What Is Inland Drainage?

Are you curious to know what is inland drainage? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about inland drainage in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is inland drainage?

Inland drainage refers to a natural hydrological phenomenon where precipitation or water runoff within a particular region does not flow towards the oceans or seas through defined river systems but instead accumulates in closed basins, lakes, or marshlands within the interior of a landmass. This unique water circulation pattern plays a crucial role in shaping landscapes and ecosystems across the globe.

What Is Inland Drainage?

Inland drainage occurs in areas with specific geological characteristics that prevent water from reaching the oceans via established river networks. Instead, water collects in low-lying regions, forming closed basins or endorheic basins. These basins have no outflow to the sea, and water typically evaporates or seeps into the ground, maintaining a self-contained water cycle within the area.

Features Of Inland Drainage Basins

  • Closed Drainage Basins: These basins lack natural outlets to the sea and encompass various forms such as depressions, salt flats, or enclosed lakes.
  • Intermittent Water Flow: Inland drainage regions often experience variable water availability, with periods of water accumulation followed by evaporation or infiltration into the ground.
  • Saline Environments: Some inland basins become saline due to the accumulation of minerals and salts, creating unique ecosystems adapted to high salinity levels.

Examples of Inland Drainage Systems

  • Great Basin, United States: Spanning multiple states, the Great Basin represents a vast inland drainage area characterized by closed basins and numerous intermittent lakes and salt flats.
  • Lake Eyre Basin, Australia: This expansive basin in central Australia encompasses numerous ephemeral rivers and salt flats, with water flowing into Lake Eyre during rainy periods.

Significance In Geography And Ecology

Inland drainage systems significantly influence regional landscapes and ecosystems:

  • Erosion and Sedimentation: Inland basins often exhibit unique geological formations due to localized erosion and sedimentation processes.
  • Biodiversity Hotspots: These regions foster diverse ecosystems adapted to the specific environmental conditions, supporting unique flora and fauna adapted to intermittent water availability.
  • Human Settlements: Some civilizations historically settled around inland drainage areas, utilizing the water resources available for agriculture and sustenance.

Challenges And Environmental Impacts

While inland drainage systems harbor unique ecological niches, they also face challenges:

  • Water Management: Balancing water usage in these regions is crucial to sustain ecosystems and support human activities without depleting essential resources.
  • Ecological Vulnerability: Fluctuations in water availability can impact fragile ecosystems, leading to changes in biodiversity and habitat disruption.


Inland drainage systems embody the intricate interplay between water, geography, and ecology, shaping distinctive landscapes and fostering diverse ecosystems. Understanding these unique hydrological patterns provides insights into the complex relationship between water resources, environment, and human interaction within these regions.

Appreciating the significance of inland drainage systems not only deepens our understanding of natural processes but also underscores the need for responsible stewardship of these delicate ecosystems, ensuring their preservation for future generations to cherish and study.


What Do You Mean By Inland Drainage?

Complete step by step answer Inland drainage refers to the drainage system where the streams of the rivers do not meet into an ocean or a sea instead they empty their waters in an Inland ocean or a lake. Characteristics of Inland drainage system. 1. The stream ends in an inland body such as a lake.

What Is An Inland River?

Inland rivers are those rivers that do not drain into the sea. Rather, they usually drain into lakes or inland seas. In India, Luni is an example of the Inland rivers.

Where Is The Inland Drainage Area In Asia?

Answer: Much of Mongolia is an inland drainage basin. Sometimes called the Central Asian Internal Drainage Basin. The Gobi desert is dry—and an inland drainage basin—because the Khangai and Khentii Mountains frame it, prohibiting water from escaping to the sea.

Is Luni An Inland Drainage River?

It is one of the largest artificial lakes in India and irrigates more than 12,000 acres (49 km2). It is one of the internal drainage rivers in India; it does not meet with Arabian Sea. It is drained before it reaches the Arabian Sea.

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