Tirso (river)

Coordinates: 39°53′06″N 8°32′26″E / 39.885°N 8.54056°E / 39.885; 8.54056
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Physical characteristics
 - locationPunta Pianedda (Buddusò) plateau
 - elevation985 m (3,232 ft)
MouthMediterranean Sea
 - locationGulf of Oristano
 - coordinates39°53′06″N 8°32′26″E / 39.885°N 8.54056°E / 39.885; 8.54056
 - elevation0 m (0 ft)
Length152 km (94 mi)
Basin size3,375 km2 (1,303 sq mi)
 - average4.28 m3/s (151 cu ft/s)

The Tirso (Sardinian: Tirsu) is the most important river of Sardinia for its length and the size of its drainage basin. It starts on the mountains of the centre of the island and ends in the Mediterranean Sea.

Name[change | change source]

The river was known in Sardinia as riu de Aristanis ("river of Oristano") or, simply, riu Mannu (the "big river"). The name Tirso began to be used in modern times following Ptolemy that named it in ancient times as "Thyrsos" (Greek: Tyrsou potamoũ ekbolái, "mouth of the Tirso river").[1]

Geography[change | change source]

Gusana lake, formed by the Taloro river before joining the Tirso

The Tirso river has a length of 159 km (99 mi),[2] and a drainage basin with an area of approximately 3,376 km2 (1,303 sq mi).[3]

Its discharge (volume of water which passes through a section of the river per unit of time) depends of the season; its average discharge is 16.6 m3/s (590 cu ft/s) but is very low during summer.[3]

Course[change | change source]

The Tirso river starts in the Buddusò plateau, on the slopes of Punta Pianedda, at an elevation of about 985 m (3,232 ft), to the north of the comune of Bitti. From here, the river flows to the southwest.

Finally, after 150 km (93 mi), it flows into the Gulf of Oristano in the Sea of Sardinia (Mediterranean Sea). The river enters the sea at about 6 km (3.7 mi) to the north of the city of Oristano.[3]

The river forms the "Omodeo lake", an artificial lake that is 20 km (12 mi) long and 3 km (1.9 mi) wide; it is one of largest artificial lake in Italy.

It flows through 81 comuni.[2]

Main tributaries[change | change source]

Most tributaries of the Tirso are small streams; the main tributaries are:[2]

  • Taloro, the main tributary, 67.61 km (42.01 mi) long and a drainage basin of 495.02 km2 (191 sq mi); and
  • Massari, the second largest tributary, 37.78 km (23.48 mi) long and a drainage basin of 833.73 km2 (322 sq mi).

Both rivers are left tributaries of the Tirso.

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Massimo Pittau. "Il nome del fiume Tirso" (in Italian). Quotidiano Honebu di Storia e Archeologia. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Piano di tutela delle acque: monografia sul Tirso" (PDF) (in Italian). Regione Autonoma della Sardegna. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Tirso" (in Italian). Treccani.it - Enciclopedie on line. Retrieved 28 January 2017.

Other websites[change | change source]