The Volga River (in Russian: Volga) It is the largest river in Europe. With its tributaries, irrigates more than one third of the area of European Russia. The Volga rises in the Valdai Hills to 228 meters, between Moscow and St. Petersburg and empties into the Caspian Sea after a long journey 3.700 km. This river is the most abundant and while the longest European continete. The Volga is navigable in almost all the way through the huge refurbishment works carried out primarily during the second half of the twentieth century. its basin, a surface 1.350.000 km², It is the 18th largest in the world (by extension it is greater than Peru, the 20th largest in the world) It brings together a mosaic of peoples. Volga Valley concentrates from World War II an important part of industrial activities in Russia. The Volga also plays a big role in the Russian imagination and inspired numerous novels and Russian songs (The Volga Boatmen).
The Volga River rises in the Valdai Hills, a 228 m above sea level, near the town of Volgo-Verjovie, in the western part of Tver Oblast, in a place located about 300 km northwest of Moscow and about 320 km southeast of San Petersburgo.En the first section has the name of Selizhárovka and is a short watercourse 36 km que empties into the lake Seliguer (It is having a surface 212 km² and is at an altitude of 205 m). The Volga is directed first towards Southeast, Valdai across the region to reach the town of Rzhev (63.729 hab. in 2002 ), beyond which veers to the northeast and from which they can navigate the river small boats freight. The river, after more than 100 km, reaches Tver (the former Kalinin, founded in 1135, with 408.903 hab.), the capital of óblast located on the road between Moscow and St. Petersburg.
The Volga describes a new curve and veers west, discoursing by the first of many sections in which their waters are dammed, It is time for Ivankovo Dam, which he receives by the right the river Shosha. then turns west, and delves into the reservoir of Dubna, built to supply Moscow (It is the nearest stretch to the capital, just 100 km). This reservoir receives the river Dubna, Y, very close to the dam, connects to the channel Moscow, an artificial channel 128 km built in 1932 linking the Volga river with the Moskva River. Left behind the dam, the Volga bathes the town of Dubna (60.951 hab.), and then veers Northeast, in a section in which crosses the city of Kimry (58.500 hab.) and follows the dam reservoir Uglich, a new section in which it receives its first major tributaries, the Medveditsa and Nerl rivers. Follow the river towards increasingly Norte, franking the border with Yaroslavl Oblast, through the city of Uglich (38.900 hab.) and reaching the big lake dam Rybinsk (what with 4.580 km², It is known as the Sea of Rybinsk, and it is at an altitude of 102 m). It is the oldest of the dams built on the river (1935-41) and also the northernmost point by running the Volga. In this lake two major tributaries flow, the river Mologa (456 km) and Cheksna River. Also links the Volga-Baltic waterway, that through Lake Onega and Lake Ladoga, connects to the Gulf of Finland and, across the White Sea-Baltic Canal, the White Sea.
The Volga leaves the lake by the same southern side by entering, east direction undertaking. At the foot of the dam is the industrial city of Rybinsk (222.653 hab., previously renamed Andropov) which it is the major transhipment port Upper Volga. Follow the river to the southeast and reaches Yaroslavl (613.088 hab.), one of the oldest cities of Central Russia, founded in the eleventh century. The river is moving increasingly towards this, transgressing the boundary with the Kostroma Oblast. To some 70 Yaroslavl km downstream is the city of Kostroma (278.750 hab.), located shortly after the confluence with the river Kostroma, another ancient city (founded in 1152). From now on, the Volga is becoming increasingly plain river, wide and discourse slow. soon Kostroma Oblast through its southern and goes into the Ivanovo Oblast, that crosses the northeastern part. Comes immediately to Kineshma (95.233 hab.) and downstream is a new large artificial lake, the Gorki Reservoir (1.591 km²), with a tail 430 km in length, created by making Nizhny Novgorod (built in 1955). In the northern part of the reservoir drain the rivers Nemda and Unzha (426 km). Following the large reservoir downstream southward, if entra en el Oblast Nizhny Novgorod, and receives by the left to Uzola River. The Volga moves over the dam and is located on the right bank of the city of Nizhny Novgorod (1.311.252 hab.), at the confluence with one of its major tributaries, el río Meshes (1.500 km). This is the point where traditionally considered just the upper reaches of Volga. Across the river, on the left bank, in front, the industrial city of Bor is located (61.525 hab.).
