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Scheldt / Escaut
Scheldt Relief (de) .png
Water code FRE1000600 , FRE1280600 , FRE --- 004-
location France , Belgium , the Netherlands
River system Scheldt
source near Gouy
49 ° 59 ′ 11 "  N , 3 ° 15 ′ 59"  E
Source height 97  m
muzzle North Sea (estuary of the Scheldt: Westerschelde ) Coordinates: 51 ° 25 ′ 22 "  N , 3 ° 32 ′ 42"  E 51 ° 25 ′ 22 "  N , 3 ° 32 ′ 42"  E
Mouth height m
Height difference 97 m
Bottom slope 0.27 ‰
length 360 km
Catchment area 21,863 km²
Discharge at the Schaar van Ouden Doel gauge NNQ (Aug 1973)
MQ 1958–1990
HHQ (Dec 1966)
18 m³ / s
127 m³ / s
719 m³ / s
Big cities Antwerp , Ghent
Medium-sized cities Cambrai , Tournai , Valenciennes
Residents in the catchment area about 11 million
Ports Antwerp , Vlissingen , Terneuzen , Gent
Navigable Yes

The Scheldt (fr. Escaut , lat. Scaldis ) is a river in France , Belgium and the Netherlands .

Course, characteristics and mouth

Scheldt between Bruille-St-Amand and Hergnies north of Valenciennes

The Scheldt rises in Gouy in northern France 16 km north of Saint-Quentin and after 104 km crosses the border to Belgium . After a further 26.5 km it reaches Flanders . For West Flanders , it only forms the southeast border and then flows through East Flanders and the province of Antwerp . The city of Antwerp in the estuary has a large deep water port , i. H. it can also be used by very large container ships. From 2009 to 2014 it was roughly level with the port of Hamburg and was the second largest container port in Europe (based on the container TEU handled ).

The border between the inland water and the estuary (estuary, an inner coastal water ), the 56 km long Westerschelde , is usually the Belgian-Dutch border. Because of the low gradient of the river, the tidal influence extends 100 km further upstream.

At the beginning of the Westerschelde estuary, the Scheldt has an average discharge of 127 m³ / s. The up to five kilometers wide estuary (Westerschelde) is considered a habitat of exceptional ecological wealth.

The estuary in the Dutch province of Zeeland has a complicated history: until 8,000 years ago, the lower reaches of what is now the Gent-Terneuzen Canal . Silting up then shifted the estuary far east. About 5000 years ago a sea inrush tapped that eastern course and the Oosterschelde was formed . In the 10th century AD, a new sea invasion widened the hitherto insignificant marsh waters of Honte inland until it reached the Scheldt and became the Westerschelde. Until the 17th century the double estuary consisted of the Westerschelde and the Oosterschelde. Since the latter also received a tributary from the Meuse until the 20th century , the estuaries of the Scheldt, Meuse and Rhine are also considered together as the Rhine-Maas-Scheldt Delta , although the Scheldt does not belong to the Rhine river system . However, the Oosterschelde silted up near the fork in the Westerschelde in the 17th and 18th centuries. In the 20th century, the Oosterschelde was also cut off from the Maas inflow as part of the delta plan and is now a sea ​​bay that has been protected from storm surges by the Oosterschelde barrage since 1986 .


Cultural and historical aspects

In ancient times the river was called Scaldis . Presumably it also corresponds to the river Tabuda or Tabula mentioned by Ptolemy .

The Scheldt has played an important role in the economic and political development of Flanders , Brabant and Hainaut since the Middle Ages . For a long time it was the border between the Kingdom of France and the Holy Roman Empire . Funnel mouths were easy to defend against attackers from the sea since the artillery could shoot far and with some precision. It was also useful that ports in funnel mouths offer ships better protection from storms than ports directly on the coast, the same framework that makes cities such as Hamburg ( Elbe ), Emden ( Ems ) and London ( Thames ) important ports .

Vauban used the Scheldt to defend the fortresses of Valenciennes , Bouchain , Condé-sur-l'Escaut and Cambrai . Since the Spanish conquest of Antwerp in 1585 , the Scheldt was blocked by the Dutch fleet until the 19th century.

From May 10, 1940, Wehrmacht troops occupied the Benelux countries (and northern France in June during the western campaign ). In August 1944, Allied troops advanced rapidly; the port of Antwerp was occupied by the British 2nd Army at the beginning of September . Since Antwerp is located in the hinterland of the Scheldt estuary, about 80 kilometers from the coast, it was only possible to use it if it was possible to eliminate the strong German artillery positions on the offshore Walcheren peninsula . This happened in the long and bloody battle of the Scheldt estuary .


The Scheldt is navigable by ships almost on its entire course, in the upper reaches it is developed as Canal de Saint-Quentin , which it supplies with water, from Cambrai as an independent canalised river. The confluence of the large shipping route Dunkirk-Schelde (French: Liaison à grand gabarit Dunkerque-Escaut ) has made it an important shipping route in northern France and Belgium.

Tributaries of the Scheldt

- Waters of less than 25 km in particular are included if they are to be regarded as part of a longer watercourse.

