Syr Darya

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Syrdarya, Syr-Darja, Syr, Сырдарья (Sirdarya),
Сырдарья (Sirdarja), Сирдарё (Sirdare), Sirdaryo
Aral Sea (before 1985) with Amu Darya and Syr Darya

Aral Sea (before 1985) with Amu Darya and Syr Darya

location Turkistan , Kyzylorda ( Kazakhstan ),
Uzbekistan , Tajikistan
River system Syr Darya
Confluence of Naryn and Karadarja in the Fergana Valley
40 ° 53 ′ 57 ″  N , 71 ° 45 ′ 22 ″  E
muzzle North Aral Sea Coordinates: 46 ° 9 ′ 14 "  N , 60 ° 53 ′ 20"  E 46 ° 9 ′ 14 "  N , 60 ° 53 ′ 20"  E

length 2212 km (with source river Naryn 3019 km)
Catchment area 782,669 km²
Right tributaries Kosonsoy , Arys , Keles , Chirchiq , Angren
Reservoirs flowed through Kairakkum Reservoir , Schardara Reservoir
Big cities Khujand , Kyzylorda , Bekobod
Medium-sized cities Sirdaryo , Shardara , Qasaly
Syr Darja at Khujand

Syr Darja at Khujand

Syr Darja in the middle course

Syr Darja in the middle course

The 2212 km long Syrdarja (also: Syrdarya / Syr-Darja / Syr ), Jaxartes in antiquity , is a river in Central Asia that drains large parts of Kyrgyzstan into the Aralo-Caspian lowlands and flows into the Northern Aral Sea.


The ancient name of the river Jaxartes comes from the Greek word Ιαξάρτης (Iaxartes). This in turn was derived from the old Persian name Yakhsha Arta, which roughly translates as "The beautiful abundance". In medieval Islamic scriptures, the river was known under the Arabic name Sayhoun (سيحون) known, which is the name of one of the four rivers of Paradise . The twin river of the Syr Darya, the Amu Darya , was then called Jayhoun (جيحون) called, derived from Gihon . The Turkish names of the Seyhun and Ceyhun rivers are derived from these two Arabic names . The current name of the river is relatively new. In the neighboring countries the river is called as follows: Uzbek Sirdaryo ; Kazakh Сырдария Syrdarija ; Russian Сырдарья Syrdarja ; Tajik Сирдарё Sirdarjo .

River course

The river is created by the confluence of the Naryn and Karadarja , two source rivers coming from Kyrgyzstan. This “river wedding” takes place in Uzbekistan in the Ferghana Valley between the Tianshan and Alai mountain ranges . From there the Syr Darya flows in a westerly direction through the valley and passes the border with Tajikistan at the entrance of the Kairakkum reservoir . A little below the reservoir , its water reaches Uzbekistan again, reaches the Turan lowlands here and turns north to later cross the border to Kazakhstan .

The Syr Darya flows through Kazakhstan to the northwest, where it forms the northern edge of the Kyzylkum desert . In winter there are floods on the lower reaches of the Syr Darya, which is why part of the runoff from the Shardara reservoir has to be diverted into the artificially created Aydar Sea in Uzbekistan. The river, which has been significantly reduced due to the large amount of water being withdrawn for irrigation purposes, finally flows into the Northern Aral Sea . Together with the Naryn (its right source river) it is 3019 km long. Then the catchment area including all tributaries is 782,669 km². In the past, the Syr Darya formed an inland delta in its mouth .

Water quality

The water quality of the Syrdarja is characterized by the heavy input of salts through the backflow of irrigation water. The salinity of the river in the densely populated Ferghanatal rises from 300 to 600 mg / l in the upper part to up to 3 g / l at the valley outlet and is characterized by magnesium sulphate , calcium hydrogen carbonate , sodium chloride and calcium sulphate . The use of the river water as drinking water is no longer acceptable due to the pollution in the middle and lower river sections.

The uranium content of river water in Tajikistan has increased with values ​​of 43 μg / l and 12 μg / l; the WHO guideline value for drinking water of 30 μg / l is sometimes exceeded. The main input of uranium, however, occurs upstream in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan .

Environmental disaster

An extensive system of irrigation canals, some of which were laid out by the khan of Kokand in the 18th century , withdraws its water from the river. The enormous expansion of this canal system during the Soviet era , when cotton production was accelerated in Central Asia and several reservoirs had to be built, caused the region an environmental disaster. Apart from years of rainfall, the river nowadays often dries out completely long before it reaches the northern part of the former Aral Sea . Today's lake is only a small residue and has been divided into two parts due to the drying up. Between 1980 and 1988, the Syr Darya, a tributary of the Aral Sea, even dried up completely in its lower reaches. Since today millions of people settle in this cotton region and since the governments of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan disagree, it is extremely unclear whether and how one can get this problem under control.


The Syrdarja is dammed several times for irrigation purposes and to generate energy ; the largest reservoir is the so-called Kairakkum reservoir (also called Kajrakkum or Kayrakum ), which has an area of ​​520 km² and 4.16 billion cubic meters of storage volume when fully dammed .

See also

Web links

Commons : Syrdarja  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Article Syr Darja in the Great Soviet Encyclopedia (BSE) , 3rd edition 1969–1978 (Russian)http: //vorlage_gse.test/1%3D108154~2a%3DSyrdarja~2b%3DSyrdarja
  2. United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE): Water Quality in the Amudarya and Syrdarya River Basins - Analytical Report.  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , 2011@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  3. Zoriy, P., Schläger, M., Murtazaev, K., Pillath, J., Zoriya, M., Heuel-Fabianek, B .: Monitoring of uranium concentrations in water samples collected near potentially hazardous objects in North-West Tajikistan . Journal of Environmental Radioactivity. No. 181, 2018, pp. 109–117, doi: 10.1016 / j.jenvrad.2017.11.010 .