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Course of the Ob within its catchment area

Course of the Ob within its catchment area

location Russia : western Siberia
River system If
Drain over Whether → Kara Sea
origin Confluence of the Bija and Katun rivers near the city of Biysk
52 ° 25 ′ 46 ″  N , 85 ° 1 ′ 22 ″  E
Source height 162  m above sea level Baltic Sea
muzzle in the Obbusen ( Karasee ) coordinates: 66 ° 29 ′ 0 ″  N , 71 ° 21 ′ 0 ″  E 66 ° 29 ′ 0 ″  N , 71 ° 21 ′ 0 ″  E
Mouth height 0  m above sea level Baltic Sea
Height difference 162 m
Bottom slope 0.04 ‰
length 3650 km
Catchment area 2,972,497 km²
Discharge at the Saleechard
A Eo gauge: 2,430,000 km²
Location: 287 km above the mouth
NNQ (March 1969)
MNQ 1930/1999
MQ 1930/1999
Mq 1930/1999
MHQ 1930/1999
HHQ (August 1979)
2120 m³ / s
3,458.51 m³ / s
12,492.19 m³ / s
5.1 l / (s km²)
32,631.61 m³ / s
43,473 m³ / s
Left tributaries Irtysh , Vasyugan
Right tributaries Ket , Tom , Tym , Awake
Reservoirs flowed through Novosibirsk Reservoir
Big cities Biysk , Barnaul , Novosibirsk , Nizhnevartovsk , Surgut
Medium-sized cities Salekhard , Labytnangi
Ports Barnaul, Novosibirsk, Nizhnevartovsk, Surgut, Labytnangi
Navigable on the entire run
Whether at Barnaul

Whether at Barnaul

The Ob ( Russian Обь , fem. ) Is a 3650 km long river in Western Siberia ( Russia ). It rises in southern Siberia and flows into the Arctic Ocean (Arctic Ocean) belonging Kara Sea .

River names

Other names of the Ob are Mansi and Khanty Ас ( As , literally "big water"), Nenets Саля-ям ( Salja-Jam , literally "headlands River"), Selkup Колд (also Колтте, Колтту, Колта; according to Kold, Koltte , Kolttu, Kolta ), Куай (also Квай; corresponding to Kuai, Kwai; literally "soul"), Еме (also Ема, Эме; corresponding to Jeme, Jema, Eme; literally "mother"), Tatar Омар (also Умар, Эмар, Умар-Ыймар, Умар-Дьюмар; corresponding to Omar, Umar, Emar, Umar-Ymar, Umar-Djumar ) and teleutically Тойбодым ( Toibodym; literally "great river").

River course

Satellite image of the upper estuary

The Ob river is formed by the union of the two rivers Bija and Katun, coming from the Altai in southern Siberia, near the city of Biysk . It passes the city of Barnaul and flows into the Novosibirsk reservoir , at whose dam the city of Novosibirsk is located.

Then it flows in a north-westerly direction through the West Siberian lowlands . He passes the cities of Nizhnevartovsk , Surgut and Khanty-Mansiysk . After the last-mentioned city and about 300 km further north-west, the Ob is divided into the Big Ob and Little Ob (446 and 456 km long, respectively), which flow together again in a northerly direction - east of the Urals - before the North Siberian Salekhard .

From this city, where the Ob bends eastward to flow roughly parallel to the Arctic Circle , it is only a short distance by Russian-Siberian standards to its confluence with the Obbusen ( Обская губа , Obskaja guba ). This 750 km long and up to 70 km wide bay is no longer a river, but as an estuary already part of the Kara Sea , which in turn belongs to the Arctic Ocean ( Arctic Ocean ) . However, it has a strong current flowing northwards, driven by the large masses of water of the Ob.


