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Hydrology

The Congo River's flow and water levels are affected by the rains year round. It is the effects of rainfall throughout the regions whose rivers and tributaries contribute to the Congo River that influence the fluctuations in the flow of the river. However, because the Congo basin is an immense area, the weather pattern in one particular region will not have much effect on the river's overall levels. For example, heavy rainfall in the northern areas that contribute to the Ubangi River may cause flooding in the region itself, but would generally not lead to a drought in a southern portion of the Congo basin. Because of the vastness of the area, by the time the river's waters join together, very little effect will be seen. This allows the river's flow to balance out and not change too drastically during the year.

Patterns have been established in the past and the river can be expected to have higher levels in December and May due to the rainy season. The levels are expected to be low in March and April, and even lower in July in response to the dry season. If some of the weather patterns change drastically, resulting in floodwaters arriving at the same or different times, then the anticipated water levels will be affected accordingly. The flow has been recorded as high as 2,600,000 cubic feet per second during the flood of 1962. Its lowest level was recorded in 1905 at 765,000 cubic feet per second.



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