Smooth (Rhine)

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Underflow just before the mouth

Underflow just before the mouth

Water code CH : 690
location Canton of Zurich , Switzerland
River system Rhine
Drain over Rhine  → North Sea
origin in Greifensee
47 ° 22 ′ 22 ″  N , 8 ° 39 ′ 20 ″  E
Source height approx.  435  m above sea level M.
Spring discharge MNQ
1.38 m³ / s
4.08 m³ / s
muzzle near Rheinsfelden in the Rhine Coordinates: 47 ° 34 ′ 28 "  N , 8 ° 28 ′ 20"  E ; CH1903:  677 768  /  269 804 47 ° 34 '28 "  N , 8 ° 28' 20"  O
Mouth height 334  m above sea level M.
Height difference approx. 101 m
Bottom slope approx. 2.8 ‰
length 36 km, with Kemptnerbach 62 km
Catchment area 417 km²
Discharge at the Rheinsfelden
A Eo gauge : 417 km²
Location: 380 m above the mouth
NNQ (2015)
MNQ 1976–2016
MQ 1976–2016
Mq 1976–2016
MHQ 1976–2016
HHQ (1999)
2.36 m³ / s
5.47 m³ / s
8.29 m³ / s
19.9 l / (s km²)
11.4 m³ / s
154 m³ / s
Left tributaries Breitibach , Sagentobelbach , Leutschenbach , Fischbach
Right tributaries Chimlibach , Chriesbach , Himmelbach , Furtbach
Big cities Zurich
Medium-sized cities Opfikon , Dübendorf , Bülach
Small towns Wallisellen
Communities Rümlang , Glattfelden , Schwerzenbach , Fällanden , Oberglatt , Niederglatt , Höri , Hochfelden
Navigable No
Glatt (Rhine) (Switzerland)
Source and mouth of the Glatt

The Glatt is a 38.5-kilometer-long river in the canton of Zurich that drains the Greifensee to the Rhine .


see also: Glatttal

The Glatt begins at Greifensee and flows into the Rhine at Rheinsfelden . These are the lower 38.5 kilometers of a total of around 67 kilometers of river that begins with the Kemptnerbach (in the dialect Chämtnerbach ) flowing into the Pfäffikersee . The course of the river between Pfäffikersee and Greifensee bears the name Ustermer Aa .

The Glatt flows from the Greifensee at an altitude of 436  m above sea level. M. It initially forms the border between the municipalities of Schwerzenbach and Fällanden and then flows through the center of Dübendorf . It leaves the Dübendorfer area in Neugut ( 430  m ). Here the Chriesbach from the municipality of Wangen-Brüttisellen is fed to it.

The Glatt now leaves the Uster district and forms the border between Wallisellen and Zurich-Schwamendingen . It crosses the Glattpark ( 425  m ) in the municipality of Opfikon and takes in the Zurich Leutschenbach here . The Leutschenbach is fed by Katzenbach and Katzensee and thus drains the Zurich quarters of Oerlikon , Seebach and Affoltern . The Glatt flows west of the village center of Opfikon and leaves the Opfik municipality near Glattbrugg ( 422  m ).

Then the Glattkanal follows the western boundary of the Zurich-Kloten airport ; It initially follows the municipal boundary between Kloten and Rümlang , then flows through the Rümlang municipality and finally reaches Oberglatt . Below the airport grounds, the Glatt flows into the Altbach , which flows out of the communities of Kloten, Bassersdorf and Nürensdorf .

At Oberglatt the Glatt loses its strongly straightened character and reaches Niederglatt ( 418  m ) and Höri ( 409  m ) in a somewhat more natural course and then forms the municipal boundary between Bülach and Hochfelden ( 399  m ). At Höri, the Glatt takes on the Fischbach , which drains the communities of Steinmaur and Neerach . In the municipality of Glattfelden , the Glatt overcomes a considerable gradient (around 60 m for about 5 km) before it finally flows into the Rhine at Rheinsfelden ( 335  m ).

Smooth corrections

The Glatt was straightened and regulated over long stretches. Passing the north-eastern foothills of the city ​​of Zurich , the course of the river is heavily pressed by the expanding agglomeration . In a few short sections, the Glatt has now been renatured again or there are at least corresponding plans, for example in the area of Eawag in Dübendorf and in connection with the planned extension of runway 28 at Zurich Airport .

From Greifensee to Niederglatt, the river has hardly any gradient. The course of the river becomes steeper towards the mouth.

Since 1822, the river near Rheinsfelden has been directed more directly to the Rhine through a 90 meter long tunnel just before its mouth, in order to avoid flooding the place. The estuary had to be relocated again for the construction of the Eglisau-Glattfelden power plant . Since 1916 the river has been led through a 261 meter long tunnel that flows directly into the underwater of the power plant.


Today's landscape in the Glatt Valley was shaped by the Linth glacier in the last ice ages .

The Glatt was already being used economically in the Middle Ages , using the relatively steep gradient in the lower reaches to operate water mills . During the early industrialization , textile factories were built on the Glattufer that operated their machines with turbines. Around 1900 the factories were electrified and electricity was produced with newly built hydropower plants.

In the 19th century the river was corrected practically along its entire length to avoid flooding.


The Glatt , originally regarded as rich in fish, was long considered very heavily polluted by the sewage from the greater Zurich area (Zurich Airport, sewage treatment plants, agriculture). Today, the majority of the water quality is again assessed as good to very good, in certain river sections the only problem is the proportion of dissolved organic carbon (DOC).

The main fish is the alet , while barbel , roach , eel , carp , tench , tailor , gudgeon and occasionally brown trout , perch and pike can also be found. In the summer of 2006, a catfish was caught for the first time at the confluence with the Rhine . Beavers have now also been sighted near Dübendorf , for which a section of the river above Dübendorf was subsequently placed under protection. In 2017, over two dozen beaver areas were found on the Glatt, tributaries and also streams above the Greifensee, some of which also have offspring. Numerous gray herons and - especially near Greifensee - storks settle on the Glatt .


Various places in the Zürcher Unterland were named after the river, such as Glattbrugg , Glattfelden , Oberglatt ZH and Niederglatt ZH . The Glatt shopping center in Wallisellen an der Glatt also bears the name of the river.


More than 90 bridges cross the Glatt between the source and the mouth.

See also: List of bridges over the Glatt


Web links

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

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Geoserver of the Swiss Federal Administration ( information )
  2. Greifensee. (PDF; 131 kB) In: Canton of Zurich. Office for Water, Energy and Air, Department of Water Protection, accessed on February 25, 2013 .
  3. Topographical catchment areas of Swiss waters: area outlets. Retrieved May 30, 2019 .
  4. Rheinsfelden measuring station 1976–2016 (PDF) Federal Office for the Environment FOEN
  5. ^ A b c Charles Knapp, Maurice Borel, Victor Attinger, Heinrich Brunner, Société neuchâteloise de geographie (editor): Geographical Lexicon of Switzerland . Volume 2: Emmenholz - Kraialppass . Verlag Gebrüder Attinger, Neuenburg 1904, pp. 343 - 346, keyword Glatt   ( scan of the lexicon page ).
  6. 85 years of electricity from Rheinsfelden. (No longer available online.) In: April 2005, archived from the original on March 4, 2016 ; Retrieved May 18, 2012 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  7. Archive link ( Memento of the original from June 22, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  8. Dorothee Vögeli: Beavers don't like bottles . In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung . November 29, 2017, p. 18 .