Rivers of the Smolensk region: list, description

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Rivers of the Smolensk region: list, description
Rivers of the Smolensk region: list, description

Smolensk region is located in the European part of Russia within the Vyazemskaya and Smolensk-Moscow uplands. The unique nature in this area is beautiful: the hilly terrain, lowlands, moraine ridges and rivers of the Smolensk region attract tourists.

River valleys

With an area of almost 50,000 square meters, there are the B altic, Black Sea and Caspian basins, between which there is a watershed. All water bodies belong to large rivers: Volga, Dnieper and Zapadnaya Dvina.

The river network is 1,149 small and large rivers, the total length of which is more than 16,500 km. The water level is maintained due to rain and snow, respectively, they are characterized by spring floods, low water, characteristic of autumn and summer, floods. Freezing of the river cover in the Smolensk region is typical for November-December, and the melting of ice occurs in March-April.

waters of the Dnieper
waters of the Dnieper

The region has the following major rivers:

  • Dnepr and its tributaries Sozh and Desna;
  • Iput is a tributary of the Sozh;
  • Ugra and Moscow are tributaries of the Oka (Volga basin);
  • Vazua and tributary Gzhat.

Water resources

The region is under the responsibility of the Moscow-Oka Water Administration. Now the state program "Environmental Protection" is being carried out on the territory, which provides for the rational use of available natural resources. It is calculated until 2020. For 6 years of work of the planned plan, the following tasks related to the water resources of the Smolensk region should be solved:

  • Reconstruction of protective structures.
  • Construction of new facilities.
  • Ensuring the stability of hydraulic structures.
  • Restoring the ecological balance.
natural gravel
natural gravel

Territorial location and minerals

Zonally, the region is the intersection of the boundaries of the Moscow Basin, the Kursk-Voronezh massif and the Dnieper-Donets depression. The complex geological history is a undulating terrain, a picturesque network of rivers and numerous lakes. The Dnieper is famous for its unique appearance: high banks in the area of Kolodnya and Sokolya Gora, near Bork and in Krasny Bor. Each river has not only a unique appearance, but is also the location of minerals.

Large river valleys of the Smolensk region hide deposits:

  • Sozh: chalk, glassy sands, phosphorites.
  • Vazuza: marls, limestones, clay, dolomites.
  • Dnepr: gravel, limestone, chalk, clay, building sands.
  • Ugra: limestones, refractory clay, brown coal.
river sands
river sands

Historical monuments

River valleys hide not only useful resources, but also archaeological sites: settlements, burial mounds, settlements. Such finds indicate that the Slavs settled along the banks of the rivers, thus developing the river network. Over the centuries, the appearance of some rivers was transformed into a network with pre-Quaternary valleys, others - with Quaternary ones, when the expansion of the territory of the water resources of the Smolensk region occurred due to the melting of glacial waters.

Rivers with pre-Quaternary valleys:

  • Vikhra (tributary of the Sozh).
  • Berezina (Rudnyanskaya).
  • Voronitsa (tributary of the Iput).
  • Demina (a tributary of the Ugra).
  • Ugra (upper course).

Quaternary - this is the time when the rivers of the southern direction "flowing" and the latitudinal "flowing around" changed their course to the north, i.e. became "reoriented". Latitudinal rivers are prefabricated in their structure, formed due to several segments of other flowing reservoirs.

The latitudinal rivers include ice age rivers:

  • Oster.
  • Dnepr (from Dorogobuzh to Orsha).
  • Khmara.
Berezina river valley
Berezina river valley

When the Moscow glacier melted, the waters flowed along the valleys to the south, and after the retreat of the glacier, they flowed to the north. "Redirected" rivers of the Smolensk region in their direction, the flow of which goes to the north:

  • Vyazma;
  • Uzha (left tributaries of the Dnieper);
  • Ustrom;
  • Kasplya;
  • Wazooza;
  • Cry;
  • Mereya.

In the southdirection passes through the following rivers:

  • Vorya;
  • Scream;
  • Khmost;
  • Sozh;
  • Zhizhal;
  • Gum;
  • Dnepr (to Dorogobuzh).

Slavutich or Borisfen

The fourth longest river in Europe - the Dnieper in the Smolensk region - is the main one, and has tributaries: Vyazma, Sozh, Vop, Desna. The Greeks called it Borisfen, and the Slavic people settled along its banks, magnifying Slavutich. It flows through three states: Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. It originates in the north of the Valdai Upland (village of Dudkino, Smolensk region) and extends for 2,201 km, flowing into the Dnieper Estuary.

ice melt
ice melt

Flora is represented by numerous algae (diatoms, golden algae, cryptophyte, etc.), which vary depending on ecological features, depth, season and time of day. The total number of algae reaches 1,192 species.

Each section of the Dnieper is characterized by its own list of representatives of flora and fauna, the number of which varies from year to year: the number of macrophytes (aquatic plants) has increased to 69 species, some species could not withstand the changing conditions due to the construction of reservoirs, others - on the contrary developed and multiplied. The mouth area is 72 species of higher aquatic plants. Wetlands are dominated by air-water reeds, cattails, reeds, as well as pondweed, urut, vallisneria, naiad, white water lily and yellow water lily.

