OB RIVER
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Introduction

The Ob River flows across western Siberia northwestward from the Altai Mountains of central Asia. It runs into the gulf of Ob, into the Kara sea in the Arctic ocean. It's middle course runs through taiga, swampy coniferous forest with expanses of marshland. Northward are vast stretches of icy, treeless tundra. The Ob is an important source of hydroelectric power and one of Siberia’s major transportation routes during the six months of the year when it is not frozen. One of the bridges crossing the Ob River is at Novosibirsk.

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Wildlife

50 fish species of fish are found in the Ob River and the gulf of Ob. The most valuable economically are several varieties of sturgeon and such “whitefish” as nelma (Stenodus leucichthys nelma), muksun (Coregonus muksun), tschirr (C. nasus), and peled (C. pelea); pike, burbot, Siberian dace, carp, and perch are also caught. The seasonal ice cover, however, causes depletion of oxygen in the water, killing many fish every winter in the reaches between the Tym confluence and the delta.


Plant life

Rich meadows extend to 3km wide for a great distance along the wonderful banks of the Ob River. Pine, cedar, silver fir, aspen and birch also occasionally grow on the Pb River banks.Large areas near the river are covered with willow, snowball trees (Viburnum), bird cherry (Prunus padus), buckthorn (Hippophaë), currant bushes, and wild roses.


Names

The Ob has many names, to the Khanty people it's the Yag, Kolta and Yema, to the Nenets people it's the Kolta or Kuay and to the Siberian Tatars it's the Umar or Omass.


Economy

The Ob River is a principal mean of transportation for western Siberia.It's navigable for approximately 190 days of the year when it's on it's upper reaches and for 150 on its lower. Both imports and exports are shipped along the Ob River. Most of the goods are transported to and from it along the northern sea route, which expands across the arctic. The Trans-Siberian railway crosses the Itrysh at Omsk and the upper Ob at Novosibirsk. Railways to Kazakhstan from Novosibirsk and from the foothills of the mountains cross the upper Ob at Barnaul. The Ob's immense hydroelectric potential is estimated at some 250 billion kilowatts. Three main stations ha e been built, one on the Ob and the other two at the mountains reaches of the Itrysh, at Bukhtarma and Oskemen.

Characteristics

The Ob River is 3,354 miles long, making it the 7th largest river in the world. A mixture of heavy rainfall, snowmelt, and ice jams in late May and early June of this year caused the Ob River and surrounding tributaries in Western Siberia to overflow their banks. The flooding can be seen in thess image taken on June 16, 2002, by the MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) instrument aboard the Terra satellite. Last year, the river flooded farther north. Normally, the river resembles a thin black line, but floods have swollen the river considerably. Lots of people use the Ob River for fishing.


Importance

There are lots of cities along the Ob River and Lots of them need the Ob River for survival, electricity and a whole lot of there stuff to. The Ob River is also a very important source of drinking water.


Issues

In the early years of operation, the Mayak plant released vast quantities of radioactively contaminated water into several small lakes near the plant. These lakes drain into the Techa River, whose waters ultimately flow into the Ob River.Power Plants have put radioactively contaminated water that runs down theTecha river that automaticly runs down to the Ob river.

History

Riverine water and sediment discharge to the Arctic Ocean is among the most important parameters influencing Arctic climate. It is clear that the evaluation of Arctic paleoclimate requires information on the paleodischarge of major rivers entering the sedimentation basin. Presently, the water discharge of the Ob River accounts for about 12% of the total input of river water into the Arctic Ocean. During the investigation of the Kara Sea in the framework of the Russian-German SIRRO Project, the history of Yenisei discharge received much attention in a number of publications. This paper presents the results of lithological and geochemical investigations with application to the Holocene discharge of the Ob River. Qualitative (SiO2, Al2O3, K2O, and some modules) and quantitative (sedimentation rates and absolute masses of sedimentary material) parameters were used to characterize the history of the Ob sediment discharge. It was shown that the investigated paleochannels of the Ob were initiated at the Pleistocene-Holocene boundary, and during the first half of the Holocene, the river discharge decreased irregularly with decreasing age of sediments. The observed maxima are in fairly good agreement with the data for the Yenisei. We proposed a hypothesis on the influence of glacioisostatic movements in the marginal region of the former Kara ice sheet of late Valdai age on the cessation of marine-fluvial glaciation in the paleochannels of Ob and Yenisei in the periphery of the Ob-Yenisei shoal.