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Entries / Neva Bay

Neva Bay

Categories / City Topography/Waterways and Currents/Gulfs and Sounds

NEVA BAY is a shallow eastern end of the Gulf of Finland located between the Neva River and Kotlin Island (traditionally referred by citizens of St. Petersburg and sailors as "Marquis's Puddle"). Its eastern border runs along the outside sea edge of the Neva's sand-bar and its western edge borders on the Lomonosov - Kronstadt - Lisy Nos line (connected to the system of sand-banks and fortifications of the 18th - early 20th century); today it runs along the flood protective works ("dam"). The water cycle is performed through the so called Southern and Northern gates. The southern part of an unfinished dam is connected to the Morskoy Canal to provide water cycling. There are four culverts and one navigation pass in the northern part of the "dam" which allow almost complete free water flow. Neva Bay is 21-22 km long, 14-15 km wide and about 3-5 meters deep. In total, its surface area covers 329 square km. The bay has a flat sandy and oozy bottom with sandbanks along the coastline. Its northern coast is low, covered with bushes and grass. It is a traditional summer recreation area housing summer villages including Lakhta, Olgino, Lisy Nos and Gorskaya, which marks the beginning of the "dam". The southern coast from the Neva head to Strelna is also low, marshy and covered with hygrophilous vegetation. Further on, it rises as a result of the approaching denudation terrace of the Baltic and Ladoga escarpment. The eastern part of Neva Bay has fresh and opaque water that is relatively contaminated with inflowing waters of the Neva and small rivers. Hot summers increase bacterial pollution. The average summer temperature is 17-19o C and winter temperature reaches -24oC. The bay freezes over in November-December and breaks up in April. In winter, the ice is broken by icebreakers. The Morskoy Canal laid at the bottom of Neva Bay from the south-western St. Petersburg to Kronstadt is deepened to 12 meters and is continuously cleared of silt. The water level of Neva Bay at the Kronstadt depth gauge is taken as a zero mark of the Baltic Sea and all sea water areas of the world. It is 11cm lower than the elevation of the Neva River water at the College of Mines housing the main level gage of St. Petersburg. Neva Bay water level is subject to minor daily and annual fluctuations increasing under western winds. Some winds cause water to rise and backflow. Catastrophic rises lead to floods. Amateur fishing is popular in Neva bay (smelt has a commercial value).

Y. P. Seliverstov.

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