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General information about basin

The Surkhandarya River in Uzbekistan is the right tributary of the Amudarya River.

It is formed by the confluence of the Tupalangdarya and Karatag Rivers flowing from the southern slope of the Hissar Mountain. The left tributary of the Surkhandarya, the Karatag River, is located in Tajikistan. The length of the Surkhandarya River is 175 km (287 km from the Karatag River mouth); basin area is 13,500 km2. High-water season is from June to August. At 6 km from the mouth (Manguzar section), average water discharge is 65.8 m3/s. Water is used for irrigation. The Tupalang, South Surkhan, Aktepa, and Uchkyzyl reservoirs are located on the river.

Main tributaries are Sangardak and Khalkadjar (on the right). They are fed with snow and rain waters. High-water season is from March to July; the maximum flow is in May. Salinity (hydrocarbonate-calcium type) is increased downstream, and in the mouth it is 1 g/l during low-water season.

The Surkhandarya oasis is a depression surrounded by highlands on the west, north, and east and the largest Amudarya River on the south. Its main water courses are the Surkhandarya and Sherabad rivers. They flow from north to south into the Amudarya, and thus form the Surkhan-Sherabad basin. The Surkhan-Sherabad valley starts at the foot of the Hissar Mountain on the north and north-east and has the form of a narrow valley. Then it gradually lowers and becomes broader to the south to the Amudarya River. It is surrounded by the branches of the Hissar Mountain on the east, north, and west, which protect the valley from northern cold air mass. Whereas, southern and south-western parts of the Surkhandarya province are open for tropical air mass. These orographic features determine nature and climate conditions typical for this area.

The area of province is 20.1 thousand km (4.48% of the total area of the Republic of Uzbekistan). It borders with the Republic of Tajikistan on the north and north-east, Afghanistan on the south (the border stretches along the Amudarya), and Turkmenistan on the south and west. The province is divided into 13 administrative districts, namely Denau, Saryasiya, Uzun, Altynsay, Shurchi, Baysun, Kumkurgan, Djarkurgan, Termez, Angor, Sherabad, Kyzyryk, and Muzrabad. Termez city is the administrative center.

The vast mountain range stretches up to the borders with Tajikistan. It is split with tributaries of the Tupalangdarya: Duoba, Shatrut (Shakhturud), Tamshush, Khovat, Kshtut (Kishtut). The highest point of the Republic, the Uzbekistan pike or former XXII Congress of the CPSU pike (4,688 m above sea), is located in this part of the Hissar mountain in the Saryasiya district, upstream of Tupalangdaryas tributaries Kshtut and Bodamistan. While the pike itself is located at the Uzbek-Tajik border, however this section of the Hissar Mountain (basins of the Tupalangdarya and left tributaries of the Aksu River) is the highest in Uzbekistan, with huge number of mountain pikes exceeding 4,000 m. There are just a few: Khodjapiryakh (4,425 m), Zagrakh (4,333 m), Gava (4,153 m), Khodjakarshavar (4,302 m), Karaduklysh (4,101 m), Kulikapon (4,214 m), Chedyr (or Chedyrsan 4,411 m), and Khazarkhana (4,450 m).