Elz (Rhine)

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Course of the Elz

Course of the Elz

Water code EN : 2338
location Black Forest

Upper Rhine lowlands


River system Rhine
Drain over Rhine  → North Sea
source at Furtwangen
48 ° 6 ′ 7 ″  N , 8 ° 9 ′ 47 ″  E
Source height 1038  m above sea level NHN
muzzle as Alte Elz near Kehl -Kronenhof in the Rhine Coordinates: 48 ° 33 '27 "  N , 7 ° 48' 26"  E 48 ° 33 '27 "  N , 7 ° 48' 26"  E
Mouth height 137  m above sea level NHN
Height difference 901 m
Bottom slope 7.4 ‰
length 121.1 km  via Alte Elz
Catchment area 1539 km²
Discharge at the Riegel gauge (Add.)
A Eo : 1102 km²
Location: 12.3 km above the mouth
NNQ (08/25/2003)
MNQ 1980 * 2009
MQ 1980 * 2009
Mq 1980 * 2009
MHQ 1980 * 2009
HHQ (12/22/1991)
925 l / s
3.35 m³ / s
21.7 m³ / s
19.7 l / (s km²)
179 m³ / s
360 m³ / s
Left tributaries Wilde Gutach, Glotter / Lossele, Dreisam, Eichstetter Mühlbach
Right tributaries Biederbach, Brettenbach, Bleiche, Ettenbach , Kaputzinerbach
Medium-sized cities Waldkirch , Emmendingen
Small towns Elzach , Kenzingen
Communities Winden im Elztal , Gutach im Breisgau , Teningen , Riegel am Kaiserstuhl
View southeast over the middle Elz Valley and Waldkirch to Hörnleberg, Obereck and Kandel (right)

View southeast over the middle Elz Valley and Waldkirch to Hörnleberg , Obereck and Kandel (right)

The Elz is an approximately 121 km long, right-hand tributary of the Rhine in the Black Forest and in the Upper Rhine Plain , Baden-Württemberg .


There are several explanations for the origin of the name in the literature. According to Berger (1999), the name of the Elz is pre-Germanic and derives from the Indo-European * el - / * ol- (= drift, move, flow) or the river name “Alantia” . This derivation also applies to the two other rivers “Elz” that flow into the Moselle and Neckar. Kleiber (1997: 244), on the other hand, writes, "the name Elz ... is derived from the Celtic old or * Altia 'the high, ie that comes from the high'".

According to Berger (1999) the names "Helzaha fluvium" (763), "Elzach" (1234) and "Elza" (1335) are documented.



The Elz springs north of Furtwangen in the area of Brend and the tube Hardenbergs (between the Furtwänglehof and the Kolmenhof) close to as hydrographic Donauquelle applicable Breg source.

In the upper reaches the Elz flows in a northerly direction, first through a high valley with meadows, moors and forms shaped by Ice Age glaciers, then, after a steep step with the small Elz falls , through a deeply indented, hardly populated forest valley. In Oberprechtal, it bends sharply to the southwest. This is where the middle, actual Elz Valley begins, which leads straight to the southwest and separates the 700 to 900 meters sloping Black Forest in the southeast from much lower parts of the Middle Black Forest . In the now densely populated valley, the town of Elzach is followed by the towns of Winden and Gutach im Breisgau , where the Elz flows into the Wilde Gutach, which is almost half the size. Below the town of Waldkirch , the Elz flows into the Freiburg Bay of the Upper Rhine Plain near Denzlingen . From then on, it flows in a north-westerly direction, passing Emmendingen and Teningen . Part of the water from the Elz is directed from the Kollmarsreuter Weir over a Mühlbach through Emmendingen, where it powers several hydropower plants and enhances the cityscape. In Riegel am Kaiserstuhl the Elz hit that from Freiburg coming Dreisam and the Old Dreisam each other.

Soon afterwards the Elz forks again: A certain amount of water (up to 8.5 m³ / s) flows over the Alte Elz past Hecklingen through Kenzingen and then through the Europapark Rust to the later confluence with the Rhine. Water volumes in excess of this, on average around 13.2 m³ / s, are directed further up the river via the Leopold Canal, which was artificially created under the direction of Johann Gottfried Tulla , northwest of Rheinhausen into the Rhine. The Alte Elz used to flow into the Rhine near Schwanau . Today it is routed over various old Rhine channels parallel to the Rhine to the southern outskirts of Kehl and thus reaches a length of 121 kilometers on its longest flow path; it used to be a good 90 kilometers.


