13 Lena River Facts That Everyone Should Definitely Know! | Kidadl


13 Lena River Facts That Everyone Should Definitely Know!

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Read these Tokyo facts to learn all about the Japanese capital.

Did you know that the famous leader of the Soviet Union of Russia, Vladimir Lenin, took Lenin as his pseudonym from a river called the Lena River?

The Lena River is the longest river that lies entirely in Russia and is the 11th-longest river in the world. It flows through the Siberian province of Russia.

Its name is believed to be derived from the Tungusic language of the indigenous people of North Russia, from the word Elyu-Ene, which means 'the longest river'. The river Lena rises from the Baikal Mountains in Siberia at an elevation of 5,381 ft (1,640 m). It flows in a north-eastern direction for about 2,668 mi (4,293 km) before draining into the Laptev Sea, which is a part of the Arctic Ocean.

The drainage basin of the Lena River covers a large area of 960,000 sq mi (2486388.59 sq km). On the sands of two of Lena river’s tributaries, called the Vitim River and Olyokma River, gold is washed out.

The Lena Delta near the Laptev Sea is 12,000 sq mi (31,080 sq km) in area. Archaeologists have even dug out mammoth tusks from the Lena Delta!

The Lena River freezes completely from the months of December to April. Fish like perch, arctic cisco, Chung salmon, and Arctic lampreys are found in the river, along with marine mammals like the walrus. Many migratory birds, such as the snow goose, peregrine falcon, black brant, and Bewick's swan, are found in the Lena Delta.

Read further to learn more interesting Lena River facts to expand your knowledge of its drainage basin!

Falls, Dams And Flows

The Lena River is known to be one of the three great Siberian rivers, along with the Yenisey and Ob rivers. It is the eastern-most of the three rivers and flows in a north-eastern direction for 2,668 mi (4,293 km) from its mouth to its end.

The source of The River Lena is in the Baikal Mountains, that lie south of the Central Siberian Plateau, near Lake Baikal. The river rises from an elevation of 5,381 ft (1,640 m) and flows towards the north-east regions of Siberia across the Lena Plateau. Here, it is joined by three of its tributaries; the Kirenga, Vitim, and Olyokma rivers. The Lena River passes through the city of Yakutsk, near which lie the Pillars of Lena, a beautiful rock formation along the banks of the River Lena. These rock pillars are about 490–980 ft (149-298 m) high. Around 68 mi (110 km) south of Yakutsk, the Kyuryulyur Waterfalls lie on the right bank of the Lena River.

From Yakutsk, the river flows into the Central Yakutian lowland regions and flows north till it is joined by its right-hand tributary, the Aldan, and its most significant left-hand tributary, the Vilyuy. There is no dam on the main stem of the Lena River, but a hydroelectric power station called the Vilyuy Dam is set up on Lena’s tributary, the Vilyuy river. From the lowland regions, the Lena River bends westward and flows along the Kharaulakh Mountain Range. It then runs to the north into the Lena Delta, which is 2,000 sq mi (5,180 sq km) in area. Its drainage point lies on the northern edge of Siberia, as the river empties into the Laptev Sea, south of the New Siberian Islands, both of which are a part of the Arctic Ocean. The Lena River basin covers an area of 960,000 sq mi (2486388.59 sq km) overall.

Conserving Clean Water

The Lena River remains one of the cleanest sources of fresh water on Earth, as most of its water comes from rain and melting ice. The Lena River is home to a wide variety of fish like perch, arctic cisco, Chung salmon, and Arctic lampreys, along with marine mammals like the walrus.

Vegetation around the river’s course includes plants like Arctic poppies, mosses, lichens, and Whitlow grass. Clean river water is also essential to the lives of the people settled along the banks of the River Lena. The flow of the Lena River has not been hampered by the large-scale construction of reservoirs and dams, thus, the river is not too polluted due to less human interference along its course. This makes the Lena River different from many other rivers that have been over-exploited for generating hydroelectric power. However, as a large number of ships regularly carry cargo on the river, oil spills remain a constant threat to the river’s ecosystem.

The Arctic Ocean is polluted by 55,115,566 lb (25,000 MT) of oil from the Lena River each year. Despite large areas of the Lena River basin being protected, deforestation of land for cultivation, excessive water extraction for irrigation, overfishing, and overgrazing are persistent problems. The Russian Government has taken steps to curb these issues to conserve the Lena River’s clean water. The peat bogs formed in the Lena River Delta during the summer remove pollution from the river naturally by taking up the excess carbon dioxide in the water.

The Lena River is the longest river that lies entirely in Russia

Uses Of The Lena River

The Lena River holds a very important place in the lives of the people settled along its banks in Siberia. It has great natural, agricultural, industrial and economic significance.

A wide variety of commercially cultivated crops, like cucumbers, potatoes, wheat, and barley, are grown when the Lena River flows through the Central Yakutian lowland regions. As huge pasture lands are available along the banks of the river, animal ranching is a common practice in Siberia. The Lena River has a rich deposit of mineral wealth around its banks, including precious metals, such as gold and diamonds. The two main ingredients of steel-making are also found near the banks of the river in the form of iron ores and deposits of coking coal. Other natural gas and coal deposits are also found in this region, while salt beds are found near Olyokminsk. The Lena River is largely navigable, which allows for the easy transportation of cargo, from their production areas to the trade and consumption centers along the Lena River’s banks and the rest of the world through Arctic Ocean routes. This cargo includes industrial products, fur, food, and excavated minerals.

The Lena River has great potential for the development of hydroelectric power of up to 40 million KWh, but only a small fraction of this has been used to date. The Laptev Sea, into which the Lena River drains, helps in regulating the temperature of the world's northernmost regions by giving a drifting outlet to the large blocks of ice that form in the Lena River’s outflow, allowing them to break off and cool when the temperature rises.

Lena River Studies And Research

In 1995, the Duke of Edinburgh, who is the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) president, took part in an event that marked the Lena River Delta as a major site for the environmental monitoring of the ecosystems in the Arctic region.

Through this, the scientific facility of the International Biological Station (IBS) of Lena-Nordenskjold was opened. Since the Lena Delta is one of the major regions in the Arctic Ocean because of its large landmass, a wide range of species, and unique research opportunities, the IBS was located here. The mission of this station is to conduct ecological monitoring, undertake complex research of Arctic ecosystems, and observe their biodiversity. Other study areas in the Lena River Delta region are located on the Sobo-Sise Island and Bykovsky Peninsula of the Arctic.

Written By
Supriya Jain

<p>As a skilled member of the Kidadl team, Shruti brings extensive experience and expertise in professional content writing. With a Bachelor's degree in Commerce from Punjab University and an MBA in Business Administration from IMT Nagpur, Shruti has worked in diverse roles such as sales intern, content writer, executive trainee, and business development consultant. Her exceptional writing skills cover a wide range of areas, including SOP, SEO, B2B/B2C, and academic content.</p>

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