Fauna is represented by 70 species of fish divided into classes:

  • Checkpoints.
  • Semi-through(sturgeon, herring, ram).
  • Carp.

A lot of river fish (beluga, salmon, eel) disappeared in the upper Dnieper, and the number of podust, ide, tench, sterlet and chub also decreased. They were replaced by bream, carp, catfish and pike.

carp fish
carp fish

Dnieper tributary

On the coast of the Desna is the city of Yelnya, whose history dates back to the 12th century. Previously, these Smolensk lands were conquered by the Mongol-Tatars. Only from the 17th century, Yelnya in the Smolensk region became a full-fledged Russian settlement, a little later - a city (1776). The popularity of the modern center is not only in its memorials and local history museums, not far from the Gorodianka river, which flows into the Desna, there is an ancient settlement of the XII century.

Yelnya river
Yelnya river

The south-eastern location of the city suggests its location on the watershed plateau of the "Yelninsky Knot". The left tributary of the Dnieper - Uzha, originates in the north-west of the settlement and flows in a northerly direction. The Desna flows south, as does the Stryan. The waters of the Ugra go from the south-eastern part of Yelnya, Smolensk region, to the north, turning sharply to the east near the village of Sledneva, leaving for the Vskhodsky district. The Usiya flows into the Ugra, and the Khmara basin, which is a tributary of the Sozh, is located at the borders of the Pochinkovsky and Elninsky districts.


The 1,130 km long river flows through the European part of Russia. The name from Old Slavonic means "right" and was given because of the location (right tributary). The source of the Desna River in the Smolensk region is the Golubev Mokh peat bog near Yelnya, in the areahills. Passing through several regions, it flows into the Dnieper. The upper course is characterized by swampy terrain. In December there is a lot of thick bottom, and in spring there is a big flood. An important water destination is the Desnogorsk reservoir. The river has 13 right (Convince, Mena, Sudost, etc.) and 20 left tributaries (Oster, Navlya, Veresoch, etc.).

Desna river
Desna river

Zapadnaya Dvina

The river passing through three states, flows in the north of Eastern Europe, has ancient unique names: Bubo, Sudon, Eridan and Khesin. Zhuchkevich believed that it is of Finnish origin and means "quiet".

The Western Dvina in the Smolensk region, which is 1,020 km long, starts from Lake Koryakino (Dvinets), flows southwest, then changes direction towards the northwest and flows into the Gulf of Riga. The largest tributaries: Luchosa, Mezha, Veles, Dubna, Usvyacha, Ulla, Disna, Toropa.

Yauza river
Yauza river


The river in the northern part of the Gagarinsky district is the right tributary of the Gzhat. The drainage basin covers more than 687 km2, and the length of the Yauza River in the Smolensk region is 77 km. The tributary flows into the Vazuz reservoir, feeding the Hydrotechnical system.


Until recently, it was not reliably known about the origins of the river. Opinions varied and contradicted each other. Some scientists argued that the river originates in a swampy hollow near the village of Bosino, others - near the village of Rai, the third opinion assumed the village of Petrovo as a starting point. This state of affairs has come about becauseStreams run from the proposed areas, which merge in the west of the Sozh River in the Smolensk region. As a result of a survey of local residents of the above villages, it was found that all three versions cannot be true. The beginning of the river began to be considered a lowland in the southeast of the village of Redkevshchina, where two hollows join: one goes from Maksimov Mkha, the other goes around the village to the northeast.

Sozh river
Sozh river

The second largest tributary of the Dnieper runs 648 km, flowing into the Dnieper near Loev. The area of the river basin is 42,100 km2, its tributaries are:

  • And the path;
  • Oster;
  • Conversations;
  • Pronya;
  • Whirlwind.

The steep banks are characterized by very high boundaries, reaching 20 m. The depth in some places, on the border with the Besed tributary, reaches 6 m.

Smolensk region

The geography of the territorially delineated zone is quite diverse, the river network belongs to the basins of the Volga, Western Dvina and Dnieper. The waters flow into the Black, Caspian and B altic Seas. When compared with similar data on the river network of neighboring regions, Smolensk is the most dense, developing every year.

city of Smolensk
city of Smolensk

Most of the rivers are small in length, only 15 have a length of more than 100 km, the rest vary from 20 to 50 km. The valleys amaze with their beauty, wide bends, lake-like extensions. It was the path "from the Varangians to the Greeks" that went along the rivers of the Smolensk region, starting from the Dnieper and ending with the Western Dvina.

We must not forget about the energyand transport value of the river network. Before the advent of railways, especially in the spring, ships sailed along the rivers Gzhat, Sozh, Kasplya. In the modern period, waterways are intended for towing rafts, transporting goods, and rafting timber. Until recently, there were 5 hydroelectric power stations, but now only one is functioning - Knyazhinskaya. It is more profitable for nearby towns and villages to receive electricity from the Dorogobuzh hydroelectric power station.

The national economy is another point where rivers play a big role. All water sources are located in river valleys. Hayfields, pastures, floodplain onions, pond farming - everything is fed by the river network. Fish and waterfowl are bred in the ponds.