Key Facts about Kolyma River

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Key Facts about Kolyma River Blog Image


A Soviet-era Antonov-24 aircraft carrying 30 passengers landed safely on the frozen river Kolyma recently because of a pilot error.

About Kolyma River:

  • Location: It is a river in northeastern Siberia, far eastern Russia, risingin the Kolyma Mountains.
  • It is 2,129 kmlong and drains an area of 647,000 square km. 
  • Course:

o In its upper course, it flows through narrow gorges with many rapids.

o The Kolyma River cuts through the majestic Verkhoyansk Range, one of the longest mountain ranges in Siberia. 

o Gradually, its valley widens, enters the wide, flat, and swampy Kolyma Lowland, and flows northeastward to discharge into the East Siberian Sea (a marginal sea in the Arctic Ocean). 

  • It is the largest river system underlain by continuous permafrost. For about eight months of the year (late September until early June), the river is frozen to depths of several meters.
  • It is primarily fed by spring snowmelt and summer rainfall. 
  • The entire basin is covered by tundra or thin, stunted forest and has a sparse human population. 

· The river has a mean annual discharge of about 136 cubic kilometers of water per year, making it one of the six largest rivers to drain into the Arctic Ocean.

Q1: What is Permafrost?

Permafrost is any ground that remains completely frozen—32°F (0°C) or colder—for at least two years straight. These permanently frozen grounds are most common in regions with high mountains and in Earth’s higher latitudes—near the North and South Poles.

Source:Russian plane lands on frozen river by mistake -prosecutors