Settlement and Genesis

The Danube Delta represents the youngest geographical region of Romania , with a particular individuality between the European deltas, as well as between the worldwide deltas.

Situated in the northwestern part of Black Sea basin, between 44º46'00'' N lat., 45º40'00'' lat. N. and 28º40'24'' long. E., 29º40'50'' long. E., in a mobile region of the earth crust, the Danube Delta represents practically the most important terminal plain of an European river. (excepting the one of Volga river). The total area of the delta is 4178 km 2 , 3486 km 2 being on the Romanian territory (82 %) and, respectively, 732 km 2 is on Ukrainean territory (18 %). The Delta's limits can be extended to Capul Midia, including the lagoonary complex Razim-Sinoe.

It is a classical delta, well individualized, with clear boarders because it ends in a closed sea, with no tides, where winds have a reduced frequency and low intensity, conditions which are promoting delta's apparition. As a result of interactions between river and sea, the Danube Delta divides itself in two sectors: river delta in the West and river-marine delta in the East, separated by the line of banks Letea-Caraorman-Crasnicol.

Referring to Danube Delta's genesis and evolution, informations that we have got from the antique historians, corroborated with the most recent data, let us reconstitute, in space and time, the Delta's territory. Almost all theories converge to the idea of genesis through bay-lagoon-delta phases.

According to these theories, the genesis of delta took place in an old sea bay, isolated by a narrow sand bank, which transformed its western side in a lagoon. Before ending the process of sand filling, the dominant winds from NE associated with high waves accumulated the sand hillocks of Letea and Caraorman. Using the advanced parts of these hillocks, the sea builds new series of sea sides which are closing behind lagoon sectors, themselves filled by the river with sand after. This is the mechanism through which the Danube delta advances continuously into the sea.

Between the factors which contribute to delta's evolution, the most important is the Danube river which, with its solid transport, forces the delta to advance continuously into the sea. (the medium speed of advancing during 1835-1992 was 17.405 m/an). It pours its waters into the sea through three channels: Chilia- 84 km, Sulina-77 km and Sfantul Gheorghe (Sahalin Island)-81 km.



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