Mapping the navigation conditions of Arctic rivers of Russia

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About the Author

Tatiana S. Nokelaynen

M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University, Faculty of Geography, World Data Center for Geography,
Moscow, 119991, Russia,


Inland waterway transport plays a crucial role in ensuring the delivery of goods to the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation and exporting the natural resources that are being exploited in the region to the domestic and foreign markets. This is facilitated by the following factors: the meridional direction of flow of the largest Siberian rivers, which allows them to serve as links between the Trans-Siberian Railway and the Northern Sea Route; a ramified system of river tributaries providing access to the most remote locations; the relative cheapness of bulk shipments and a low environmental impact. However, the navigation conditions in the Arctic vary significantly depending on the local natural environment and the technical conditions of the waterway infrastructure.

As a result of the study, an overview map of the navigation conditions of the Russian Arctic rivers was created in the scale 1:20 000 000. A comprehensive approach has been implemented, taking into account natural conditions, technical equipment and information support levels of navigation. The thematic content of the map includes: ice conditions, the duration of the navigation period, the start and end dates of navigation (based on the long-term annual average); guaranteed depth of passage; availability of the digital nautical charts.

The developed map allows an objective assessment of the current navigation conditions on the Russian Arctic rivers and can serve as an essential part of the system for making responsible decisions for modernisation of the river transport infrastructure to ensure sustainable and safe operation in the interests of the regional economy, transit transport and northern cargo delivery.


thematic mapping, inland waterway transport, Russian Arctic.


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For citation: Nokelaynen T.S. Mapping the navigation conditions of Arctic rivers of Russia InterCarto. InterGIS. GI support of sustainable development of territories: Proceedings of the International conference. Moscow: Moscow University Press, 2019. V. 25. Part 2. P. 175–185. DOI: 10.35595/2414-9179-2019-2-25-175-185 (In Russian)