The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary







For the abbreviation or acronym EMS, please see EMS.
 of the Ems and its surroundings
Satellite image of the Ems estuary and its surroundings
The Ems (German; Dutch: Eems) is a river in northwestern Germany and northeastern Netherlands. It runs through the states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony. Its total length is 371 km.

The source of the river is located in the southern Teutoburg Forest in North Rhine-Westphalia. In Lower Saxony the brook becomes a comparatively large river. Here the swampy region of Emsland is named after the river. In Meppen the Ems is joined by its largest tributary, the Hase river. It then flows northwards, close to the Dutch border, into Ostfriesland (Eastern Frisia). Near Emden it flows into the Dutch Dollard bay (a National Park) and then continues as a tidal river towards the Dutch city of Delfzijl.

Between Emden and Delfzijl, the Ems forms the border between the Netherlands and Germany and is subject to mild dispute: the Dutch believe that the border runs through the geographical center of the estuary, whereas the Germans claim it runs through the deepest channel (which is close to the Dutch coast). As both parties are friendly states, the argument goes no further than an agreement to disagree.

Past Delfzijl, the Ems discharges into the Wadden Sea, part of the North Sea. The two straits that separate the German island of Borkum from its neighbours Rottumeroog (Netherlands) and Memmert (Germany) continue the name "Ems", as they are called Westere(e)ms and Osterems (West and East Ems).

Last updated: 10-18-2005 04:52:47
Last updated: 10-29-2005 02:13:46