Continental divide

Continental divide

A continental divide is a drainage divide on a continent such that the drainage basin on one side of the divide feeds into one ocean or sea, and the basin on the other side either feeds into a different ocean or sea, or else is endorheic, not connected to the open sea.

The endpoints where a continental divide meets the coast are not always definite, because the exact border between adjacent bodies of water is usually not clearly defined. The Great Divide Basin of Wyoming, the continental divide splits and encircles the basin.


  • Examples 1
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


Major continental divides, showing drainage into the major oceans and seas of the world. Grey areas are endorheic basins that do not drain to the ocean.

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^

External links

  • continental divides.other by Mark A. Gonzalez. Excellent article on America's Continental Divides in North Dakota and North America PDF (123 KiB)
  • Map of drainage basins in Canada