The Don is one of the major Eurasian rivers of Russia and the fifth-longest river in Europe. The Don basin is between the Dnieper basin to the west, the Volga basin to the east, the Oka basin to the north; the Don rises in the town of Novomoskovsk 60 kilometres southeast of Tula, flows for a distance of about 1,870 kilometres to the Sea of Azov. From its source, the river first flows southeast to Voronezh southwest to its mouth; the main city on the river is Rostov on Don. Its main tributary is the Seversky Donets. According to the Kurgan hypothesis, the Volga-Don river region was the homeland of the Proto-Indo-Europeans c. 4000BC. The Don river functioned as a fertile cradle of civilization where the Neolithic farmer culture of the Near East fused with the hunter-gatherer culture of Siberian groups, resulting in the nomadic pastoralism of the Proto-Indo-Europeans. In antiquity, the river was viewed as the border between Europe and Asia by some ancient Greek geographers. In the Book of Jubilees, it is mentioned as being part of the border, beginning with its easternmost point up to its mouth, between the allotments of sons of Noah, that of Japheth to the north and that of Shem to the south.
During the times of the old Scythians it was known in Greek as the Tanaïs and has been a major trading route since. Tanais appears in ancient Greek sources as both the name of the river and of a city on it, situated in the Maeotian marshes. Pliny gives the Scythian name of the Tanais as Silys. According to Plutarch, the Don River was home to the legendary Amazons of Greek mythology; the area around the estuary is speculated to be the source of the Black Death. While the lower Don was well known to ancient geographers, its middle and upper reaches were not mapped with any accuracy before the gradual conquest of the area by Muscovy in the 16th century; the Don Cossacks, who settled the fertile valley of the river in the 16th and 17th centuries, were named after the river. The fort of Donkov was founded by the princes of Ryazan in the late 14th century; the fort stood on the left bank of the Don, about 34 kilometers from the modern town of Dankov, until 1568, when it was destroyed by the Crimean Tatars, but soon restored at a better fortified location.
It is shown as Donko in Mercator's Atlas, Donkov was again relocated in 1618, appearing as Donkagorod in Joan Blaeu's map of 1645. Both Blaeu and Mercator follow the 16th-century cartographic tradition of letting the Don originate in a great lake, labelled Resanskoy ozera by Blaeu. Mercator still follows Giacomo Gastaldo in showing a waterway connecting this lake to Ryazan and the Oka River. Mercator shows Mtsensk as a great city on this waterway, suggesting a system of canals connecting the Don with the Zusha and Upa centered on a settlement Odoium, reported as Odoium lacum in the map made by Baron Augustin von Mayerberg, leader of an embassy to Muscovy in 1661. In modern literature, the Don region was featured in the work And Quiet Flows the Don by Mikhail Aleksandrovich Sholokhov, a Nobel-prize winning writer from the stanitsa of Veshenskaya. At its easternmost point, the Don comes near the Volga, the Volga-Don Canal, connecting the two rivers, is a major waterway; the water level of the Don in this area is raised by the Tsimlyansk Dam, forming the Tsimlyansk Reservoir.