The table lists all tributaries that are longer than 5 kilometers, with the exception of the mill canals that accompany the river. According to the river code number, the Frischnaubach is the uppermost tributary that flows into the Elz in the Prechtal district , the Ettenbach is the lowest tributary and flows into the Elz just before Kappel . All tributaries have their catchment area in the district of Emmendingen , except for the Ettenbach, which is located in the district of Ortenau .

There are two special cases in the table: Although the Alte Dreisam flows into the Elz together with the Dreisam, it is officially listed as a tributary of the Dreisam and thus as a 2nd order tributary of the Elz - against the background of the former common course. The Leopold Canal is listed as a branching body of water, as it takes up around two thirds of the water flow on average, leaving only around one third to the Alte Elz . Both special cases are highlighted in darker gray .

Tributaries of the Elz
(values ​​apply to the respective confluence point)
in m
GKZ Surname from MQ
in m³ / s
in m³ / s
in km
in km²
in m above sea level NN ;
98,912 2338-12 Frischnaubach re. 0.26 Elz 1.58 05.7 011.6 Elzach -Eilet 477.8
95,745 2338-194 Yachbach left 0.55 Elz 2.00 07.8 019.5 Elzach, sewage treatment plant 343, 0
95,434 2338-2 Biederbach re. 0.72 Elz 2.55 010.3 031.8 Elzach, end of town 340, 0
91.997 2338-32 Spitzbach re. 0.23 Elz 3.52 06.4 011.0 Winden in the Elztal - Niederwinden 317, 0
87,349 2338-392 Siegelbach re. 0.28 Elz 3.97 06.4 013.4 Gutach im Breisgau tunnel 289.0
86,934 2338-4 Wild Gutach left 4.40 Elz 4.25 025.2 0129.9 Gutach im Breisgau 287, 0
85.966 2338-512 Talbach left Elz 9.03 06.2 009.1 Gutach im Breisgau 281, 0
83,477 2338-53126 Altersbach left Elz 06.6 006.7 Waldkirch 266, 0
80,463 2338-532 Dettenbach left 0.18 Elz 9.18 06.2 009.8 Waldkirch, end of town 247, 0
77,985 2338-54 Lossele left 1.26 Elz 9.43 020.1 049.8 Denzlingen 236.8 right and main lower reaches of the glotters
70,420 2338-6 Brettenbach re. 1.29 Elz 10.69 024.2 071.2 Emmendingen 192, 0
63,341 2338-8 Dreisam (without
Alte Dreisam)
left 8.56 Elz 12.18 048.8 449.66 Riegel at the Kaiserstuhl 178,1
63.318th 2338-894 Old Dreisam left 2.30 Dreisam
23.04 038.2 197.15 Riegel at the Kaiserstuhl 178, 0
62,817 2338-9112 Wihlbach left 0.06 Elz 23.04 05.0 004.9 Riegel at the Kaiserstuhl 177, 9
62,696 2337-920 Leopold Canal junction
left 14.6 Elz 23.1 12.2 Riegel at the Kaiserstuhl 177,8th
60,077 2338-912 Malterdinger Dorfbach re. 0.14 Old Elz 7.64 06.6 015.8 Kenzingen- Hecklingen 177, 5
57,108 2338-914 Little Elz re. 0.08 Old Elz 7.78 06.6 008.5 Kenzingen 176, 0
50.119 2338-92 Bleichbach re. 0.80 Old Elz 7.89 018.4 060.8 Herbolzheim , Mühlehof 170, 0
47.273 2338-932 Grundelbach re. 0.05 Old Elz 8.71 05.6 006.8 Rust 165, 0
42,231 2338-94 Ettenbach re. 0.66 Old Elz 8.80 018.4 059.9 Kappel-Grafenhausen - Kappel 161, 0
38,466 2338-954 Dew pouring left Old Elz 08.9 008.7 Kappel, sewage treatment plant 157, 7 left diversion of the Alte Elz near Rust
38.038 2338-96 Kapuzinerbach re. 0.21 Old Elz 9.46 014.3 024.4 Kappel, sewage treatment plant 157, 3
36,831 2338-98 Continuous old retraction left Old Elz 9.67 043.2 0134.2 Schwanau- Wittenweier 156, 6 right arm of the Rhine
24,316 2338-992 Ottenheimer Mühlbach re. Rk / Mb 09.7 013.8 Schwanau- Ottenheim 150, 0 right diversion at Schwanau-Wittenweier
  1. Stationing, the distance from the mouth of the river up to this tributary. The Alte Dreisam is stationed accordingly at the Dreisam.
  2. Water code number , in Germany the official river code number . After the prefix common to all, namely the river code number of the Elz itself, a separator has always been inserted for better readability.
  3. Mean outflow of the inflow at the mouth; Information from: Abfluss-BW - regionalized discharge parameters Baden-Württemberg of the State Institute for the Environment, Measurements and Nature Conservation Baden-Württemberg (LUBW)
  4. ↑ Name of the section of the Elz at its mouth (Rk / Mb = Raukehle / Mühlbach)
  5. Mean natural discharge of the Elz at its mouth (Alte Elz: mean controlled discharge); Information from: Abfluss-BW - regionalized discharge parameters Baden-Württemberg of the State Institute for the Environment, Measurements and Nature Conservation Baden-Württemberg (LUBW)


