Mat (river)

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The Mat (definite Albanian form: Mati) is a river in north-central Albania. Its overall length is 115 km (71 mi), while its catchment surface is 2,441 km2 (942 sq mi). Its average discharge is 103 m3/s (3,600 cu ft/s). The main tributary is Fan, flowing from the northeast, while the Mat flows from the southwest down to the confluence with Fan and then towards the Adriatic Sea.


The Albanian name mat originally meant "elevated location", "mountain place". Today's meaning in Albanian, "river bank, river shore", is a consequence of a secondary change through the common use of both the terms mal, "mountain" and breg, "shore", giving the meaning of "elevation". The river was recorded by Roman writer Vibius Sequester (4th or 5th century AD) as Mathis, following a hellenized graphic mode of the term mat. It appeared in written records also as Mathia in 1380.


Mat originates from the confluence of several streams within the karstic mountains in Martanesh, where it forms deep gorges and canyons. Rising in Martanesh, the Mat heads westwards to the municipality of Mat and northwest through the towns of Klos and Burrel. About 10 km (6 mi) downstream from Burrel, it flows into a large reservoir (Liqeni i Ulzës – "Lake Ulëz"). After passing through a hydroelectric dam, it flows through another, smaller reservoir (Liqeni i Shkopetit – "Lake Shkopet") and forms a narrow gorge through the mountain range that separates Mat District from the coastal plains. It enters the plains between Milot and Zejmen.After a total length of 115 km (71 mi), the Mat flows into the Adriatic Sea near Fushë-Kuqe, between the towns of Lezhë and Laç.
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