For the next 130 kilometres below the Tsimlyansk Dam, the sufficient water depth in the Don River is maintained by the sequence of three dam-and-ship-lock complexes: the Nikolayevsky Ship Lock, Konstantinovsk Ship Lock, the best known of the three, the Kochetovsky Ship Lock. The Kochetovsky Lock, built in 1914–1919 and doubled in 2004–2008, is 7.5 kilometres below the fall of the Seversky Donets into the Don, 131 kilometres upstream of Rostov-on-Don, the Kochetovsky Ship Lock is located. This facility, with its dam, maintains sufficient water level both in its section of the Don and in the lowermost stretch of the Seversky Donets; this is presently the last lock on the Don. In order to improve shipping conditions in the lower reaches of the Don, the waterway authorities support the proposals for the construction of one or two more low dams with locks, in Bagayevsky District and also in Aksaysky District. Main tributaries from source to mouth: Krasivaya Mecha Bystraya Sosna Veduga Voronezh Tikhaya Sosna Bityug Black Kalitva Khopyor – 1,010 kilometres Medveditsa Ilovlya Chir Seversky Donets – 1,053 kilometres Aidar – 264 kilometres Sal Manych Aksay Temernik Don goat And Quiet Flows The Don Rostov railway drawbridge Don at GEOnet Names Server
The Yenisei Romanised Yenisey, Jenisej, is the largest river system flowing to the Arctic Ocean. It is the central of the three great Siberian rivers. Rising in Mongolia, it follows a northerly course to the Yenisei Gulf in the Kara Sea, draining a large part of central Siberia, the longest stream following the Yenisei-Angara-Selenga-Ider river system; the maximum depth of the Yenisei is 24 metres and the average depth is 14 metres. The depth of river outflow is 32 metres and inflow is 31 metres; the river flows through Tuva and the city of Krasnoyarsk. Its tributaries include Nizhnyaya Tunguska, Podkamennaya Tunguska and Tuba rivers; the 320-kilometre navigable Upper Angara River feeds into the northern end of Lake Baikal from the Buryat Republic but the largest inflow is from the Selenga which forms a delta on the southeastern side. The Yenisei River basin is home to 55 native fish species, including two endemics: Gobio sibiricus and Thymallus nigrescens; the grayling is restricted to its tributaries.
Most fish found in the Yenisei River basin are widespread Euro-Siberian or Siberian species, such as northern pike, common roach, common dace, Siberian sculpin, European perch and Prussian carp. The basin is home to many salmonids and the Siberian sturgeon; the Yenisei River valley is habitat for numerous flora and fauna, with Siberian pine and Siberian larch being notable tree species. In prehistoric times Scots pine, Pinus sylvestris, was abundant in the Yenisei River valley circa 6000 BC. There are numerous bird species present in the watershed, for example, the hooded crow, Corvus cornix; the Taimyr reindeer herd, a migrating tundra reindeer, the largest reindeer herd in the world, migrated to winter grazing ranges along the Yenisei River. River steamers first came to the Yenesei River in 1864 and were brought in from Holland and England across the icy Kara Sea. One was the SS Nikolai; the SS Thames attempted to explore the river, overwintered in 1876, but was damaged in the ice and wrecked in the river.
Success came with the steamers Frazer, Express in 1878, the next year, Moscow hauling supplies in and wheat out. The Dalman reached Yeneisisk in 1881. Imperial Russia placed river steamers on the massive river in an attempt to free up communication with land-locked Siberia. One boat was the SS St. Nicholas which took the future Tsar Nicholas II on his voyage to Siberia, conveyed Vladimir Lenin to prison. Engineers attempted to place river steamers on regular service on the river during the building of the Trans-Siberian Railway; the boats were needed to bring in the rails and supplies. Captain Joseph Wiggins sailed the Orestes with rail and parted out river steamers in 1893. However, the sea and river route proved difficult with several ships lost at sea and on the river. Both the Ob and Yenisei mouths feed into long inlets, several hundred miles in length, which are shallow, ice bound and prone to high winds and thus treacherous for navigation. After the completion of the railway, river traffic reduced only to local service as the Arctic route and long river proved much too indirect a route.
The first recreation team to navigate the Yenisei's entire length, including its violent upper tributary in Mongolia, was an Australian-Canadian effort completed in September 2001. Ben Kozel, Tim Cope, Colin Angus and Remy Quinter were on this team. Both Kozel and Angus wrote books detailing this expedition, a documentary was produced for National Geographic Television. A canal inclined plane was built on the river in 1985 at the Krasnoyarsk Dam. Nomadic tribes such as the Ket people and the Yugh people have lived along the banks of the Yenisei river since ancient times, this region is the location of the Yeniseian language family; the Ket, numbering about 1000, are the only survivors today of those who lived throughout central southern Siberia near the river banks. Their extinct relatives included the Kotts, Arins and Pumpokols who lived further upriver to the south; the modern Ket lived in the eastern middle areas of the river before being assimilated politically into Russia during the 17th through 19th centuries.
