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The Danube River and the Danube Delta
Danube River and Danube Delta
Daunbe River and Danube Delta | Danube River's Main Tributaries

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              The Danube River is the second longest river in Europe (after Volga) where it is the major methods/source of transportation.  One reason for this is the fact that it is the only major European river to flow west to east.  The source of the river is located in the Black Forest Mountains, area of Germany.  From there, it flows about 2,860 km (1,770 miles) to the east caring   6,550 means of water discharge.

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(the Danube River)

 

                 The mouth of the river forms a delta on the Romanian coastline of the Black Sea. The river connects central and southeastern Europe, as well as, the Balkans and the Black Sea. 

                  In fact, eight countries share its water, including Germany, Austria (it waters Vienna), Slovakia (it waters Bratislava), Hungary (crosses Budapest), Serbia (it waters Belgrade), Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Romania.

(click on the picture for a larger image)
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(the countries that the Danube River travels through)

       The Danube River has been used as an important means of transportation. In 1965 began the construction of the biggest hydro plant which was finished in 1972 delivering power for both countries Romania and Yugoslavia, countries which built it. In the earlier part of the 1990s, Slovakia diverted the Danube to bring more water to a hydroelectric plant. For commercial transportation, the Danube is extremely valuable. Ships can sail along the river, down through one of the three arms the Danube splits into, and across the Black Sea. The water in the Danube River is clean but not drinkable. The land around the river is fertile and many people farm around it. Romania also built a channel, over 100 km long, which connects the Danube to the biggest harbor on the Black Sea Coast, Constantza, enhancing the transportation from Vienna to Black Sea and its main harbor.

       Its main tributaries are Inn, Drava, Tisza, Save, Morava, Olt, Siret and Prout. These rivers all flow into the Danube River.

                 Its basin area is 800,000 sq km (312 000 sq miles). The Danube River basin is the longest marshland in Europe. There are over 300 species of birds.  A large percentage of the worldwide population of these species lives in area of the Danube basin. 

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                 When it gets to Patlageanca with 6400 m per second (on an average), the Danube forms two arms: Chilia to the North and Tulcea to the South and the latter at Ceatalul Ismail, Tulcea is divided into Sulina and Sfantu Gheorghe. Tulcea has modern hotels and museums of the natural history of the Delta. It is 71 km (45 miles) away by boat from the almost as old settlement of Sulina at the other end of the Sulina channel. Cruises give passengers a panoramic view of wildlife and villages from comfortable observation decks birds, countless fish and 1,150 kinds of plants.

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(the map of the Danube Delta)

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(a small cottage along the river)

               Chilia arm is the farthest to the North and it forms the border with Ukraine. It carries 60% of the waters and alluvial deposits of the Danube and it has a sinuous flow on 104 km. Along this area are located Ceatalchioi, Palazu, Pardina, Chilia Veche, and Periprava.

               Sulina arm, located in the middle of the delta, has a linear canalized flow, permanently dredged, maintained for the navigation of the maritime vessels (minimum draught 7 m). It is 71 km long and it carries 18% of the volume of Danube water. Along this area are located Crisan, Gorgova, Ilganii de Sus, Maliuc, Partizani, Sulina, and Vulturu.

               Sfantu Gheorghe arm, the farthest to the East, oriented towards Southeast, has a sinuous flow on 112 km and it carries 22% of the discharge. When it flows into the sea, it forms the Sacalin Island considered to be the beginning of a secondary delta.

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(a small island in the Danube Delta)

                    The Danube Delta is also called home by many species of plant and animal life. It covers 5, 165 sq km. This plant and animal life is also referred to as the flora and fauna. It contains the greatest stretch of reedbeds in the world.  In fact, these plants dominate the plant life of this marsh.  In the delta, 1,700 sq. km is covered with reedbeds.  This only leaves about 150 sq. km that is not covered by reedbeds.  

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(reedbeds)

                There are many different species of water lilies.  Sandy areas along the river are covered with a grass called Stippa.  There are also many forests along the Danube.  They all contain their own plant life as well.  In the Letea Forest, there are dunes that are 250 m wide and 10 m long.  There are trees coupled in with these dunes that reach the height of 35 m.  This forest is also home to many rare species of plant life.  

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(red water lilies)

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(white water lilies)

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(water plants in the delta)

         The Danube delta is a very important area for fish.  Over 45 species of freshwater fish live in the lakes formed by the delta.  One of these species, the Acipensednidae, is endangered.

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(paradise)

                   The climate of the area (Danube Delta) is rather dry.  It only receives about 450 millimeters of rainfall per year.  However, this number varies depending on the closeness of the sea and a myriad of inland lakes and waterways.