The classic phrase of Chekhov "the Volga flows into the Caspian sea" was a sample of banal statements. In fact, the answer to the question about where the Volga flows, is not so obvious as it seems. He lies in the fields of science, hydrography, place names, geography, etc.
Ancient Volga appeared on Earth about 23 million years ago. Most likely, the date of birth of the great river an even more ancient – studies show that the Volga was smaller predecessors, not such considerable size.
Volga is the largest river of the European part of Eurasia. Its length is about 3 km. 530 unlike many other rivers that connect to oceans, the Volga flows into a large inland body of water with no direct outlet to the open ocean. This unique formation is called the Caspian sea.
During the birth of the Volga began the movement of tectonic plates, which led to the emergence of upland and the Valdai mountains. Tectonic process was accompanied by cuts to the base of the rocks plate numerous channels of ancient rivers. At the time, and there is the beginning of the Volga river.
Where the Volga empties in those days? Geological data argue that the Ancient Caspian sea was much wider in those days, moreover, it had an open access to the world ocean. Then, as now, the Caspian sea took waves of the ancient Volga river and all its tributaries.
At that time the river was a bit more different than now. It arose in the deepest part of a large trough stretching from modern Kazan to Volgograd. He was the first mainstream paleo-Volga.
Later processes, resulting from the onset of the ice age, smoothed features. The area was gradually filled up with sediments. Volga continued to develop through already flat plain. In the geography of the river Volga that time, already have the familiar coastal landscape. And the one area where the Volga flows, has acquired modern shape.
The estuary and the tributaries of the Volga
About where it starts and where the Volga flows, has been written quite a lot of scientific papers. In the process of development of Volga grows numerous tributaries and repeatedly changed the location of its Delta, but the source of this great river left unchanged.
Valdai hills is the cradle of many large rivers. Here originate such rivers as the Dnieper, Lovat, Western Dvina, the Msta and the many smaller waterways. Is no exception and is the largest waterway in Europe. The first part of the answer to the question – where is the beginning of the Volga river and falls where – is here in these spectacular mountains. The waters of Volga brings the Valdai hills. The place where the river originates, is located in the Tver region and is called Volgina the Upstream.
But with the confluence of the Volga into the Caspian sea problems. The fact that the standard response to a school task about where originates the Volga and where to go, do not agree to many researchers. Widely known source at Valdai — not only the beginning of the great Volga river, it is possible that the origins of her much more, and some of them are underground.
The Tributaries Of The Volga
With regard to tributaries, the Volga very much. The largest of these are Mologa, Samara, Ob, Kama, Eruslan and many others. Of these the most wide and deep tributary is the river Kama. It merges with the river not far from the shores of the Caspian sea. So, maybe the Volga flows into the Kama, and not in the sea?
Signs of the confluence of the rivers
Gidrobiologii used several indicators to determine what is the main river and some its tributaries. The confluence of both rivers, scientists can determine their water content, catchment, structure of the river system, the length of both rivers from the source to the confluence, indicators of the flow of rivers and a few others.
In terms of water flow in these two rivers is almost equal. The average annual flow of the Volga river is 3750 m 3 /sec, and the Kama – 3,800 m 3 /sec. In the catchment area of the Volga is ahead of rival of 260.9 thousand km 2 vs 251,7 thousand km 2. The altitude of the Volga basin is lower than the Kama because Kama's tributaries originate in the Ural mountains. Kamskaya Dolina over the Volga – it was formed in the first half of the Quaternary period, before the Great ice. Kama in those days, dumped their water into the Vychegda. After the end of the Ice age the Upper Volga river, which previously flowed into the don, began to fall into the Kama. The lower Volga area today is a natural continuation of the Volga and Kama valleys.
Hydrography of the middle ages
Medieval Arab geographers called the Volga own name – ITIL. They connected the ancient origins of ITIL with Kama. And Kame they paid no less attention than its blue rival.
So where the beginning of the river Volga, which flows into this waterway? Under other equal conditions, along with hydrographic, are taken into consideration and historical traditions. Attitudes and the study of place names allow us to assert that Kama is a tributary of the river Volga. Rather, it empties into the Kuibyshev reservoir at the confluence of two rivers-rivals. And to the question of where the Volga flows, you can answer: in the waters of the Caspian sea, but it should be remembered that this response is dictated more historical tradition than a real hydrographic parameters.