Some of the earliest known evidence of Turkic origins was found in the Yenisei Valley in the form of stelae, stone monoliths and memorial tablets dating from between the 7th and 9th centuries AD, along with some documents that were found in China's Xinjiang region. The written evidence gathered from these sources tells of battles fought between the Turks and the Chinese and other legends. There are examples of Uyghur poetry, though most have survived only in Chinese translation. Wheat from the Yenisei was sold by Muslims and Uighurs during inadequate harvests to Bukhara and Soghd during the Tahirid era. Russians first reached the upper Yenisei in 1605, travelling from the Ob River, up the Ket River and down the Yenisei as far as the Sym River. During World War II, Nazi Germany and the Japanese Empire agreed to divide Asia along a line that followed the Yenisei River to the border of China, along the border of China and the Soviet Union. Studies have shown that the Yenisei suffers from contamination caused by
The Baltic Sea is a marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean, enclosed by Denmark, Finland, Lithuania, northeast Germany, Poland and the North and Central European Plain. The sea stretches from 53 ° N from 10 ° E to 30 ° E longitude. A mediterranean sea of the Atlantic, with limited water exchange between the two bodies, the Baltic Sea drains through the Danish islands into the Kattegat by way of the straits of Øresund, the Great Belt, the Little Belt, it includes the Gulf of Bothnia, the Bay of Bothnia, the Gulf of Finland, the Gulf of Riga, the Bay of Gdańsk. The Baltic Proper is bordered on its northern edge, at the latitude 60°N, by the Åland islands and the Gulf of Bothnia, on its northeastern edge by the Gulf of Finland, on its eastern edge by the Gulf of Riga, in the west by the Swedish part of the southern Scandinavian Peninsula; the Baltic Sea is connected by artificial waterways to the White Sea via the White Sea Canal and to the German Bight of the North Sea via the Kiel Canal. Administration The Helsinki Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area includes the Baltic Sea and the Kattegat, without calling Kattegat a part of the Baltic Sea, "For the purposes of this Convention the'Baltic Sea Area' shall be the Baltic Sea and the Entrance to the Baltic Sea, bounded by the parallel of the Skaw in the Skagerrak at 57°44.43'N."Traffic history Historically, the Kingdom of Denmark collected Sound Dues from ships at the border between the ocean and the land-locked Baltic Sea, in tandem: in the Øresund at Kronborg castle near Helsingør.
The narrowest part of Little Belt is the "Middelfart Sund" near Middelfart. Oceanography Geographers agree that the preferred physical border of the Baltic is a line drawn through the southern Danish islands, Drogden-Sill and Langeland; the Drogden Sill is situated north of Køge Bugt and connects Dragør in the south of Copenhagen to Malmö. By this definition, the Danish Straits are part of the entrance, but the Bay of Mecklenburg and the Bay of Kiel are parts of the Baltic Sea. Another usual border is the line between Falsterbo and Stevns Klint, Denmark, as this is the southern border of Øresund. It's the border between the shallow southern Øresund and notably deeper water. Hydrography and biology Drogden Sill sets a limit to Øresund and Darss Sill, a limit to the Belt Sea; the shallow sills are obstacles to the flow of heavy salt water from the Kattegat into the basins around Bornholm and Gotland. The Kattegat and the southwestern Baltic Sea have a rich biology; the remainder of the Sea is poor in oxygen and in species.
Thus, the more of the entrance, included in its definition, the healthier the Baltic appears. Tacitus called it Mare Suebicum after the Germanic people of the Suebi, Ptolemy Sarmatian Ocean after the Sarmatians, but the first to name it the Baltic Sea was the eleventh-century German chronicler Adam of Bremen; the origin of the latter name is speculative and it was adopted into Slavic and Finnic languages spoken around the sea likely due to the role of Medieval Latin in cartography. It might be connected to the Germanic word belt, a name used for two of the Danish straits, the Belts, while others claim it to be directly derived from the source of the Germanic word, Latin balteus "belt". Adam of Bremen himself compared the sea with a belt, stating that it is so named because it stretches through the land as a belt, he might have been influenced by the name of a legendary island mentioned in the Natural History of Pliny the Elder. Pliny mentions an island named Baltia with reference to accounts of Xenophon.
