The Volga River would seem to be Europe’s longest and western Russia’s most important watercourse. River extends 3,530 kilometers from its own headwaters in the Valdai Hills towards the Caspian Sea, the world’s largest inland water body, covering much more of the Volga area. The Volga River Basin encompasses over two-fifths of European Russia and is home to nearly half of the nation’s population. The river runs across Russia altogether, passing throughout four of said country’s ten major cities. That is one of the world’s most important rivers due to its historical, cultural, and economic significance. The Volga River considered originally the gathering spot of Eurasian Civilization. It moreover contains some more of the world’s largest reservoirs therefore supplies directly and indirectly subsistence to millions around the world.
From its own headwaters to its outlet in the Caspian Sea, the Volga River is indeed the world’s 18th and Europe’s longest river, reaching 3,530 kilometers. It flows into to the Caspian Sea, the world’s biggest confined basin, and is also the world’s longest river. The Caspian Sea is 28 meters beneath sea level, and although its headwaters, the Valdai Hills in Tver Oblast, is 228 meters above the sea level. Regarding drainage basin as well as discharge, the Volga River is Europe’s greatest river. Its drainage basin and that is almost completely in Russia, spans 1.36 million square kilometers and encompasses almost all of European Russia, and even the majority of said nation’s population. The swampy forest, forest-steppe, steppe, and semi-desert lowland are the various geographical areas that make up the drainage basin. The Volga emits a median of 8,060 cubic meters of water each day, or around 250 cubic kilometers of water each year. The river does, nevertheless, have a greatest outflow of 48,500 cubic meters per second. The Oka, Sura, Kama, and Veltuga are among of the Volga’s great rivers. The Volga River delta is Europe’s biggest estuary, stretching 160 kilometers as well as containing over 500 minor rivers.
Course on the River
The Volga River is separated into four divisions throughout its length. The Higher Volga is the stretch of the river in between the headwaters and indeed the junction with the Oka. The Middle Volga runs from either the junction with the Oka to the confluence with the Kama, whereas the Low Volga runs the rest of the period. The Volga River begins as nothing more than a tiny river mostly in Valdai Hills it only becomes a genuine river once so many of its tributaries meet it. The river flows east through Valdai, via a number of minor villages and lakes, notably Lake Sterzh. After that, it heads southeast, passing through some kind of trench and past Rzhev before heading northwest. From Tver, the Volga draws water from of the Tversta and Vazuza River systems.This then flows northwestward into Tver through Rybinsk Reservoir, which further takes water from many other rivers such as the Sheksna as well as the Mologa. From Rybinsk, the Volga turns southeast and runs through some kind of valley between both the Galich-Chukhlom Lowland and Danilov Highlands on the north and indeed the Uglich Highland upon that south to reach Nizhny Novgorod.
The Unzha, Oka, and Kostroma River systems meet the Volga throughout this area. The river increases its extent around Oka and Kazan, with inflow from Sviyaga and Sura also on north bank and Vetluga and Kerzhenets mostly on left. The Volga runs south through Kazan into to the Samara Reservoir, where it is linked just on left either by Kama. The Volga has grown into a powerful river that turns southwest and runs to Volgograd through the Volga Mountains. The Volga’s main distributary, the Akhtuba, splits southeast of Volgograd and into the Caspian Sea. The primary Volga flows to Astrakhan, where everything splits into two distributaries, the first of which is the Buzan, which flows into to the Volga Delta. Old Volga, Kamyzyak, and Bolda are a few of the additional tributaries.
Snow provides a significant portion of the Volga River’s waters, support for approximately to 60% of average outflow. Approximately 10% of the river’s water is discharged by rainwater, well with remainder coming from subsurface supplies. The Volga’s regime originally defined by spring floods and yearly changes prior to the installation of reservoirs all along river. The Lower Volga’s level of water varied around 3 to 15 meters, the Middle Volga’s around 12 to 14 meters, and also the Higher Volga’s around 7 to 11 meters. The typical river discharge differs depending on the area, with 180 cubic meters per second recorded at Tver, 1,100 cubic meters per second in Yaroslavl, while 7,715 cubic meters per second at Samara. Somewhere at river’s mouth, the estimated annual outflow is 8,060 cubic meters per second.
The weather of the Volga River valley varies as it flows north to south. The weather there in river’s northern reaches is moderate, with freezing, snow-covered hot summers and cold winters, humid summers. Nevertheless, summertime mostly in lower reaches of the river basin are warm and dry, with chilly wintertime. From north to south, annual precipitation slowly reduces.
The Volga River Delta, located somewhere at river’s mouth, is indeed a diverse ecosystem with 430 species of plants, 127 types of fish, 260 migratory birds, plus 850 aquatic invertebrates, but also a high number of species of insects. Numerous migratory birds nest mostly in wetlands of the Volga Delta, including Dalmatian pelicans as well as great white egrets. Sturgeons, Volga lampreys, whitefish, and herrings are among the types of fish found in the river.
The Volga River is home to several of the world’s greatest dams and reservoirs, transforming the river into a network of tiny lakes. Navigation locks plus hydroelectric installations are among the features of the reservoirs. The topmost reservoir at Ivankovo was finished in 1937 and encompasses around 326 square kilometers. The Uglich Reservoir is around 250 square kilometers in size, whereas the Rybinsk Reservoir is 4,532 square kilometers in size. Samara, Cheboksary, Volgograd, and Saratov have their own reservoirs. Across its journey, the Volga contains eight hydro power plants, whereas the Kama, the primary tributary, offers three. The Volga is accessible for around 3,330 kilometers, and its 70 accessible branches carry almost half of Russia’s interior commerce. Approximately four-fifths of all freights are made up of basic and building materials. Food, petroleum products, salt, and agricultural machinery are among several things moved all along river. The Volga-Baltic Waterway connects the Volga River to the Baltic Sea, which therefore connects towards the White Sea through the White Sea-Baltic Canal. As a result, the Volga River is connected to Europe’s major waterway system.
But even though the Volga River has long been beneficial to Russia’s economy, the impacts of uncontrolled human influence increasingly made their mark on the river basin’s ecosystem. The river’s large-scale flooding, aided by the construction of dams and reservoirs across its path, has resulted in a reduction there in mass of water entering the Caspian Sea. Thus, coupled with high levels of pollution in river waters, has severely harmed the river’s aquatic vegetation and animals. Animals including the beluga sturgeon as well as whitefish typically live in the sea but move to the Volga’s highest echelons to breed, are increasingly encountering barriers to their traditional migration patterns. Poaching of river fish species on a massive scale has put some fishes’ existence in jeopardy. Sturgeons are classified as Vulnerable Species in six species, Fragile in six, and Endangered throughout all but two different species.