Frequently occurring fish species in the Elz are:

European eel

Individual evidence


Official online waterway map with a suitable section and the layers used here: Course and catchment area of ​​the Elz
General introduction without default settings and layers: State Institute for the Environment Baden-Württemberg (LUBW) ( notes )

  1. a b Length according to the waterway network layer ( AWGN ) .
  2. ↑ Catchment area after the layer aggregated areas 04 .
  3. Length according to the water network layer ( AWGN ) of the LUBW's online map server. The length can include upper reaches of different names and also name upper reaches in favor of hydrologically dominant tributaries to the name course.
  4. ↑ Catchment area according to the basic catchment area (AWGN) layer of the LUBW's online map server, partly summed up from sub-catchment areas, sometimes also measured. The last case was documented in the Comments column.
  5. Height according to the contour line image or according to labels on the background layer topographic map .
  6. a b c Catchment area measured on the background layer topographic map .
  7. The Altersbach flows into a nearby, roughly parallel commercial canal. Stationing roughly traced over to the Elz, corresponding to the height of the mouth.
Other evidence
  1. Heinz Fischer: Geographical Land Survey: The natural spatial units on sheet 169 Rastatt. Federal Institute for Regional Studies, Bad Godesberg 1967. →  Online map (PDF; 4.4 MB)
  2. ^ Heinz Fischer, Hans-Jürgen Klink: Geographical land survey: The natural space units on sheet 177 Offenburg. Federal Institute for Regional Studies, Bad Godesberg 1967. →  Online map (PDF; 4.0 MB)
  3. Günther Reichelt : Geographical land survey: The natural spatial units on sheet 185 Freiburg i. Br. Federal Institute for Regional Studies, Bad Godesberg 1964. →  Online map (PDF; 3.7 MB)
  4. ^ German Hydrological Yearbook Rhine Region, Part I 2009 State Institute for Environment, Measurements and Nature Conservation Baden-Württemberg, p. 81, accessed on January 22, 2016 (PDF, German, 1.85 MB).
  5. Berger, Dieter (1999): Geographical Names in Germany. Duden paperbacks, vol. 25.
  6. Kleiber, Wolfgang (1997): “The newly discovered Roman road connection between Baar (Hüfingen) and Breisgau (Zarten) in terms of onomatology.” In: Italica et Romanica. Festschrift for Max Pfister on his 65th birthday. Eds. Günter Holtus et al. Vol. 3 Tübingen: 239-252.
  7. Figure IG-Elz


  • Topographic map 1: 25,000 Baden-Württemberg, as a single sheet No. 7412 Kehl, No. 7512 Neuried, No. 7513 Offenburg, No. 7711 Weisweil, No. 7712 Ettenheim, No. 7713 Schuttertal, No. 7714 Haslach, No. 7715 Hornberg , No. 7811 Wyhl, No. 7812 Kenzingen, No. 7813 Emmendingen, No. 7814 Elzach, No. 7815 Triberg im Schwarzwald, No. 7911 Breisach am Rhein, No. 7912 Freiburg im Breisgau Northwest, No. 7913 Freiburg im Breisgau Northeast , No. 7914 St. Peter, No. 7915 Furtwangen, No. 8011 Hartheim, No. 8012 Freiburg im Breisgau Südwest, No. 8013 Freiburg im Breisgau Southeast, No. 8014 Hinterzarten, No. 8015 Titisee Neustadt, No. 8113 Todtnau, No. 8114 Feldberg (Black Forest)

Web links

Commons : Elz  - collection of images, videos and audio files