Lena River

Course of the Lena in eastern Siberia

Lena at Yakutsk

Catchment area of ​​the Lena

Lena at Yakutsk

The Lena Pillars south of Yakutsk

The Lena Delta (NASA Landsat Project)

Ice road on the Lena

Template: Infobox River / Obsolete

The Lena (Russian Лена; Yakut Өлүөнэ, Ölüöne ) is a 4400 km long stream in Siberia (Russia, Asia). It empties into the Laptev Sea, a marginal sea of the Arctic Ocean. The Lena is one of the longest rivers of the earth.


The Lena has its source in the Baikal Mountains about 5 km west of Lake Baikal. From its source, which is located in the Lena Nature Reserve, it first flows west to Katschug and then north or northeast. In this area, at Ust- Kut, from where Lena is navigable, it arrives in the Middle Siberian Plateau and flows a distance parallel to the Lower Tunguska and a few kilometers away from this. Here it flows to the springing also in the immediate vicinity of Lake Baikal Kirenga at Kirensk. Thereafter, the Lena flows to the light coming from the south Vitim; little later the river proposes a legal arc around the Patomhochland. It flows from there to the east, the water flowing from the south of Oljokma receives and passes to Yakutsk, where it enters the spacious Mitteljakutische lowlands.

About 300 km downstream from Yakutsk are the Lena Pillars, which propagate to approximately 80 km in length along the eastern shore. They were included in the list of UNESCO World Natural Heritage in 2012. In the above-mentioned valley of the Lena flows only to the Aldan coming from the east and then the approaching from the west flowing Wiljui. In this landscape it flows between the Verkhoyansk Mountains ( to the east) and the Central Siberian Uplands (west ) to the north.

Further north flows the Lena between the northern foothills of the Verkhoyansk Mountains in the east and the Czekanowskibergen (northeast part of the center -Siberian highlands ) in the west and reaches then the approximately 45,000 km ² Lena delta, to the east a maximum of 230 km and from north to south to West to 150 km measures. After flowing through this widely ramified deltas her water reaches the Laptev Sea, a marginal sea of the Arctic Ocean.

Catchment area

The catchment area of the Lena, which, with around 4,400 km in length of the longest rivers of the earth corresponds, with 2,306,772 km ² size is about seven times the area of ​​Germany. The widely varying amounts of water of approximately 2,800 m³ / s in January (1994) and 66,500 m³ / s in June (1994 ), in particular the increase usually from May to June on the up to forty times, due to ice melting.

Climate and navigability

Usually the Lena of October is frozen until June of the following year, so that it can be used as an ice road. When the ice melts the Lena becomes the torrent and its water level can rise by 25 meters. Particularly devastating impact of doing the Eisstauungen, by their consequences in May 2001, among others, the city was devastated and Lensk were large parts of Yakutsk under water. If the river is ice-free, the Lena is navigable from Ust- Kut to its large delta to 3,500 km in length.


Among the tributaries of the Lena include downriver considered:

  • Vitim
  • Kirenga
  • Njuja
  • Oljokma
  • Chaya
  • Aldan
  • Wiljui
  • Linden
  • Muna


Some of the villages on the Lena and near the Lena Delta downstream considered - with heights in meters ( m) above sea level:

At the Lena:

  • Katschug (510 m)
  • Ust- Kut (285 m)
  • Kirensk (248 m)
  • Vitim (176 m)
  • Lensk (155 m)
  • Oljokminsk (120 m)
  • Yakutsk (92 m)
  • Tiksi (10 m), coastal and harbor town on the Laptev Sea (about 55 km east of the Lena and minimally about 22 km south of the eastern part of the Lena Delta )