It is possible. Baltia might be derived from belt and mean "near belt of sea, strait." Meanwhile, others have suggested that the name of the island originates from the Proto-Indo-European root *bhel meaning "white, fair". This root and its basic meaning were retained in both Latvian. On this basis, a related hypothesis holds that the name originated from this Indo-European root via a Baltic language such as Lithuanian. Another explanation is that, while derived from the aforementioned root, the name of the sea is related to names for various forms of water and related substances in several European languages, that might have been associated with colors found in swamps, yet another explanation is that the name meant "enclosed sea, bay" as opposed to open sea. Some Swedish historians believe. In the Middle Ages the sea was known by a variety of names; the name Baltic Sea became dominant only after 1600. Usage of Baltic and similar terms to denote the region east of the sea started only in 19th century.
The Baltic Sea was known in ancient Latin language sources as Mare Suebicum or Mare Germanicum. Older native names in languages that used to be spoken on the shores of the sea or near it indicate the geographical location of the sea, or its size in relation to smaller gulfs, or tribes associated with it. In modern lang
The Lena is the easternmost of the three great Siberian rivers that flow into the Arctic Ocean. With a mean annual discharge of 588 cubic kilometers per year, it is the second largest of the Arctic rivers, it is the largest river whose catchment is within the Russian territorial boundaries. Permafrost underlies most of the catchment, with 77% of the catchment containing continuous permafrost. Originating at an elevation of 1,640 meters at its source in the Baikal Mountains south of the Central Siberian Plateau, 7 kilometres west of Lake Baikal, the Lena flows northeast, being joined by the Kirenga River, Vitim River and Olyokma River. From Yakutsk it enters the lowlands and flows north until joined by its right-hand tributary the Aldan River and its most important left-hand tributary, the Vilyuy River. After that, it bends westward, flowing alongside the Verkhoyansk Range and making its way nearly due north to the Laptev Sea, a division of the Arctic Ocean, emptying south-west of the New Siberian Islands by the Lena Delta – 30,000 square kilometres in area, traversed by seven principal branches, the most important being the Bykovsky channel, farthest east.
The area of the Lena river basin is calculated at 2,490,000 square kilometres and the mean annual discharge is 588 cubic kilometers per year. Gold is washed out of the sands of the Vitim and the Olyokma, mammoth tusks have been dug out of the delta; the Kirenga River flows north between the upper Lena Lake Baikal. The Vitim River drains the area northeast of Lake Baikal; the Olyokma River flows north. The Amga River flows into the Aldan; the Aldan River flows into the Lena north of Yakutsk. The Maya River, a tributary of the Aldan, drains an area to the Sea of Okhotsk; the T-shaped Chona-Vilyuy River system drains most of the area to the west. It is believed that the Lena derives its name from the original Even-Evenk name Elyu-Ene, which means "the Large River". According to folktales related a century in the years 1620–1623 a party of Russian fur hunters under the leadership of Demid Pyanda sailed up Lower Tunguska, discovered the Lena, either carried their boats there or built new ones. In 1623 Pyanda explored some 2,400 kilometres of the river from its upper reaches to the central Yakutia.
In 1628 Vasily Bugor and 10 men reached the Lena, collected'yasak' from the'natives' and founded Kirinsk in 1632. In 1631 the voyevoda of Yeniseisk sent 20 men to construct an ostrog at Yakutsk. From Yakutsk other expeditions spread out to the south and east; the Lena delta was reached in 1633. Baron Eduard Von Toll, accompanied by Alexander von Bunge, led an expedition that explored the Lena delta and the islands of New Siberia on behalf of the Russian Imperial Academy of Sciences in 1885. In 1886 they investigated the Yana River and its tributaries. During one year and two days the expedition covered 25,000 kilometres, of which 4,200 kilometres were up rivers, carrying out geodesic surveys en route; the Lena massacre was the name given to the 1912 shooting-down of striking goldminers and local citizens who protested at the working conditions in the mine near Bodaybo in northern Irkutsk. The incident was reported in the Duma by Kerensky and is credited with stimulating revolutionary feeling in Russia.
Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov may have taken his alias, from the river Lena, when he was exiled to the Central Siberian Plateau. At the end of the Lena River there is a large delta that extends 100 kilometres into the Laptev Sea and is about 400 km wide; the delta is frozen tundra for about seven months of the year, but in May the region is transformed into a lush wetland for the next few months. Part of the area is protected as the Lena Delta Wildlife Reserve; the Lena delta divides into a multitude of flat islands. The most important are: Chychas Aryta, Sagastyr, Samakh Ary Diyete, Turkan Bel'keydere, Sasyllakh Ary, Kolkhoztakh Bel'keydere, Grigoriy Diyelyakh Bel'kee, Nerpa Uolun Aryta, Misha Bel'keydere, Atakhtay Bel'kedere, Urdiuk Pastakh Bel'key, Agys Past' Aryta, Dallalakh Island, Otto Ary, Ullakhan Ary and Orto Ues Aryta. Turukannakh-Kumaga is a narrow island off the Lena delta's western shore. One of the Lena delta islands, Ostrov Amerika-Kuba-Aryta or Ostrov Kuba-Aryta, was named after the island of Cuba during Soviet times.
It is on the northern edge of the delta. Alexander von Bunge & Baron Eduard Von Toll, The Expedition to the New Siberian Islands and the Yana country, equipped by the Imperial Academy of Sciences. Lena Pillars List of rivers of Russia List of longest undammed rivers William Barr, writer of The First Soviet Convoy to the Mouth of the Lena; this article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Lena". Encyclopædia Britannica. 16. Cambridge University Press. Arctic Great Rivers Observatory NASA Earth Observatory page on flooding on the Lena River Information and a map of the Lena's watershed Permafrost in the Lena Delta Alfred Wegner institute Publications, Berichte zur Polar- und Meeresforschung - free, downloadable research reports on the biology, oceanography, paleontology, fauna, soils, so forth of the Lena Delta, Laptev
The Angara River is a 1,779-kilometer-long river in Siberia, which traces a course through Russia's Irkutsk Oblast and Krasnoyarsk Krai. It is the river, the headwater tributary of the Yenisei River, it was known as the Lower or Nizhnyaya Angara. Below its junction with the Ilim, it was known as the Upper Tunguska and, with the names reversed, as the Lower Tunguska. Leaving Lake Baikal near the settlement of Listvyanka, the Angara flows north past the Irkutsk Oblast cities of Irkutsk, Angarsk and Ust-Ilimsk, it turns west, enters the Krasnoyarsk Krai, joins the Yenisei near Strelka. Four dams of major hydroelectric plants - constructed since the 1950s - exploit the waters of the Angara: Irkutsk Dam, forming the Irkutsk Reservoir, which floods the valley of the river from its source to Irkutsk, raises the water level in Lake Baikal Bratsk Dam, forming the Bratsk Reservoir Ust-Ilimsk Dam, at Ust-Ilimsk, forming the Ust-Ilimsk Reservoir Boguchany Dam, at KodinskThe reservoirs of these dams flooded a number of villages along the Angara and its tributaries, as well as numerous agricultural areas in the river valley.
Due to its effects on the way of life of the rural residents of the Angara valley, dam construction was criticized by a number of Soviet intellectuals, in particular by the Irkutsk writer Valentin Rasputin - both in his novel Farewell to Matyora and in his non-fiction book Siberia, Siberia. The Angara is navigable by modern watercraft on several isolated sections: from Lake Baikal to Irkutsk; the section between the Ust-Ilimsk Dam and the Boguchany Dam has not been navigable due to rapids. However, with the completion of the Boguchany Dam, filling of its reservoir, at least part of this section of the river will become navigable as well. Nonetheless, this will not enable through navigation from Lake Baikal to the Yenisei, as none of the existing three dams has been provided with a ship lock or a boat lift, nor will the Boguchany Dam have one. Despite the absence of a continuous navigable waterway, the Angara and its tributary the Ilim were of considerable importance for Russian colonization of Siberia since ca.
