Don River (Russia)
|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (February 2008)|
The Don river near the village Kalininsky in Rostov Oblast.
|Regions||Tula Oblast, Voronezh Oblast, Lipetsk Oblast, Volgograd Oblast, Rostov Oblast|
|- left||Khopyor River|
|- right||Seversky Donets River|
|- location||Novomoskovsk, Tula Oblast|
|- elevation||238 m (781 ft)|
|Mouth||Sea of Azov|
|- location||Kagal'nik, Rostov Oblast|
|- elevation||0 m (0 ft)|
|Length||1,950 km (1,212 mi)|
|Basin||425,600 km2 (164,325 sq mi)|
|- average||935 m3/s (33,019 cu ft/s)|
The Don (Russian: Дон, IPA: [don]) is one of the major rivers of Russia. It rises in the town of Novomoskovsk 60 kilometres southeast from Tula, southeast of Moscow, and flows for a distance of about 1,950 kilometres (1,220 mi) to the Sea of Azov.
In antiquity, the river was viewed as the border between Europe and Asia by some ancient Greek geographers. In the Book of Jubilees, it is mentioned as being part of the border, beginning with its easternmost point up to its mouth, between the allotments of sons of Noah, that of Japheth to the north and that of Shem to the south. During the times of the old Scythians it was known in Greek as the Tanaïs (Τάναϊς) and has been a major trading route ever since. Tanais appears in ancient Greek sources as both the name of the river and of a city on it, situated in the Maeotian marshes.
The Khazar fortress of Sarkel used to dominate this point in the Middle Ages. This part of the river saw heavy fighting during Operation Uranus, one of the turning points of the Second World War.
The Don Cossacks, who settled the fertile valley of the river in the 16th and 17th centuries, were named for the river. In modern literature, the Don is often featured in the works of Mikhail Aleksandrovich Sholokhov, a writer from the stanitsa of Veshenskaya.
Dams and canals
At its easternmost point, the Don comes near the Volga, and the Volga-Don Canal (length ca. 105 kilometres (65 mi)), connecting both rivers, is a major waterway. The water level of the Don in this area is raised by the Tsimlyansk Dam, forming the Tsimlyansk Reservoir.
For the next 130 km below the Tsimlyansk Dam, the sufficient water depth in the Don River is maintained by the sequence of three dam-and-ship-lock complexes: the Nikolayevsky Ship Lock (Николаевский гидроузел), Konstantinovsk Ship Lock (Константиновский гидроузел), and the best known of the three, the Kochetovsky Ship Lock (Кочетовский гидроузел). The Kochetovsky Lock, built in 1914–1919 and doubled in 2004–2008, is located 7.5 km below the fall of the Seversky Donets into the Don, and 131 km upstream of Rostov-na-Donu, the Kochetovsky Ship Lock (Кочетовский гидроузел) ( ) is located. This facility, with its dam, maintains sufficient water level both in its section of the Don and in the lowermost stretch of the Seversky Donets. This is the last lock on the Don; below Kochetovsky lock, the sufficient depth of the navigation waterway is maintained by dredging.
Main Tributaries from source to mouth:
- Krasivaya Mecha
- Bystraya Sosna
- Tikhaya Sosna
- Black Kalitva
- Khopyor (1.010 km)
- Seversky Donets (1.053 km)
- Aidar (264 km)
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