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Murghab River

murghab river, murghab river map
The Murghāb River Persian/Pashto: مرغاب, also called Margos, Margu and Margiana River Old Greek: Μαργιανή, and also transliterated as Murgab from Russian Мургаб and Murgap from Turkmen, is an 850-kilometre 530 mi long river in Central Asia It rises in central-western Afghanistan and runs north-west towards the Murghab District, which takes its name from the river, and then the Kara Kum desert in Turkmenistan, where it peters out


  • 1 Geography
  • 2 Catchment area
  • 3 Hydrometry - the flows at Takhta-Bazaar
  • 4 References
  • 5 External links


The Murghab originates in central-western Afghanistan, on a plateau situated among the chain of mountains of Paropamisus, Gharjistan and Band-i Turkestan In its higher course, oriented from east to west, and to the locality of Mukhamedkhan—ie over a length of 300 kilometres 190 mi—the valley of Murghab is narrow, measuring less than one kilometer in width, with steep slopes There are narrow gorges in some places Between Darband-i Kilrekht and Mukhammedkhan, the Murghab crosses the western part of Band-i Turkestan It then runs toward the northwest in a deep canyon In Mukhammedkhan, it crosses the gorges of Jaokar After this, the valley widens somewhat gradually, reaching a width of 2 kilometres 12 mi in Turkmenistan Beyond Mukhamedkhan, a small portion of the water of the Murghab is used for irrigation; approximately 10,000 hectares 25,000 acres are irrigated from the Murghab in Afghanistan The Murghab receives the waters of the Kaysar river on the right, then forms the border between Turkmenistan and Afghanistan over a 16-kilometre 10 mi length In the territory of Turkmenistan, close to Takhta-Bazaar, the Murghab receives the Kachan river from the left bank, and 25 kilometres 16 mi further, there is the confluence of the Kushk Reaching the oasis of Merv, the Murghab mingles its waters with those of the Karakum Canal, a diversion of water from the Amu-Darya

Catchment areaedit

The catchment area of the Murghab is estimated at 46,880 square kilometres 18,100 sq mi1

Hydrometry - the flows at Takhta-Bazaaredit

The flow of Murghab was observed during 50 years 1936–85 at Takhta-Bazaar, a location in Turkmenistan about 30 kilometres 19 mi after the Murghab leaves the Afghan territory, and a score of kilometers upstream of the confluence with the Kushk2 At Takhta-Bazaar, average annual flow observed over this period was 487 cubic metres per second 1,720 cu ft/s for an observed surface area of 34,700 square kilometres 13,400 sq mi, which is 74 percent of the totality of the catchment area of the river The geographically-averaged hydrometric flow passing through this part of the basin, by far greatest from the point of view of the flow, thus reached the figure of 443 millimeters per annum, which is very appreciable in this particularly desiccated area

Monthly mean flows of Murghab in cubic meters per second measured at the hydrometric station of Takhta-Bazaar
Data calculated over 50 years


  1. ^ Surface water resources in North Afghanistan
  2. ^ UNESCO - Bassin du Murghab - Station : Takhta-Bazar

External linksedit

  • "Delft Hydraulics - Integrated Water Resources Management for the Sistan Closed Inland Delta - ANNEX B : Forecasting the Flow from Afghanistan - Page 18 : cartes hydrographiques d'Afghanistan" PDF  150 MB in English
  • Map of the province of Ghor, with trace of the flow of water
  • Map of vegetation cover in the province of Badghis, with trace of the flow of water
  • "Morghab River", in Britannica

Coordinates: 36°26′47″N 62°38′06″E / 3644639°N 6263500°E / 3644639; 6263500

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Murghab River

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