Natural zoning of the delta of Lena River for the research of the dynamics of its sea edge

View or download the article (Rus)

About the Authors

Valentina I. Kravtsova

Lomonosov Moscow state University, Faculty of Geography,
Leninskie Gory, 1, 119991, Moscow, Russia,

Aleksandr N. Inyushin

Lomonosov Moscow state University, Faculty of Geography,
Leninskie Gory, 1, 119991, Moscow, Russia,


History of the delta of Lena River forming in Last Holocene had been clear investigated by pale geographical methods. Undertaking of modern delta dynamics investigation by multitemporal topographic maps and air photos for 1950–1991 had shown the absence of changes. In this work we have created investigation of delta’s sea edge changes for the next time interval from the end of XX century to recent time by space images, mainly from Landsat satellite. At big prolongation of delta’s sea edge for more than 1500 km and its complex construction, shores have various character and dynamic processes at various sections may be different. To take it in account, for investigation of delta’s sea edge dynamics, we have created the division of delta surface into natural regions at the base of topographic and geomorphologic maps and satellite images, taking attention to morphology of river branches—their wideness and density of network, character of their mouths, relief of delta surface, vegetation cover and landscapes at whole. In connection with this regionalization the delta sea edge was divided into 7 sections, and changes had been investigated for every of them. Because of weather conditions and necessity of images without clouds for the end of summer, time interval for investigations in different sections was various. As result of multitemporal images analyzing at 7 sections for 97 % of delta’s sea edge changes were not discovered, but for 3 % changes were investigated and maps of delta dynamics were compiled. In the Western part of the delta of Lena River, at mouth of Olenyok branch, where small local protruding delta was formed, in 1980–2003 erosion of sea edge took place and shore line retreat with middle year velocity 20–30 m/year. Shallows around this delta also eroded and sediments were moved with alongshore stream. In the Northern part of the delta, near mouths of Tumatskie branches, unstable position of shore line was discovered with alternation of it seaward and landward moving. At the Northern-Eastern part of the delta, at small rectilinear section of shore, its erosion in 2005–2016 was fixed with middle year retreat 15–30 m/year. All discovered changes are connected with mouths of branches, taking the lesser share of the Lena River water runoff. At regions with mouths of branches, taking the most part of water run off, there are no changes, so as at shore of sea terrace, included into delta. Delta protruding was not found anywhere.


delta, dynamics, satellite images, erosion, accumulation.


  1. Alabyan A.M., Chalov R.S., Korotaev V.N., Sidorchuk A.Yu., Zaitsev A.A. Natural and technogenic water and sediment supply to the Laptev sea. Berichte zur Polarforschung, 1995. No 176. P. 265–271.
  2. Are F.E. The contribution of shore thermoabrasion to the Laptev Sea sediment balance. Permafrost Seventh International Conference (Proceedings). Yellowknife (Canada): Collection Nordicana, 1998. No 55. P. 25–30.
  3. Bolshiyanov D.Yu., Makarov A.S., Shnaider V., Shtof G. Origin and development of the Lena River delta. St. Peterburg: AARI (Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute), 2013. 268 p. (in Russian).
  4. Estuarine-deltaic systems of Russia and China: hydrological-morphological processes, geomorphology and prediction of evolution. Moscow: GEOS, 2007. 445 p. (in Russian).
  5. Grigoryev M.N. Cry morphogenesis of the Lena River mouth area. Yakutsk: Institute of Permafrost SO RAS, 1993. 176 p. (in Russian).
  6. Grigoriev M.N., Are F.E., Hibberten H.-W., Rasumov S.O., Schneider W. Pecularities of coastal processes and shoreline dynamics of the accumulative-erosive coastalsystem in the north-west of the Lena Delta. Ber. Polar und Meeresforsch, 2002. No 426. P. 64–70.
  7. Korotaev V.N. Delta system of the Lena River. Morphodynamic of large rivers mouths systems of Russia Arctic coasts. Moscow: MSU, Faculty of Geography, Institute of Oceanology of RAS, 2017. P. 111–116 (in Russian).
  8. Korotaev V.N. Essays of geomorphology of river mouth and coastal systems. Selected Works. Moscow: MSU, Faculty of Geography, 2012. 540 p. (in Russian).
  9. Lukyanova S.A., Solovyova G.D. Shores of the Kara Sea and the Laptev Sea. Geoecological statement of the Russia Arctic coasts and safe nature using. Moscow: GEOS, 2007. P. 492–495 (in Russian).
  10. Magritskyi D.V., Aybulatov D.N., Gorelkin A.V. Peculiarities of space-time run-off changeability at near mouth area and in the Lana River delta. Water Resources, 2018. V. 45. No 1. P. 15–29 (in Russian).
  11. Rachold V., Grigoriev M., Are F., Solomon S., Reimnitz E., Kassens H., Antonow M. Coastal erosion vs riverine sediment dischardge in the Arctic Shelf seas. International Journal of Earth Sciences, 2000. V. 89. P. 450–460.

For citation: Kravtsova V.I., Inyushin A.N. Natural zoning of the delta of Lena River for the research of the dynamics of its sea edge InterCarto. InterGIS. GI support of sustainable development of territories: Proceedings of the International conference. Moscow: Moscow University Press, 2019. V. 25. Part 2. P. 161–174. DOI: 10.35595/2414-9179-2019-2-25-161-174 (In Russian)