszapalkonya 484.7 90 62,557.7 549.31
Tiszaújváros 486 90 62,557.7 549.11
Polgár 487.3 90 62,557.7 549.11
Sajó 492 90 49,688.1 470.49
Tiszadob 500.2 91 49,600.6 470.25
Tiszadada 508.4 91 49,600.6 470.06
Tiszalök 518.2 93 49,443 469.85
Tokaj 543.1 94 49,167.1 468.86
Bodrog 544 94 34,856.5 353.75
Timár 549.4 95 34,810.3 353.66
Szabolcs 555 95 34,810.3 352.7
Balsa 557.7 96 34,810.3 353.31
Tiszabercel 569 97 34,713.3 352.7
Cigánd 592 98 32,964.1 346.06
Dombrád 593.1 98 32,964.1 346.06
Tiszakanyár 597.3 98 32,964.1 346.06
Záhony 627.8 100 31,304.7 340.39
Chop 630 100 31,304.7 340.39
Vásárosnamény 682 103 30,978.9 340.62
Upper Tisza
Szamos 686 104 11,870.1 202.13
Jánd 690 105 11,870.1 201.96
Kisar Tivadar 704 107 11,689.7 201.51
Tiszabecs 744.3 114 9,950 185.86
Vylok 746 115 9,588.3 180.91
Vynohradiv 767 137 9,366 180.91
Khust 783 157 7,877.8 153.54
Bushtyno 802 188 6,802 130.66
Tiachiv 814 210 6,657.9 126.81
Teresva 820 225 5,205.7 101.04
Siçhetu Marmației 837 265 3,451 75.73
Dilove 885 346 1,294.4 26.65
Rakhiv 897 437 1,256.3 22.13

*Period: 1971–2000

Discharge

Average, minimum and maximum discharge of the Tisza River at Tiszabecs (Upper Tisza), Szolnok (Middle Tisza) and Senta (Lower Tisza).[18][16][17][19][20]

Year Discharge (m3/s)
Senta Szolnok Tiszabecs
Min Mean Max Min Mean Max Min Mean Max
1991 118 368 1,550
1992 132 689 2,415 58.7 424 1,460
1993 90 537 1,860 61.6 363 1,510
1994 90 662 1,743 66.9 462 1,500
1995 251 800 1,768 101 557 1,450 286
1996 188 769 2,174 440 173
1997 306 884 1,952 509 204
1998 360 1,125 2,308 625 288
1999 326 1,170 2,820 136 704 2,360 60.4 255 1,510
2000 242 929 3,400 93 563 2,600 26.7 187 2,050
2001 272 949 2,150 184 649 1,990 41.8 262 3,190
2002 284 817 1,760 98.3 517 1,440 44.5 237 1,390
2003 160 580 1,420 317 109.2
2004 213 867 2,570 525 232.7
2005 373 1,100 2,580 639 190.5
2006 312 1,230 3,720 136 740 2,440 47.3 232 1,980
2007 193 757 1,820 469 215
2008 265 825 2,070 527 258
2009 180 649 1,740 400 172
2010 541 1,420 2,830 1,083 272
2011 151 736 2,490 79.5 454 1,710 142
2012 120 443 1,310 86 207 820 135
2013 135 742 2,450 523 176
2014 222 497 918 91.2 298 760 45.7 111.7 415
2015 137 532 1,350 63.5 317 1,130 27.5 141 1,610
2016 210 708 1,880 87 439 1,500 32.6 160.8 1,160
2017 187 624 1,630 416 190.8
2018 200 698 2,060 121 414 1,096 156.7
2019 168 581 1,860 90.6 370 853 165.1
2020 200 582 1,890 120 405 744 174
2021 200 777 1,890 512 187.8
2022 125 597 1,610 65.6 403.5 1,263 192
2023 216.8
2024

Tributaries

The rivers of Tisza and Bodrog at Tokaj, from above
The Tisza joins the Danube.

The following rivers are tributaries to the river Tisza:

The main tributaries of the Tisza River:[21][22]