River lengths

The length of the ob can be measured in several ways:

  • 3650 km = Whether without Katun (longest source river)
  • 4338 km = Ob with Katun = Ob – Katun
  • 5410 km = Irtysh –Ob = length of the Irtysh (4248 km) + length of the Ob-Unterlauf (1162 km)

Depending on the type of measurement, the Ob is in fourth, sixth, fifteenth or twenty-fourth position in the list of the longest rivers on earth .

To the 5410 km maximum river length (Irtysh – Ob) one can add the length of the 750 km long Obbus , the elongated estuary of the Ob, so that there is a total of 6160 km of flow from the source of the Irtysh to the north end of the estuary.

Catchment area

Catchment area of ​​the Ob and its tributaries

The catchment area of the Obs is 2,972,497  km² (more than 8.3 times the area of ​​the Federal Republic of Germany ). Its longest tributary, the Irtysh, accounts for around 1,673,000 km² and its source rivers Bija and Katun around 37,000 and 70,000 km², respectively. The Ob river basin is the seventh largest in the world.

In addition to Russia, Kazakhstan , the People's Republic of China and Mongolia also have a share in the Ob's catchment area. The shares of China and Mongolia are limited to the Irtysh and its tributaries, while Kazakhstan also has a share of the Alei catchment area .

Around 85% of the Ob catchment area lies in the West Siberian Plain , only in the south and south-east the Ob flows through the upper reaches of the South Siberian high mountains of the Mongolian and Great Altai and the Kuznetsk Alatau as well as the low mountain range of the Salair Ridge .

The Ob flows through landscapes of the most diverse natural spatial conditions. From the deserts and semi-deserts in its headwaters over the steppe landscapes on its upper course and the swampy taiga landscape on its middle and lower course to the southern foothills of the forest tundra and tundra in the area of ​​the mouth and the obbus, it crosses the typical continental vegetation on its course. and climatic zones of Central and North Asia .

Catchment area of ​​the Ob
Total area in km² Country Area share in km² Percentage ownership %
Russia 2,192,700 73.77
Kazakhstan 734,543 24.71
China 45,050 1.51
Mongolia 200 0.01

Runoff regime

The Ob shows a typical nival discharge regime . With these, the runoff is mainly controlled by the snowmelt . Strong discharge peaks in spring and early summer and low water from late summer to the end of winter are therefore typical. On the upper reaches of the Ob, the nival runoff regime is still pronounced in the mountainous variant, but this soon changes into a nival regime in the lowlands.

The Ob in Barnaul, for example, has its lowest monthly discharge values ​​in February with an average of around 281 m³ / s, the month with the highest discharge volumes is June with a good 3660 m³ / s, with a catchment area (total and effective) of 169,000 km² (average values 1922-2000). The lowest low water was measured in March 1956 with 191 m³ / s, the highest high water in June 1969 with 7080 m³ / s.

The amount of water near the estuary at Salekhard is around 3,460 m³ / s in March and 32,630 m³ / s after the snow melt in June (average values ​​1930–1999), with a catchment area of ​​295,000 km² in total or 243,000 km² effectively. The mean discharge here is 12,490 m³ / s. The lowest measured runoff values ​​in Salekhard were 2,120 m³ / s in March 1969, the highest 43,470 m³ / s in August 1979.

In relation to its respective catchment area, the Ob has an average annual discharge rate of 8.81 l / (s · km²) on the upper reaches in Barnaul (average values ​​1936–1989) and 5.25 l / (s · km²) on the lower reaches in Salekhard ( Average values ​​1936–1994).

Ice drift and ice rush

Ice rush on the Ob

The Ob is covered with ice for an average of 150 days a year on its upper reaches and an average of 220 days on the lower reaches. Ice rushes are very common in spring when the river's ice on its upper reaches and the snow in the catchment area in the south are already melting, but the middle and lower reaches are still frozen.

The ice dams piled up by the ice drift dam the river, and the water level can rise several meters in a very short time. These spring floods can flood the Ob valley to a width of over 40 km. In order to accelerate the breaking of the ice and prevent flooding, explosive charges are repeatedly dropped from the air onto the ice dams, for example in the Novosibirsk region.