Course middle of the Volga
The middle Volga runs east-west, across the central part of European Russia, and it begins to observe and dissymmetry, its banks, It manifested most clearly in the course under, with craggy shore highest right, because of the presence of the foot of the heights of Volga, as opposed to a lower left bank. On leaving Nizhny Novgorod, the river veers eastward, passing in front of Kstovo and receiving from the left with river Kerzhenets. It comes down to another long reservoir, the Cheboksary, of over 130 km, part of which is in the Nizhni Novgorod Oblast, the central part in the Republic of Mari El (where it receives by the left the Vetluga and rivers Rutka) and the final part in the Chuvash Republic, which it is also the dam, built in the early 1980 (and for which they must have been rehoused a 20.000 people). Downstream of the dam are the cities of Cheboksary (440.621 hab.) and Novotcheboksarsk (125.857 hab.). Then the Volga shape during a stretch natural border between the republics of Chuvashia and Mari-El, a stretch in which it receives from the left the rivers Bolshaya Kokshaga, Malaya Kokshaga e Ilet, and the right to Tsivil and where, Also on the left bank, It is the town of Voljsk (58.987 hab.). Then the river internal, still heading east, in the Republic of Tatarstan, bathing the city of Zelenodolsk first (100.139 hab.) and then Kazan (1.105.289 hab.), the capital of the republic, both on the left bank.
last Kazan, the river (and another tranche dammed) veers south. The city is located at the beginning of another long reservoir, Reservoir Kouïbychev, with 550 km in length, created by the dam Samara, with its 6.450 km², It is the largest artificial lake retention Europe. The Kama River (1.850 km), the main tributary of the Volga, It is incorporated by draining left in this large artificial lake, at a point that has been regularly considered the beginning of the course under Volga, though now, with the reservoir, He has lost some of its geographic relevance.
The internal reservoir is southward in Ulyanovsk Oblast, a province that crosses in its eastern part and which is located on the right bank capital, Ulyanovsk (formerly Simbirsk, with 635.947 hab.). Further south, Lake enters the Samara Oblast and then forms an almost closed curve which lie, on the left bank, the cities of Togliatti (702.879 hab.) y Samara (before Kouïbychev, located at the confluence with the river Samara, which has 1.157.880 hab.) y Novokuybyshevsk (112.973 hab.) the Chapayevka River where it empties; Y, on the right bank, at the end of the curve, the city of Syzran (188.107 hab). Last Samara starts soon another long tail reservoir, Saratov Reservoir (1.831 km²), located 357 km downstream.
Always Southbound, the reservoir enters the Saratov Oblast, and after passing the dam, on foot, on the left bank, the river bathes the industrial city of Balakovo (200.470 hab.). shortly, also left, the Volga receives waters of the river Irgiz, one of the few intact sections of the old course, and where on the left bank of Volsk town is located (71.124 hab.). The characteristics landscape forms, consisting of meadows and hills to the west and a flat shore east, They are still noticeable between Kazan and Volgograd, Although the lakes reservoirs ancient submerged banks.
The Volga turns to the Southwest, It happens, on the left bank, opposite the small town of Marks (32.849 hab.), and then by Engels (200.800 hab.). Faced with the latter, on the other bank, is the city of Saratov (873.055 hab.), an important university center. A partir de Marks, and the tail begins another long reservoir, the Volgograd Dam (3.117 km²), with a length of about 540 km. The region through which flows the river starts to become increasingly desert. The reservoir remains almost southward, and enters the Volgograd Oblast and soon bathes the city of Kamychine (127.891 hab.), located on the left bank of the lake. Below the dam, are the cities of Voljski (313.169 hab.), on the left, Y 80 km downstream, on the right, Volgogrado (before Zarizyn, then Stalingrad, with 1.011.417 hab.). Cerca de Svetly Yar, begins the Volga-Don canal, opened in 1952 and that, after 101 km, achieves the Black Sea.