1630, when they formed important water routes connecting the Yenisey with Lake Baikal and the Lena River. The river lost its transportation significance after the construction of an overland route between Krasnoyarsk and Irkutsk and the Trans-Siberian Railway; the Angara has the following tributaries: Taseyeva, Oka, Ilim, Kova and Irkeneyeva. "Upper and Lower Angara",'Encyclopædia Britannica, 9th ed. Encyclopædia Britannica, 9th ed. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1878, p. 26. Angara River, southeast-central Russia Angara River Angara River photo Map of region showing mouth of Angara River Map book of region showing mouth of Angara River Photo of river and dam
The Amur River or Heilong Jiang is the world's tenth longest river, forming the border between the Russian Far East and Northeastern China. The largest fish species in the Amur is the kaluga; the river basin is home to a variety of large predatory fish such as northern snakehead, Amur pike, Amur catfish, predatory carp and yellowcheek, as well as the northernmost populations of the Amur softshell turtle and Indian lotus. It was common to refer to a river as "water"; the word for "water" is similar in a number of Asiatic languages: mul in Korean, muren in Mongolian, mizu in Japanese. The name "Amur" may have evolved from a root word for water, coupled with a size modifier for "Big Water"; the Chinese name for the river, Heilong Jiang, means Black Dragon River in Chinese, its Mongolian name, Khar mörön, means Black River. The river rises in the hills in the western part of Northeast China at the confluence of its two major affluents, the Shilka River and the Ergune River, at an elevation of 303 metres.
It flows east forming the border between China and Russia, makes a great arc to the southeast for about 400 kilometres, receiving many tributaries and passing many small towns. At Huma, it is joined by the Huma River. Afterwards it continues to flow south until between the cities of Blagoveschensk and Heihe, it widens as it is joined by the Zeya River, one of its most important tributaries; the Amur arcs to the east and turns southeast again at the confluence with the Bureya River does not receive another significant tributary for nearly 250 kilometres before its confluence with its largest tributary, the Songhua River, at Tongjiang. At the confluence with the Songhua the river turns northeast, now flowing towards Khabarovsk, where it joins the Ussuri River and ceases to define the Russia–China border. Now the river spreads out into a braided character, flowing north-northeast through a wide valley in eastern Russia, passing Amursk and Komsomolsk-on-Amur; the valley narrows after about 200 kilometres and the river again flows north onto plains at the confluence with the Amgun River.
Shortly after, the Amur turns east and into an estuary at Nikolayevsk-on-Amur, about 20 kilometres downstream of which it flows into the Strait of Tartary. In many historical references these two geopolitical entities are known as Outer Manchuria and Inner Manchuria, respectively; the Chinese province of Heilongjiang on the south bank of the river is named after it, as is the Russian Amur Oblast on the north bank. The name Black River was used by the native Manchu people and their Qing Empire of China, who regarded this river as sacred; the Amur River is an important symbol of, geopolitical factor in, Chinese–Russian relations. The Amur was important in the period following the Sino–Soviet political split in the 1960s. For many centuries the Amur Valley was populated by the Tungusic, Mongol people, some Ainu and, near its mouth, by the Nivkhs. For many of them, fishing in the Amur and its tributaries was the main source of their livelihood; until the 17th century, these people were not known to the Europeans, little known to the Han Chinese, who sometimes collectively described them as the Wild Jurchens.
