Questions anthropogenic changes in river water quality, the number of the transported substances are of great scientific and practical importance. Purpose – to explore the impact of extraction of alluvial gold on the long-term fluctuations in the turbidity of the water in the Kolyma river. Method of research – a joint analysis of long-term fluctuations, and the value of water turbidity and gold mining. Analytical approximation of trend lines held by least squares method using computer editor Excel. Elevated background turbidity is noted in 60–70 years of the twentieth century, due to the intensive development of gold deposits in the Kolyma basin. An increase in production of the metal in the years 1958–1970 by 36%, the average turbidity for the period increased by 28%. Since the beginning of the 70s came a period of decline in gold production, a decrease in the turbidity began in the mid-70s. This delay is due to the fact that the broken gold-floodplain after mining still continues to be an additional source of fine particles of rocks in the river. But for several years the floodplain are overgrown, and they cease to be an additional source of this. Increased turbidity in the late 70s due to construction work on the dam is the Kolyma hydroelectric power. In the 80 years the trend to reduce the turbidity is consistent with a decrease in gold mining. The average turbidity for the years 1971–1998 decreased by 64% while reducing the volume of gold production by 45%. The decline in gold production and the consequent reduction in water turbidity in the Kolyma river, should favorably affect the river ecosystem.


Turbidity of the water, suspended sediments, gold mining, river discharge.

Issue number: 9
Year: 2016
UDK: 504.05+556
Authors: Ushakov M. V.

About authors: Ushakov M.V., Candidate of Geographical Sciences, Senior Researcher, e-mail:, North-East Interdisciplinary Scientific Research Institute named after N. A. Shilo, Far East Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, 685000, Magadan, Russia.

REFERENCES: 1. Gal’tseva N. V. Predposylki i perspektivy restrukturizatsii ekonomiki Magadanskoy oblasti. Otv. red. N. A. Goryachev (Prerequisites and prospects for economic restructuring of the Magadan region, Goryachev N. A.), Moscow, KomKniga, 2009, 320 p.
2. Geokriologiya SSSR. Vostochnaya Sibir’ i Dal’niy Vostok. Pod red. E. D. Ershova (Geocryology of the USSR. Eastern Siberia and the Far East, Ershov E. D. (ed.)), Moscow, Nedra, 1989, 515 p.
3. Glotov V. E., Glotova L. P. Izvestiya SamNTs RAN. 2011, vol. 13 (39), no 1 (6), pp. 1408–1412.
4. Glotov V. E., Glotova L. P. Voda: khimiya i ekologiya. 2013, no 8, pp. 16–22.
5. Glotov V. E., Glotova L. P. Izvestiya SamNTs RAN. 2014, vol. 16, no 1 (4), pp. 1080–1083.
6. Glotova L. P. Vestnik SVNTs DVO RAN. 2011, no 1, pp. 10–19.
7. Davydov L. K., Dmitrieva A. A., Konkina N. G. Obshchaya gidrologiya (Common hydrology), Leningrad, Gidrometeoizdat, 1973, 463 p.
8. Dedkov A. P., Mozzherin V. I. Erozionnye i ruslovye protsessy vyp. 3 (Erosion and channel processes, issue 3), Moscow, Izd-vo MGU, 2000, pp. 15–23.
9. Ispol’zovanie i okhrana vodnykh resursov Magadanskoy oblasti v 2002 g. Novaya Kolyma. 2003, no 1, pp. 11–13.
10. Kalabin A. I. Vechnaya merzlota i gidrogeologiya Severo-Vostoka SSSR. Trudy VNII-1. T. 18 (Permafrost and hydrogeology of North-Eastern USSR. Scientific works of VNII-1. Vol. 18), Magadan, 1960, 469 p.
11. Lobanov S. A., Ushakov M. V. Geografiya i prirodnye resursy. 2008, no 3, pp. 86–89.
12. Mikhaylov V. M. Geoekologiya. 1998, no 6, pp. 100–110.
13. Mikhaylov V. M. Poymennye taliki Severo-Vostoka Rossii (Taliks floodplain of North-Eastern Russia), Novosibirsk, Akademicheskoe izd-vo «Geo», 2013, 244 p.
14. Mnogoletnie dannye o rezhime i resursakh poverkhnostnykh vod sushi. T. I, vyp. 17 (Long-term dada about regime and resources of surface land waters. Vol. I, ser. 17), Le-
ningrad, Gidrometeoizdat, 1985, 429 p.
15. Novikov Yu. V., Sayfutdinov M. M. Voda i zhizn’ na Zemle (Water and Life on Earth), Moscow, Nauka, 1981, 184 p.
16. Posobie po opredeleniyu raschetnykh gidrologicheskikh kharakteristik (Guidance on determining calculated hydrological characteristics), Leningrad, Gidrometeoizdat, 1984, 448 p.
17. Resursy poverkhnostnykh vod SSSR. T. 19. Severo-Vostok (Resources of surface land waters of USSR. Vol. 19. Nortn-East), Leningrad, Gidrometeoizdat, 1969, 282 p.
18. Rzhanitsyn N. A. Rusloformiruyushchie protsessy rek (River channel processes), Leningrad, Gidrometeoizdat, 1985, 263 p.
19. Sever Dal’nego Vostoka. Pod red. N. A. Shilo (North of Far East. Shilo N. A. (Ed.)), Moscow, Nauka, 1970, 487 p.
20. Tananaev N. I. Stok nanosov i ruslovye protsessy na rekakh kriolitozony (Flow sediments and channel processes in rivers in Permafrost), Candidate’s thesis, Moscow, MGU, 2007, 191 p.
21. Tananaev N. I., Anisimova L. A. Geografiya i prirodnye resursy. 2013, no 1, pp. 148–156.
22. Ushakov M. V. Vestnik SVNTs DVO RAN. 2013, no 2, pp. 20–24.
23. Chalov R. S. Geografiya i prirodnye resursy. 2011, no 3, pp. 20–27.
24. Betrie G. D., Mohamed Y. A., A van Griensven, Srinivasan R. Sediment management Modelling in the Blue Nile Basin Using SWAT Model, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, Vol. 15, No. 3, 2011, pp. 807–818.
25. Costard F., Dupeyrat L., Carey-Gailhardis E. and Gautier E. Fluvial thermal erosion investigations along the rapidly eroding riverbank. Application to Lena River (Central Siberia). Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. 2003. Vol. 28. pp. 1349–1359
26. Kazuhisa A. Chikita, Tomoyuki Wada, Isao Kudo, Yongwon Kim. The Intra-Annual Variability of Discharge, Sediment Load and Chemical Flux from the Monitoring: The Yukon River, Alaska. Journal of Water Resource and Protection, 2012, No 4, pp.173–179.
27. Tananaev N. I. Estimating sediment flow from unexplored watersheds of North-Eastern Russia. Abstracts Volume of the 3rd SEDIFLUX (Sedimentary Source-to-Sink-Fluxes in Cold Environments) Science Meeting, Durham, UK, 2005. P. 29.
28. Wada T., Chikita K. A., Kim Y. and Kudo I. Glacial effects on discharge and sediment load in the Subarctic Tanana River basin, Alaska. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research, Vol. 43, No. 4, 2011, pp. 632–648.
Subscribe for our dispatch