Arabat Spit

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Arabat Spit
Арабатська стрілка
Арабатская стрелка
AzovseaNASA2.jpg
No. 5 marks the Arabat Spit in the Sea of Azov
Country Ukraine/Russian Federation
Regions Crimea, Kherson Oblast
Districts Henichesk, Nyzhnyohirsk, Sovyetsky, Kirovske, Leninske
Landmark Azov-Syvash (Nature Preserve)
Population 3,664 (2001)
Southern part of the Arabat Spit. View from Arabat Fortress

The Arabat Spit (Ukrainian: Арабатська стрілка, Arabatska strilka; Russian: Арабатская стрелка, Arabatskaya strelka; Crimean Tatar: Arabat beli), also called the Arabat Tongue or Arabat Pointer, is a spit (narrow strip of land) which separates a large, shallow and very salty system of lagoons named Sivash from the Sea of Azov. The spit is located between the town of Henichesk, Ukraine, to the north and the north-eastern shores of Crimea to the south. It is separated from Henichesk by the Henichesk Strait (Russian: Генический пролив). Another name of the strait is "Thin Strait" (Russian: Тонкий Пролив), which reflects the narrow geometry of the strait – it is about 4 km long, 80–150 m wide and 4.6 m deep.[1]

Overview[edit]

The Arabat Spit is 112 km long,[2] and from 270 m to 8 km wide;[3][4][5] its surface area is 395 km2 and thus the average width is 3.5 km. The spit is low and straight on the Azov Sea side, whereas its Sivash side is curved. It contains two areas which are 7–8 km wide and have brown-clay hills; they are located 7.5 km and 32 km from the Henichesk Strait. The top layers of other parts of the spit are formed by sand and shells washed by the flows of the Azov Sea. Its vegetation mostly consists of various weed grasses, thorn, festuce grasses, spear grass, crambe, salsola, salicornia, Carex colchica, tamarisk, rose hip, liquorice, etc.[6][7] Nowadays, the spit is a health resort and its Azov Sea side is used as a beach. Water is shallow with the depth reaching 2 meters only some 100–200 meters from the shore.[8] Its temperature is around 0 °C in winter (near freezing), 10–15 °C in spring and autumn, and 25–30 °C in summer; air temperature is almost the same.[9] Though the spit is geophysical a part of the Crimean peninsula, its northern half belongs to Kherson Oblast, Ukraine, while only its southern portion is a part of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea,[5] under the de facto administration of the Russian Republic of Crimea.

History[edit]

The spit is very young and was created by sedimentation processes around 1100–1200 AD.[10] It was wild until 1835 when a road and five stations spaced by 25–30 km were built along it for postal delivery. Later in the 19th century, 25 rural and 3 military settlements and one village named Arabat appeared on the spit. The rural population amounted to some 235 people whose occupation was mostly fishery, farming and salt production. The latter activity is traditional for the region due to the vast areas of shallow and very saline water in the Sivash lagoons. The salt production in 19th century was about 24,000 tonnes/year on the Arabat Spit alone.[7]

Populated places[edit]

The rural communities of Shchaslyvtseve and Strilkove are located in the northern section of the spit, within the Kherson Oblast. The community of Solyane is located in the southern part of the spit, administered as part of the Republic of Crimea.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Semenov, p.624
  2. ^ Petrov, V.P. (1964). Geography of the Soviet Union: Physical features. p. 112. 
  3. ^ V. I. Borisov and E. I. Kapitonov (1973). Azov Sea (in Russian). KKI. 
  4. ^ "Sivash" (in Russian). Great Soviet Encyclopedia. 
  5. ^ a b Shutov, Introduction
  6. ^ Shutov, Part 1
  7. ^ a b Semenov, p.111
  8. ^ Арабатская стрелка (in Russian)
  9. ^ Shutov, Part 5
  10. ^ Shutov, Part 4

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°42′N 35°00′E / 45.700°N 35.000°E / 45.700; 35.000