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The Yenisei (Russian: Енисе́й, Jenisej; Mongolian: Енисей мөрөн, Yenisei mörön); Buryat: Горлог мүрэн, Gorlog müren; Tyvan: Улуг-Хем, Ulug-Khem; Khakas: Ким суг, Kim sug also Romanized Yenisey, Enisei, Jenisej, is the largest river system flowing to the Arctic Ocean. It is the central of the three great Siberian rivers that flow into the Arctic Ocean (the other two being the Ob and the Lena). Rising in Mongolia, it follows a northerly course to the Yenisei Gulf in the Kara Sea, draining a large part of central Siberia, the longest stream following the Yenisei-Angara-Selenga-Ider river system.
Bii-Khem and Kaa-Khem near Kyzyl
|Regions||Tuva, Krasnoyarsk Krai, Khakassia, Irkutsk Oblast, Buryatia, Zabaykalsky Krai|
|- right||Angara, Lower Tunguska, Stony Tunguska River|
|Cities||Kyzyl, Shagonar, Sayanogorsk, Abakan, Divnogorsk, Krasnoyarsk, Yeniseysk, Lesosibirsk, Igarka, Dudinka|
|- location||ridge Dod-Taygasyn-Noor, Mongolia|
|- elevation||3,351 m (10,994 ft)|
|- length||748 km (465 mi)|
|Length||5,540 km (3,442 mi)|
|Basin||2,580,000 km2 (996,144 sq mi)|
|- average||19,600 m3/s (692,167 cu ft/s)|
|- max||112,000 m3/s (3,955,243 cu ft/s)|
|- min||3,120 m3/s (110,182 cu ft/s)|
The Yenisei basin, including Lake Baikal
The maximum depth of the Yenisei is 24 metres (80 ft) and the average depth is 14 metres (45 ft). The depth of river outflow is 32 metres (106 ft) and inflow is 31 metres (101 ft).[clarification needed]
Course of the riverEdit
The 320-kilometre (200 mi), partly navigable Upper Angara River feeds into the northern end of Lake Baikal from the Buryat Republic but the largest inflow is from the Selenga which forms a delta on the south-eastern side.
Flora and faunaEdit
The Yenisei River basin (excluding Lake Baikal and lakes of the Khantayka River headwaters) is home to 55 native fish species, including two endemics: Gobio sibiricus (a gobionine cyprinid) and Thymallus nigrescens (a grayling). The grayling is restricted to Khövsgöl Nuur and its tributaries. Most fish found in the Yenisei River basin are relatively widespread Euro-Siberian or Siberian species, such as northern pike (Esox lucius), common roach (Rutilus rutilus), common dace (Leuciscus leuciscus), Siberian sculpin (Cottus poecilopus), European perch (Perca fluviatilis) and Prussian carp (Carassius gibelio). The basin is also home to many salmonids (trout, whitefish, charr, graylings, taimen and relatives) and the Siberian sturgeon (Acipenser baerii).
The Yenisei River valley is habitat for numerous flora and fauna, with Siberian pine and Siberian larch being notable tree species. In prehistoric times Scots pine, Pinus sylvestris, was abundant in the Yenisei River valley circa 6000 BC. There are also numerous bird species present in the watershed, including, for example, the hooded crow, Corvus cornix.
Taimyr reindeer herdEdit
The first team to navigate the Yenisei's entire length, including its violent upper tributary in Mongolia, was an Australian-Canadian effort completed in September 2001. Ben Kozel, Tim Cope, Colin Angus and Remy Quinter were on this team. Both Kozel and Angus wrote books detailing this expedition, and a documentary was produced for National Geographic Television.
Ancient nomadic tribes such as the Ket people and the Yugh people lived along its banks. The Ket, numbering about 1000, are the only survivors today of those who originally lived throughout central southern Siberia near the river banks. Their extinct relatives included the Kotts, Assans, Arins, Baikots, and Pumpokols who lived further upriver to the south. The modern Ket lived in the eastern middle areas of the river before being assimilated politically into Russia during the 17th through 19th centuries.
During World War II, Nazi Germany and the Japanese Empire agreed to divide Asia along a line that followed the Yenisei River to the border of China, and then along the border of China and the Soviet Union.
Studies have shown that the Yenisey suffers from contamination caused by radioactive discharges from a factory that produced bomb-grade plutonium in the secret city of Krasnoyarsk-26, now known as Zheleznogorsk.
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