The Volga describes a curve toward west and made the long end section. Shortly it goes into the last of the óblast by running: from Oblast Astrakhan, and soon, an arm is derived, el río Akhtouba, will follow its own course parallel to the main runway on the left side to drain into the Caspian Sea. In this section, in the course of the Volga, It is the town of Akhtubinsk (45.542 hab.), on the left bank, and the end of the section, on the right bank, at the beginning of the delta formed by the river, the last of the major urban centers that bathes the river meets, Astracán (Itil antes, with 504.501 hab.). A part of the delta is protected as the region is a transit for migratory birds. The Volga River, its most important arms, the Bakhtemir and Tabula, and also the arm Akhtouba, easternmost, all flow into the Caspian Sea, the world's largest lake.
The Volga is fed into a 60% by water from melting snow, a 30% Groundwater and 10% by rainwater. The Volga has a little regular basis, since half of the water that annually takes the river does in a period of only six weeks: from late April to early June, at the time of thaw, which begins in the southern part of the basin, then to spread rapidly northward. Level (water height) the river is subject to significant annual fluctuations: reaches 11 m en Tver; the 16 m before the point of confluence with the river Kama; and the 3 m at the mouth, in Astrakhan. Nevertheless, the construction of dams in its course and its tributaries has considerably reduced these fluctuations.
The average inter-annual production or module of the river is 182 m³ / s en Tver; from 1.110 m³ / s en Yaroslavl; from 2.970 m³ / s en Nizhni Nóvgorod; from 7.720 m³ / s en Samara; and of 8.060 m³ / s en Volgogrado. Downstream of Volgograd, the river does not receive more significant tax and evaporation determines a decrease in flow rate in a 2%. The river could reach a maximum before 67.000 m³ / s downstream of the confluence with the Kama River 52.000 m³ / s en Volgogrado, pouring a portion of the water in the surrounding flood plains. The annual rainfall in the basin is 187 mm en Volgogrado, for a total of rainfall received 662 mm. Before the creation of reservoirs, the Volga poured in a year at its mouth 25 million tons of sediment and 40 a 50 tons of dissolved minerals. Volga waters reach a temperature of 20-25 ° C in July and remain free of ice 260 days a year in Astrakhan.
What indigenous peoples of the Upper Volga are the Finns meryas are today assimilated by the Russians. Other Finnish groups, as mari and mordves reside along the middle Volga. Turkish populations appeared around the year 600 and absorbed some groups Finnish and Indo-installed on the middle and lower course of the river: in consecuense, they became Christians and Muslims Tatars chuvashios, and the nogais today reinstated in Dagestan. Mongolian Buddhist Kalmyks settled the Volga in the seventeenth century. The region also hosts Russian Volga Germans who had been encouraged by Catherine II of Russia to settle in these lands to cultivate and also to create a buffer region against the attacks of the Mongol hordes East. The Germans came in large numbers. Under the Soviet regime, a part of the region became the Soviet Socialist Republic Volga Germans. After World War II, Stalin dissolved the Republic and moved part of its population to other regions.
The ancient Greeks knew the Volga under the name Rha River. In Russian folklore, the Volga is known as "Mother Volga" because of its importance. The river constituted for centuries the eastern border of Russia.
In the early Middle Ages, Slavic tribes settled in the upper, while the Bulgars settled in its middle course (the Volga Bulgars, the eighth century to the fourteenth century and the Khazars in its lower course. The latter settled in Itil, near Delta Volga, the capital of an "empire" transitory (eighth century – X century) which lasted from Kiev to the Urals, to the detriment of the eastern Slavs and the Volga Bulgars. They are known mainly by converting to Judaism, before being defeated by the armies of the Grand Duke of Kiev Sviatoslav I in 965.
It is during this period when the Volga became the main trade route to Eastern Europe. Controlled by the Mongols of the Horda de Oro downstream of Nizhni Novgorod in the XIII century. It was disputed in the fifteenth century by the khanates of Kazan and Astrakhan. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the Volga on which the capital of the Horda de Oro was – (Sharar), near modern Volgograd – He played a major role in the gains of Cosacos that passed under the control of Moscow. After the capture of Kazan by Ivan the Terrible in 1552 and then in Astracán 1556, the entire course of the river passed under the control of the Russian Empire. To establish its influence over the region, kremlins many were built in the steep right bank. Between these, some became large crowds: Saratov created in 1590, Tsaritsyne (Volgograd today) in 1589, Simbirsk (Ulyanovsk today) in 1648, Samara 1648. The population of the region was commissioned Russian settlers, Cossacks and Germans fleeing their overpopulated land and attracted by the offer installation of Queen Catherine II (1767). The Volga became a hub of communications facilitated the Russian expansion in Siberia and the Caspian Sea in particular, under Stepan Razin. In this age, the Lower Volga was mainly occupied by Mongol populations, Turkish and Finnish.
