Alte Elbe is the name for cut, former river sections of the Elbe (oxbow lakes), as they arise when two river loops ( meanders ) come into contact with each other, after course shifts or river straightening.
The longest stretch of the "Old Elbe" is the Dornburg Old Elbe, it branches off from the main stream southeast of Magdeburg near Dornburg and runs parallel to the Elbe for about 20 km in many loops; it ends at Magdeburg-Salbke . The Elbe Umflutkanal branches off from the Old Elbe near Plötzky and returns to the Elbe near Lostau (northeast of Magdeburg). In the section from the Umflutkanal Dornburger Old Elbe due to the closure of freshwater inflow is now available from silting threatened.
The Federation for Environment and Nature Conservation Germany has been campaigning for the revitalization of Dornburg's Old Elbe since 2010 in order to stop the silting process. After the project failed in 2010 due to issues of responsibility, among other things, the neighboring municipalities of Magdeburg , Schönebeck and Salzlandkreis signed a joint declaration together with representatives of the State Office for Flood Protection and Water Management, the Ministry of the Environment , the Middle Elbe Biosphere Reserve and the entertainment association in spring 2017 Revitalization of the Old Elbe. In the BUND project description, a solution is proposed in which the sludge to be dredged is brought into the upstream part of the water and remains there. This means that the sludge contaminated with heavy metals (especially arsenic ) is not subject to waste legislation. According to the BUND, the heavy metal pollution can be traced back to the mining of the 16th century in the upper reaches of the Elbe and not a specific feature of the Old Elbe, but in the entire former floodplain of the Elbe at a similar level.
In the area of the city of Magdeburg , the Elbe splits into a western arm, the Stromelbe , and an eastern arm, the Alte Elbe . Both rivers flow around the Rotehorn Island and reunite in the urban area. The Old Elbe is not navigable for shipping. It is blocked by a weir , the Cracauer waterfall . The weir is supposed to keep the river Elbe at a sufficient water level for shipping when the tide is low. Only at higher water levels is there a stronger flow through the Old Elbe (see web link).
- BUND: New life in the old river - revitalization of the "Dornburg Old Elbe"
- Joint declaration on the revitalization of the Old Elbe near Dornburg and Kreuzhorst - Magdeburg , pdf, 220 kB
- Project description and site plan for the revitalization of the Dornburg Old Elbe , council information system of the city of Magdeburg