World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Yenisei River

Yenisei (Енисей)
Bii-Hem and Ka-Hem near Kyzyl
Countries Mongolia, Russia
Regions Tyva, Krasnoyarsk Krai, Khakassia, Irkutsk Oblast, Buryatia, Zabaykalsky Krai
 - right Angara, Lower Tunguska, Stony Tunguska River
Cities Kyzyl, Shagonar, Sayanogorsk, Abakan, Divnogorsk, Krasnoyarsk, Yeniseysk, Lesosibirsk, Igarka, Dudinka
Source Mungaragiyn-Gol
 - location ridge Dod-Taygasyn-Noor, Mongolia
 - elevation 3,351 m (10,994 ft)
 - length 748 km (465 mi)
 - coordinates
Mouth Yenisei Gulf
 - location Cuomo Sea, Arctic ocean, Russia
Length 5,539 km (3,442 mi)
Basin 2,580,000 km2 (996,144 sq mi)
Discharge for Igarka[1]
 - average 19,600 m3/s (692,167 cu ft/s)
 - max 112,000 m3/s (3,955,243 cu ft/s)
 - min 3,120 m3/s (110,182 cu ft/s)
The Yenisei basin, including Lake Baikal

The Yenisei (Russian: Енисе́й, Yenisey, Mongolian: Gorlog[2]), also written as Yenisey,[3] is the largest river system flowing to the Arctic Ocean. It is the central of the three great Siberian rivers that flow into the Arctic Ocean (the other two being the Ob and the Lena). Rising in Mongolia, it follows a northerly course to the Yenisei Gulf in the Kara Sea, draining a large part of central Siberia, the longest stream following the Yenisei-Angara-Selenga-Ider river system.

The upper reaches, subject to rapids and flooding, pass through sparsely populated areas. The middle section is controlled by a series of massive hydroelectric dams fuelling significant Russian primary industry.

The maximum depth of the Yenisei is 80 feet (24 m) and the average depth is 45 feet (14 m). The depth of river outflow is 106 feet (32 m) and inflow is 101 feet (31 m).


  • Course 1
  • Lake Baikal 2
  • Lower Yenisei 3
  • Ecology 4
  • Navigation 5
  • History 6
  • Gallery 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10


The river flows through Khakassia,[4] and the city of Krasnoyarsk.[5]

Its right tributaries include the Kureyka, Angara, Lower Tunguska, and Stony Tunguska rivers.

Lake Baikal

The 320-kilometre (200 mi), partly navigable Upper Angara River feeds into the northern end of Lake Baikal from the Buryat Republic but the largest inflow is from the Selenga which forms a delta on the south-eastern side.

The river as seen from the trans-Siberian railway near Krasnoyarsk

Lower Yenisei

The Great Kaz joins the Yenisei 300 kilometres (190 mi) downstream from Strelka. It is noteworthy for its connection to the Ob via the Ob–Yenisei Canal and the Ket River.


The Yenisei River basin (excluding Lake Baikal and lakes of the Khantayka River headwaters) is home to 55 native fish species, including two endemics: Gobio sibiricus (a gobionine cyprinid) and Thymallus nigrescens (a grayling).[6] Most fish found in the river basin are relatively widespread Euro-Siberian or Siberian species, such as northern pike (Esox lucius), common roach (Rutilus rutilus), common dace (Leuciscus leuciscus), Siberian sculpin (Cottus poecilopus), European perch (Perca fluviatilis) and Prussian carp (Carassius gibelio). The basin is also home to many salmonids (trout, whitefish, charr, graylings, taimen and relatives) and the Siberian sturgeon (Acipenser baerii).[6]

The Yenisei River valley is habitat for numerous flora and fauna, with Siberian pine and Siberian larch being notable tree species. In prehistoric times Scots pine, Pinus sylvestris, was abundant in the Yenisei River valley circa 6000 BC.[7] There are also numerous bird species present in the watershed, including, for example the hooded crow, Corvus cornix.[8]


Inclined plane at Krasnoyarsk Dam

The first team to navigate the Yenisey's entire length, including its violent upper tributary in Mongolia, was an Australian-Canadian effort completed in September 2001. Ben Kozel, Tim Cope, Colin Angus and Remy Quinter were on this team. Both Kozel and Angus wrote books detailing this expedition,[9] and a documentary was produced for National Geographic Television.

A canal inclined plane was built on the river in 1985 at the Krasnoyarsk Dam.[10]


Ancient nomadic tribes such as the Ket people and the Yugh people lived along its banks. The Ket, numbering about 1000, are the only survivors today of those who originally lived throughout central southern Siberia near the river banks. Their extinct relatives included the Kotts, Assans, Arins, Baikots, and Pumpokols who lived further upriver to the south. The modern Ket lived in the eastern middle areas of the river before being assimilated politically into Russia during the 17th through 19th centuries.[11]

Russians first reached the upper Yenisei in 1605, travelling from the Ob River, up the Ket River, portaging and then down the Yenisei as far as the Sym River.[12]

During World War II, Nazi Germany and the Japanese Empire agreed to divide Asia along a line that followed the Yenisei River to the border of China, and then along the border of China and the Soviet Union.[13]


See also


  1. ^ "Station: Igarka". Yenisei Basin. UNH / GRDC. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  2. ^ A.Ochir. "History of the Mongol Oirats" 1993
  3. ^ "Yenisei River". Hammond Quick & Easy Notebook Reference Atlas & Webster Dictionary. Hammond. p. 31.  
  4. ^ "Yenisei River: Siberia’s blessing and curse". RT. 11 June 2010. Retrieved 8 June 2014. 
  5. ^ Alan Taylor (23 August 2013). "A Year on the Yenisei River".  
  6. ^ a b Freshwater Ecoregions of the World (2008). Yenisei. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
  7. ^ Stein, Ruediger et al. 2003. Siberian river run-off in the Kara Sea, Proceedings in Marine Sciences, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 488 pages
  8. ^ C. Michael Hogan. 2009. ,, ed, N. StrombergHooded Crow: Corvus cornix
  9. ^ Five Months in a Leaky Boat: A River Journey Through Siberia, Kozel, 2003, Pan Macmillan
  10. ^ Permanent International Association of Navigation Congresses. (1989). Ship lifts: report of a Study Commission within the framework of Permanent ....  
  11. ^ Vajda, Edward G. "The Ket and Other Yeniseian Peoples". Retrieved 2006-10-27. 
  12. ^ Fisher, Raymond Henry (1943). The Russian Fur Trade, 1550-1700. University of California Press. 
  13. ^ Weinberg, Gerhard L. Visions of Victory: The Hopes of Eight World War II Leaders Cambridge, England, United Kingdom:2005--Cambridge University Press [1]

External links

  • Photos of river around Krasnoyarsk area at
  • Geographic data related to Yenisei River at OpenStreetMap
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.