The railway, in the nineteenth century it consolidated the preponderance of the cities built along the river. The activities of these urban centers were related to trade: flour stores, fish industry; shipbuilding and maintenance of railway. But the region remained outside the industrial revolution globally until the thirties, date on which a first metallurgical complex and a tractor factory built (Stalingrad).
It was not until after World War II when the region was actually developed: were built more than 200 factories (tool, car) in major agglomerations. Adaptations gigantic work on the Volga and its tributary the Kama were undertaken, for permanent communication arteries, produce electricity and irrigate dry lands located along the lower course. Exploitation after World War II oil and gas major along the basin (90 Woodlands in oil and 28 mds m³ produced during 2001) They favored the creation of an important petrochemical industry dynamics, although deposits tend to run today. The central part of the river basin is relatively fertile, although rainfall is very irregular from one year to another. Conversely, attempts to irrigate the lands farther south did not give the expected results. In addition a portion of arable land, They located on the shore of the Caspian Sea were flooded in the eighties, after level rise Caspian Sea, who caught unawares specialists. Volga basin is rich in mineral resources such as potash and salt. Volga Delta and accesses the Caspian Sea are rich in fish. Astracán, located on the Volga delta, It is the center of the caviar industry.
During the Volga they have built numerous dams for hydroelectric and flow regulation, so that practically only remain unchanged sections of the river. Following the river downstream, dams are as follows (with year of entry into service, water surface, dammed volume, electricity):
presa de Ivankovskoye (1937): 327 km²; 1,12 km³; 130 MkWh;
presa de Uglich (1940): 249 km²; 1,25 km³; 212 MkWh;
presa de Rybinsk (1941): 4.550 km²; 25,42 km³; 1.100 MkWh;
presa de Nijni Novgorodo (1955): 1.591 km²; 8,7 km³; 1.513 MkWh;
presa de Cheboksary (1980): 2.100 km²; 14,2 km³; 3.280 MkWh;
attached Samara (Also barrage of Kouïbychev, at the confluence with the Kama River) (1955): 6.450 km²; 58 km³; 11.000 MkWh;
presa de Saratov (1967): 1.850 km²; 12,9 km³; 5.400 MkWh;
presa de Volgogrado (1958): 3.317 km²; 32,1 km³; 11.100 MkWh;
Rjev: 63.729 hab.
Tver (the former Kalinin, founded in 1135): 408.903 hab.
April: 60.951 hab.
Kimry: 58.500 hab.
Uglich: 38.900 hab.
Rybinsk (previously renamed Andropov): 222.653 hab.,
Yaroslavl: 613.088 hab.
Kostroma: 278.750 hab.
Kineshma: 95.233 hab.
Bor: 61.525 hab.
Nizhni Nóvgorod (ex-Gorki): 1.311.252 hab.
Cheboksary: 440.621 hab.
Novotcheboksarsk: 125.857 hab.
Voljsk: 58.987 hab.
Zelenodolsk: 100.139 hab.
Kazan: 1.105.289 hab.
Ulyanovsk (formerly Simbirsk): 635.947 hab.
Togliatti: 702.879 hab.
Samara (before Kouïbychev): 1.157.880 hab.
Novokuybyshevsk: 112.973 hab.
Syzran: 188.107 hab.
Balakovo: 200.470 hab.
Volsk: 71.124 hab.
Marks: 32.849 hab.
Engels: 200.800 hab.
Saratov: 873.055 hab.
Kamychine: 127.891 hab.
Voljski: 313.169 hab.
Volgogrado (before Zarizyn, then Stalingrad): 1.011.417 hab.)
Akhtubinsk: 45.542 hab.
Astracán (Itil antes): 504.501 hab.
And a picture taken from space
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