The Scheldt, its tributaries and tributaries from 25 km in length (order upstream)
  • If in a line the indication of the confluence side (“right” / “left”) has been moved under the name box of a line above, the body of water shown in the bottom line flows into the one shown in the above line.
  • If an inflow of a next higher-ranking river is listed in the line under an inflow of a tributary of a tributary, the associated page number is accordingly further ahead under the beginning of the name box of the higher-ranking river.
  • Arrows are pointing downstream and mark the upper parts of a previously mentioned river course,
    • where a body of water entered further above represents the continuation of the body of water or water section shown in the line.
    • where by name or according to hydrographic definition, the above-mentioned body of water arises from a confluence.
Inflow in the direction of flow
seen from
Surname Location of the mouth Water code number :
BE: various
[m³ / s]
Westerschelde (as an estuary ) Vlissingen approx. 56
Scheldt Zandvliet BV10 ← E --- 004-
380, 0 21 863 127, 00
right Rupel from: Niel  012, 0
↑ right Nete Rumst , NW of Mechelen 015th, 0
↑ right Little nete Lier 044, 0
↑ left Grote Nete 044, 0
↑ left Dijle / Dyle Rumst , NW of Mechelen VL05-77, -78 086, 0 025th, 00
Left Zenne / Senne Heffen , NW of Mechelen 103, 0 01 164 005.50
right Zinnet / Senette Tubeke - Klabbeek 035, 0
Left Laan / Lasne Sint-Joris-Weert VL05_84 026th, 0 00,109
right Demer Rotselaar 085, 0
Left Velp This 035, 0
Left Gete / Gette = Gète from: Halen (together with Herk) VB: 4,001 012.7
↑ right Grote Gete = Tiense Gete Zoutleeuw -Budingen VB: 4,002 051, 0
↑ left Little Gete VB: 4,003 036, 0
Left Herk Halen (together with Gete) 043, 0
Left Durme (without the former upper reaches west of Ghent) 3 km above v. Temse 24.6 / 47.1
↑ Moervaart (from the branch off the Gent – ​​Terneuzen canal ) Lokeren 022.5
right Dender Dendermonde BV18 = 0518 065, 0 00.040 010, 00
right Mark / Marcq Lessines - Deux-Acres 05215 028
Left Leie / Lys Ghent BV 51; VL05_48, -49, -50 114.7 00,202 022nd, 00
Left Almond (partially cased) Oeselgem (no longer Deinze ) VL05_50, -51 0039.5
right Deûle / Deûle (over half canalized) Deûlemont E3-021- , E3010770 058.8 01 071 08th, 0
right Marque Marquette-lez-Lille E3340600 031.6 09,215
Left Scarpe Mortagne-du-Nord ,
near south of the F / B border
E2--0110 , E2010600 102, 0 01 322 002.60
right Haine (Flemish Hene ) Condé-sur-l'Escaut E1820402 072, 0 00,179
Left Hogneau = Honniau = Grande Honnelle Thivencelle E1820700 037.6 00,240 001.95
Left  Aunelle Crespin E1820800 027.3
right Écaillon  Prouvy E1760750 033.2 00,173 001.20
right Selle E1720600 045.9 00,252 002.40
right Erclin = Erclain Iwuy E1310600 034.1 00,160
Left Sensée south Bouchain E1560600 047, 0

Cities on the Scheldt

Surname Inhabitants:
F: Municipality 
B: Core city 
F: Aire urbaine
B, NL: municipality
Cambrai 32 897 58 330 41-101
Valenciennes 43 787 367 992 17-56 Northern French-Belgian industrial area
Tournai 35 004 69 751 15-50 Northern French-Belgian industrial area
Oudenaarde 5 338 30 318 10-30
Ghent 249 008 249 008 4-15
Dendermonde 9 207 44 546 2-10
Antwerp 204 742 506 922
( Bergen op Zoom ) 66 283 Oosterschelde
Terneuzen 54 713 Ghent – ​​Terneuzen Canal
Vlissingen 44 980


The story of the romantic opera Lohengrin by Richard Wagner takes place on the banks of the Scheldt . The asteroid (30773) Scheldt is named after the river.

Lode van der Linden (1888–1960) painted numerous Scheldt motifs.

The Doel nuclear power plant is located on the left bank of the Scheldt estuary, 15 km north of Antwerp . Its four large cooling towers and their steam plumes are landmarks that can be seen from afar. The NPP has four pressurized water reactors: two with 433 MW net electrical output each and two with around 1000 MW. The Doel-3 nuclear reactor (construction started in 1975), like the Tihange-2 nuclear reactor, has thousands of cracks in the reactor pressure vessel .

In the early 1930s, a pedestrian tunnel was built under the river bed on the banks of the city of Antwerp. The tunnel was named Sint-Anna tunnel . There is also a tunnel for road traffic, the Waasland tunnel .

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Data from the Rijkswaterstaat
  2. Statistics
  3. Ptol. 2.9.3. Cf. Alfred Stückelberger, Gerd Graßhoff (eds.): Klaudios Ptolemaios. Handbook of Geography. Vol. 1. Schwabe, Basel 2006, p. 209
  5.  ( page no longer available , search in web archives )@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /
  6. a b
  7. GPS track Marcq Mark
  8. Google "leie almond waterlopen number" → Bekkenspecifiek deel Leiebekken - Integraal Waterbeleid
  9. ↑ Length measurement with the measurement function of the Vlaamse Hydrographic Atlas using the positions: VHA-waterloop + VHA-waterloop, names + waterloopsegmenten class waterlichaam + VHA-waterloopsegmenten volgens categorie
  10. a b c d