Left Right Length (km) Basin size (km2) Average discharge (m3/s)
Lower Tisza
Bega 254.8 6,249.6 19.01
Jegrička 65.4 616 1.62
Čik (Csík) 629.7 1.39
Budzak 146.2 0.31
Zlatica (Aranca) 117 1,430.2 2.03
Kiriš (Keres-patak) 862.3 1.84
Köröséri főcsatorna 77.3 804.8 0.29
Gyálaréti Holt-Tisza 18.6 481.8 0.93
Szegedi csatorna 17.8 79 0.12
Maros 754.1 30,331.8 190.3
Middle Tisza
Kósdi-csatorna 37 416.4
Algyői főcsatorna 42.6 1,370.8 2.79
Percsorai főcsatorna 16.2 92.1 0.1
Kurca 36.9 1,266.3 2.7
Dong-ér 84.4 1,672.2 2.97
Vidre-ér 22 246.7 0.28
Körös 363.4 27,537.4 115.86
Alpár–Nyárlőrinci csatorna 41 271.3 0.2
Peitsik-ér 9.5 199 0.15
Körös-ér 56.4 564.5 1.07
Gerje–Perje főcsatorna 60.5 903.9 2.17
Zagyva 179.4 5,676.6 16.85
Görbe-ér 358.5 1.11
Millér-ér 60.4 505.9 1.84
Dobai főcsatorna 18.2 139.7 0.21
Saj-foki főcsatorna 1.1
Hanyi-ér 22 331.5 0.97
Laskó 69.2 367.5 1.11
Tiszafüredi főcsatorna 0.12
Eger (Rima) 87.4 1,378.6 3.24
Tiszavalki főcsatorna 20.4 299 0.53
Sulymos főcsatorna 17.3 105.4 0.39
Rigós 39.3 148.3 0.48
Hejő 44 293.3 0.66
Sajó 229.4 12,708.3 78.62
Bodrog 266.9 13,578.9 119.62
Upper Tisza
Lónyai főcsatorna 91.4 1,957.8 4.4
Tiszakarádi főcsatorna 38.9 324.8 0.5
Belfő csatorna 53 636 1.58
Szipa csatorna 37.6 225.2 0.49
Kraszna 193.4 3,142.3 8.22
Szamos 415.1 15,881.4 135.37
Túr főcsatorna 65.2 614.9
Túr 94.6 1,261.8 14.03
Borzhava (Borsa) 103.5 1,417.9 18.78
Batar (Batár-patak) 53.8 395.6 3.87
Rika (Nagyág) 92.8 1,161.4 20.19
Khustets (Husztica) 1.52
Bailova 134.8 2.04
Tereblia (Talabor) 91 769.5 13.47
Martos 13 23.6 0.27
Tyachivets (Técső-patak) 29 86.5 1.46
Teresva (Tarac) 84.8 1,224 22.74
Săpănța 127.4 1.54
Apsica (Apsa-patak) 39 257 4.17
Isa (Iza) 77.6 1,293.5 18.74
Shopurka (Gyertyános) 41.4 286 5.31
Kosivska (Kaszó) 41 157.3 2.96
Vișeu (Visó) 77.5 1,581.8 39.08
Bilij (Fejér-patak) 12 45.5 0.87
Silskij 0.72
Moskva 1.5 0.22
White Tisza 33.6 484.7 10.17
Black Tisza 50.3 566.2 11.48

Cities and towns

The Tisza (Tisa) flows through the following countries and cities (ordered from the source to mouth):

See also

References

  1. ^ Tisza at GEOnet Names Server
  2. ^ a b c Tockner, Klement; Uehlinger, Urs; Robinson, Christopher T., eds. (2009). Rivers of Europe (First ed.). London: Academic Press. Sec. 3.9.5. ISBN 978-0-12-369449-2.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Danube River".
  4. ^ a b Vízgyűjtő-gazdálkodási Terv-2021 (PDF). 2022.
  5. ^ "Analysis of the Tisza River Basin 2007- Initial step toward the Tisza River Basin Management Plan – 2009" (PDF). www.icpdr.or. March 2008. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
  6. ^ Ildiko Ecsedy, "The Oriental Background to the Hungarian Tradition about 'Attila's Tomb'", Acta Orientalia, 36 (1982), pp. 129-153
  7. ^ "Danube + Tisza River". danube.panda.org. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
  8. ^ "Declaration On Co-Operation Concerning The Tisza/Tisa River Basin And Initiative On The Sustainable Spatial Development Of The Tisza/Tisa River | International Environmental Agreements (IEA) Database Project". iea.uoregon.edu. Retrieved 2019-02-03.
  9. ^ NoorderSoft Waterway Database; accessed 13 March 2016.
  10. ^ Konyvek, Szalay (2009). Our Beloved Hungaricums. Pannon-Literatura Kft. p. 94. ISBN 978-963-251-145 0.
  11. ^ Klaushik. "Blooming of the Tisza". amusingplanet.com. Retrieved 25 November 2019.
  12. ^ Đorđe Đukić (8 September 2020). "Otkriveni organizmi stari 500 miliona godina" [Organisms originating rom 500 million years ago discovered]. Politika (in Serbian). p. 12.
  13. ^ a b "Third pollution spill hits Hungary". BBC. 15 March 2000. Retrieved 11 October 2010.
  14. ^ H. L. Nguyen; M. Braun; I. Szaloki; W. Baeyens; R. Van Grieken; M. Leermakers (2009). "Tracing the Metal Pollution History of the Tisza River". Water, Air, and Soil Pollution. 200: 119–132. doi:10.1007/s11270-008-9898-2. S2CID 94627373.
  15. ^ a b "Tisza River Basin 2007".
  16. ^ a b "Republički hidrometeorološki zavod".
  17. ^ a b "Vízügyi honlap".
  18. ^ "ICPDR".
  19. ^ "Vízgazdálkodási Évkönyvek-Közép-Tisza-vidéki Vízügyi Igazgatóság".
  20. ^ "KSH".
  21. ^ "Danube".
  22. ^ "Magyarország vízgyűjtő-gazdálkodási honlapja".