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Water Basin of Imandra Lake

Waterbasin of Imandra lake resembles world-wide known Baikal lake that gives way only to one waterflow - Angara river. Lapland pearl of Russian land has a lot of inflows as brooks and rivers, but waterflow is only one - Niva river. Imandra hydrography includes net of 1379 waterflows consisting of small brooks of length less than 10 kilometers. The total length is 4761 kilometer. River flowing out of the lake connects it with Belomorye by Kandalaksha bay. The lake itself is composed of three parts: Bolshaya Imandra, Ekostrovskaya Imandra and Babinskaya Imandra. They are divided by narrow canals.

Water Basin of Imandra Lake

All waterflows to the lake can be divided into 2 types by its characteristics. Waterflows of mountain type prevail in the eastern shore of Bolshaya Imandra. These waterinflows rise from tops of the Khibiny mountains out of melted snow. Its depth in the Khibiny massif is varied from 0.3-4 kilometer, width is within 20-40 meters and sometimes up kilometer in the opening, current velocity - 0.1-0.5 meter per second. Such turbulent waterflows have large amount of rapids and high fall. Waters are transparent, cold, of blue-greenish color resembling sea waves. During winter majority of rivers besides large ones are frozen till bottom, in spring fast ice melting is accompanied by large changes in water level.

Lake and boggy inflows rise in remote Monche-tundra and Chuna-tundra rock masssifs. They cross lowlands and form complicated lake system which takes turns with rapids. These waterflows always feed by moisture of vast boggy areas and as a result theu are uniformly filled, water color is brownish. Lowland open areas are better warmed and the water here is warmer.

Bolshaya Imandra has a lot of inflows as small brooks and 11 large rivers. In the east the following rivers inflow into it: Pecha, Gol’tsovka, Kuna, Bol’shaya Belaya and Malaya Belaya. In the north it is Kuren’ka, in the west - Varmjok, Kurka, Nyuduai, Monche and Vite.

The largest inflow of Ekostrovskaya imandra is Pirenga river that inflows into lake in the north-western side. Pirenga river basin has the longest and biggest water inflow - Yena. Northern shore within the boundaries of Ekostrovsky bay to Voche-Lambina bay has no big inflows, only minor brooks. In the north-west of Voche-Lambina bay there is Chuna river that rises near Chunozero lake. Another western inflow is Osinovy brook. Southern and western lake shores of Ekostrovskaya Imandra have inflows of small size. The largest ones are brooks Tikvuoi, Mastym and Zhemchuzhny near Tik-guba, near Okhakanda guba - the inflows are Snezhnaya - Vydzijoki and Chernaya - Chakhpisjok.

Two big rivers - Vandas and Pasma - inflow into Babinskaya Imandra. Other lake inflows such as Kunchast-Lukhtvuoi, Sevel’uoi, Opp- Lukhtvuoi and others have small length and water basin area.

For 800 years this northern land was unknown but in 1930s it became well-known. Thanks to soviet geologists, in particular, Aleksander Fersman, rich mineral deposits has been found in the Kola peninsula. Thus, later Imandra lake area became industrial. When development of metallic ore and apatite-nepheline ore started, the lake suffered man-made impact that is growing each year. Moreover, Niva river flow has been regulated by construction of power station cascade. Several towns appeared near the lake: Monchegorsk, Zasheyek, Afrikanda, Imandra, Khiiny and Tik-Guba. Waste water of these communities and industrial enterprises has a negative impact on environmental state of the lake.

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