Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Lena River (Russian: Ле́на) in Siberia is the 10th longest river in the world and has the 9th largest watershed. Rising at the height of 1640 m at its source in the Baikal Mountains south of the Central Siberian Plateau, 20 km west of Lake Baikal, the Lena flows northeast, being joined by the Kirenga and the Vitim. From Yakutsk it enters the lowlands, joined by the Olyokma and flows north until joined by its right-hand affluent the Aldan. The Verkhoyansk Range deflects it to the north-west; then, after receiving its most important left-hand tributary, the Viljuj, it makes its way nearly due north to the Laptev Sea, a division of the Arctic Ocean, emptying south-west of the New Siberian Islands by a delta 10,800m² in area, and traversed by seven principal branches, the most important being Bylov , farthest east.
At the mouth of the Lena River is a delta that is about 400 km (250 miles) wide. The delta is frozen tundra for about 7 months of the year, but in May transforms the region into a lush wetland for the remainder of the year. Part of the area is protected as part of the Lena Delta Wildlife Reserve.
The total length of the river is estimated at 4,400 km (2,800) m.). The area of the Lena river basin is calculated at 2,500,000 km² (805,000m²). Gold is washed out of the sands of the Vitim and the Olyokma, and mammoth tusks have been dug out of the delta. The Lena has the unusual distinction of appearing to be the longest river in the world when viewed on a map using a Mercator projection, the most common method of displaying the spherical earth on a flat surface, due to that projection's tendency to exaggerate the size of areas near the poles (the Amazon and Nile both cross the equator.)
The majority of researchers believe that the name of the river Lena has been acquired from the original Even-Evenk name Elyu-Ene, which means "the Large River".
- NASA Earth Observatory page on flooding on the Lena River
- Information and a map of the Lena's watershed
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details