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Below the barrier, the river passes Dartford, Tilbury and Gravesend before entering the Thames Estuary near Southend-on-Sea.

The river drains a catchment area of 4994|sqmi or 5924 sqmi if the River Medway is included as a tributary. The River Thames — Its geology, geography and vital statistics from source to sea.

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During heavy rainfall the Thames occasionally receives raw sewage discharge due to sanitary sewer overflow.

Below Teddington Lock (about convert|55|mi} upstream of the Thames Estuary) the river is subject to tidal activity from the North Sea.

The tributaries include the rivers River Churn, River Leach, River Cole, Wiltshire, River Coln, River Windrush, River Evenlode, River Cherwell, River Ock, River Thame, River Pang, River Kennet, River Loddon, River Colne, Hertfordshire, River Wey and River Mole, Surrey.

In addition there are many backwaters and distributaries and some man-made channels such as the Longford River.

The springs at Seven Springs also flow throughout the year, while those at Thames Head are only seasonal.

The Thames flows through or alongside Ashton Keynes, Cricklade, Lechlade, Oxford, Abingdon, Wallingford, Goring-on-Thames, Reading, Henley-on-Thames, Marlow, Maidenhead, Windsor, Eton, Staines, Weybridge and Thames Ditton before entering the Greater London area.

Retrieved November 1, 2005.) Locks and weirs on the River Thames Brooks, canals and rivers, within an area of convert|3841, combine to form 38 main tributaries feeding the Thames between its source and Teddington Lock, the tidal limit.

Before Teddington Lock was built in 1810-12, the river was tidal as far as Staines.

The river has supported human activity from its source to its mouth for thousands of years providing habitation, water power, food and drink.

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