Whether in Novosibirsk

The Irtysh, which is significantly longer at the confluence than the Ob with its source rivers, is its most important tributary . There are around 150,000 rivers in the entire Obs catchment area.

Looking downstream, the Ob is fed by these rivers, among others (first line: source rivers; with details of the catchment area in km², length in km and discharge in m³ / s):

Left tributaries Right tributaries
Katun 60,900 km² 688 km 626 m³ / s
Anui 6,930 km² 327 km 36 m³ / s
Charysch 22,200 km² 547 km 186 m³ / s
Alei 21,100 km² 858 km 34 m³ / s
Bye 27,200 km² 542 km 85 m³ / s
parabola 25,500 km² 308 km 105 m³ / s
Wassyugan 61,800 km² 1,082 km 328 m³ / s
Great Jugan 34,700 km² 1,063 km 205 m³ / s
Great Salym 18,100 km² 583 km 120 m³ / s
Irtysh 1,673,470 km² 4,248 km 2,150 m³ / s
Northern Soswa 98,300 km² 754 km 860 m³ / s
Synja 13,500 km² 217 km 120 m³ / s
Shchuchya 12,300 km² 565 km 104 m³ / s
Bija 37,000 km² 600 km 477 m³ / s
Chumysh 23,900 km² 644 km 145 m³ / s
Berd 8,650 km² 363 km 46 m³ / s
Inja 17,600 km² 663 km 47 m³ / s
Tom 62,000 km² 827 km 1,110 m³ / s
Tschulym 134,000 km² 2,023 km 785 m³ / s
Ket 94,200 km² 1,621 km 560 m³ / s
Tym 32,300 km² 950 km 240 m³ / s
Awake 76,700 km² 964 km 665 m³ / s
Tromjogan 55,600 km² 581 km 425 m³ / s
Pim 12,700 km² 390 km 85 m³ / s
Lyamin 14,000 km² 420 km 100 m³ / s
Nasym 11,700 km² 422 km 87 m³ / s
Kasym 35,600 km² 659 km 267 m³ / s
Polui 21,000 km² 635 km 170 m³ / s

The rivers Nadym , Pur and Tas are also part of the hydrological zone of the Ob, because they flow into the Obbusen or its eastern side estuary , the Tasbusen .


Whether in Novosibirsk

The Ob river is one of the most important waterways for developing the north of Siberia, alongside the Yenisei in central Siberia and the Lena in eastern Siberia. The river is navigable on its upper course for an average of 190 days and on the lower course for 150 days of the year. In 1973 there were more than 260 ports and landing stages as well as more than 150 industrial quays in the Ob river system .

The most important ports on the Ob are Novosibirsk (founded in 1936), Surgut (1964) and Labytnangi (1948). The Ob mainly serves to transport goods such as logs , sawn timber , building materials , food and coal to and from the north. The railroad, for example the Trans-Siberian Railway , which crosses the Ob in Novosibirsk, and its branch lines take over the transport in the west-east direction . In addition to transporting goods, the Ob is also used for passenger transport, including long-haul routes in the area of ​​the river and its tributaries, and for excursion boats.

In addition to its importance as an inland waterway , the Ob is also used to generate energy; the hydropower plant on the Novosibirsk reservoir , for example, supplies Novosibirsk with electricity. The annual usable amount of energy in the Ob river system was estimated at 250 GWh.

In addition, the water of the Ob also serves to supply industry with process water and the drinking water supply for the local population.

The approximately 50 species of fish found in the Ob, its tributaries and the Obbus form the basis of river fishing on the Ob. Occurring species are sturgeon , including, for example, the sterlet , pike , carp fish such as various rutilus and carassius species, aland and hazel , burbot , river perch and various salmon fish such as njelma and coregonus species such as muksun , great veal and peled vendace .

