RIVERS & CATCHMENT
From the mountains to the sea
River Dee and other rivers of the Cairngorms -the Spey
the Don and the Deveron, as well as their tributaries - are fundamental agents in forming and changing valley shapes. The Spey and the Dee have large catchment areas and stretch over 100km into the heart of the Cairngorms. This gives them high average annual flow rates around 50 cubic metres per second. They carry as much water as the highland rivers to the west where annual rainfall is twice as high. The Tay is the largest river in Scotland with average flow rates of over 160 cubic metres per second.
The source of the river Dee is high on the Cairngorm Plateau, at the Wells of Dee on Braeriach. At above 1200m, this is the highest source for a river in the UK. The head waters pass over the Garbh Choire corrie edge, down the Lairig Ghru and on down through all the towns in Deeside to the sea at Aberdeen.