The term Yupi Dazi was used for the Nanais and related groups as well, owing to their traditional clothes made of fish skins. The Mongols, ruling the region as the Yuan dynasty, established a tenuous military presence on the lower Amur in the 13–14th centuries. During the Yongle and Xuande eras, the Ming dynasty reached the Amur as well in their drive to establish control over the lands adjacent to the Ming Empire to the northeast, which were to become known as Manchuria. Expeditions headed by the eunuch Yishiha reached Tyr several times between 1411 and the early 1430s, re-building the Yongning Temple and obtaining at least the nominal allegiance of the lower Amur's tribes to the Ming government; some sources report a Chinese presence during the same period on the middle Amur – a fort existed at Aigun for about 20 years during the Yongle era on the left shore of the Amur downstream from the mouth of the Zeya River. This Ming Dynasty Aigun was located on the opposite bank to the Aigun, relocated during the Qing Dynasty.
In any event, the Ming presence on the Amur was as short-lived. Chinese cultural and religious influence such as Chinese New Year, the "Chinese god", Chinese motifs like the dragon, spirals and material goods like agriculture, heating, iron cooking pots and cotton spread among the Amur natives like the Udeghes and Nanais. Russian Cossack expeditions led by Vassili Poyarkov and Yerofey Khabarov explored the Amur and its tributaries in 1643–44 and 1649–51, respectively; the Cossacks established the fort of Albazin on the upper Amur, at the site of the former capital of the Solons. At the time, the Manchus were busy with conquering the region.
The Pechora River is a river in northwest Russia which flows north into the Arctic Ocean on the west side of the Ural Mountains. It lies in the Komi Republic but the northernmost part crosses the Nenets Autonomous Okrug, it is 1,809 kilometres long and its basin is 322,000 square kilometres, or about the same size as Finland. By mean annual discharge it ranks third in Europe, after the Danube, its discharge is about half that of the Danube and a little more than its sister, the Northern Dvina River, is the largest of any river with no dams in its basin outside of New Guinea. West of its lower course is the Timan Ridge. East of the basin along the west flank of the Urals is the Yugyd Va National Park. In the basin is the Virgin Komi Forests, the largest virgin forest in Europe. In the far northeast of the basin on the Usa River is the large coal center of Vorkuta; the river was once an important transportation route for those travelling to northwest Siberia. Today a railroad runs southwest from Vorkuta to Moscow.
The river rises in the Ural Mountains in the south-eastern corner of the Komi Republic. This area is part of the Pechora-Ilych Nature Reserve. On the other side of the Urals are the headwaters of the Northern Sosva River; the river flows south west and turns north near Yaksha, the head of navigation for small boats. A portage led south to the Kama River basin. To the east is the upper Vychegda River, a branch of the Northern Dvina; the river flows past Komsomolsk-na-Pechore to Ust-Ilych where the Ilych River joins from the east Northwest to Troitsko-Pechorsk, north to Vuktyl and Ust-Shchuger where the Shchugor River joins from the east. The river flows north to Pechora town, where the railway from Vorkuta crosses north to Ust-Usa where the Usa River joins from the east; the Pechora curves northwest and west southwest. Izhma River joins from the south, it flows further west to Ust-Tsilma where the Pizhma River joins from the southwest and the Tsilma River joins from the west. The Pechora turns north and crosses the arctic Arctic Circle and the border of the Nenets Okrug.
The monthly average discharge of the river was recorded between 1981 and 1993 in the village of Oksino, located 141 km upstream from the mouth. The values are presented in the diagram below. Before the arrival of the railroad to the Pechora, an important way of travel to the region was via a portage road, from Cherdyn in the Kama River basin to Yaksha on the Pechora. A project for a Pechora-Kama Canal along the same general route was discussed in the 1960s through 1980s, this time not as much for transportation, but for the diversion of some of the water of the Pechora to the Kama, as part of a grand Northern river reversal scheme. However, no construction work was carried out on the route of the proposed canal, other than a triple nuclear explosion in 1971, which excavated a crater over 600 metres long; the Pechora River was the source of the name of Pechorin – protagonist of the 1839 novel A Hero of Our Time by Mikhail Lermontov, a well-known work of Russian literature. Pechora in the Great Soviet Encyclopedia