Ecological condition

According to Greenpeace estimates, more than 125,000 tons of crude oil from the area of ​​the West Siberian oil disaster flows into the Arctic Ocean every year. It cannot be ruled out for the future that the water of the extremely radioactively contaminated Karachay Lake will come into contact with the Ob via groundwater currents.


The Ob flows through the Novosibirsk reservoir (1,072 km², maximum 8.8 billion m³)

Places on the river

The largest cities on the river are the metropolis of Novosibirsk and the cities of Barnaul, Surgut and Nizhnevartovsk. Below are the most important places today or historically on the Ob, its tributaries or in the immediate vicinity with their affiliation to the federal subjects of Russia in the direction of flow:

Port on the Ob in Barnaul
Federation subject left bank right bank
Altai region
Novosibirsk Oblast
Tomsk Oblast  
Autonomous circle of
the Khanty and Mansi

Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug

Note: * mainly on the right bank

See also

Web links

Commons : Ob  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Ob  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Article Ob in the Great Soviet Encyclopedia (BSE) , 3rd edition 1969–1978 (Russian)http: //vorlage_gse.test/1%3D083478~2a%3D~2b%3DOb
  2. a b c Whether at the Saleechard gauge - hydrographic data at R-ArcticNET
  3. Malychina, SI: Наши реки (Our rivers) . In Природы Алтая (Prirody altaja) No. 1–2 (169–170), January – February 2010, p. 16
  4. Maloletko, A .: «Обь» - и «вода», и «душа», и «мать» ("Ob" - and "Water", and "Soul", and "Mother") . In: Аргументы и Факты ( Argumenty i Fakty ) ( Tomsk edition ) No. 5 (353)
  5. Ob . In: Meyers Konversations-Lexikon 1905 on zeno.org
  6. Article Obbusen in the Great Soviet Encyclopedia (BSE) , 3rd edition 1969–1978 (Russian)http: //vorlage_gse.test/1%3D083287~2a%3DObbusen~2b%3DObbusen
  7. Article Irtysh in the Great Soviet Encyclopedia (BSE) , 3rd edition 1969–1978 (Russian)http: //vorlage_gse.test/1%3D056573~2a%3DIrtysch~2b%3DIrtysch
  8. Article Bija in the Great Soviet Encyclopedia (BSE) , 3rd edition 1969–1978 (Russian)http: //vorlage_gse.test/1%3D120496~2a%3DBija~2b%3DBija
  9. Article Katun in the Great Soviet Encyclopedia (BSE) , 3rd edition 1969–1978 (Russian)http: //vorlage_gse.test/1%3D059999~2a%3DKatun~2b%3DKatun
  10. United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) : Ob River Basin. (PDF (1.7 MB)) In: Drainage Basins of the White Sea, Barents Sea and Kara Sea. Pp. 51–52 , accessed on June 18, 2011 (English, p. 51).
  11. Whether in the Encyclopædia Britannica (English)
  12. a b Whether at the Barnaul gauge - hydrographic data from R-ArcticNET
  13. a b UNESCO - Ob at Barnaul ( Memento of the original from November 25, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / webworld.unesco.org
  14. a b UNESCO - Ob at Salekhard ( Memento of the original from November 24, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / webworld.unesco.org
  15. a b c Ob on protown.ru (russ.)
  16. Whether in the State Water Directory of the Russian Federation (russ.)
  17. List of Inland Waterways of the Russian Federation (Government Ordinance of December 19, 2002, Russian)
  18. a b c Article inland ports of the Ob-Irtysh Basin in the Great Soviet Encyclopedia (BSE) , 3rd edition 1969–1978 (Russian)http: //vorlage_gse.test/1%3D083288~2a%3DBinnenh%C3%A4fen%20des%20Ob-Irtysch-Beckens~2b%3DBinnenh%C3%A4fen%20des%20Ob-Irtysch-Beckens
  19. Julia Ponomarewa: Leaks in Russian oil pipelines. in: Russia beyond the headlines (The Moscow News), August 30, 2012, on rbth.com