Vitim


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Vitim

(vētyēm`), river, c.1,140 mi (1,830 km) long, rising in the Transbaykalian Mts., E Siberian Russia, in the Buryat Republic, and flowing S, NE, then N into the Lena River at Vitim. It is navigable for five months of the year from its mouth to Bodaybo, its chief port. Its lower course crosses the Vitim gold-mining plateau.

Vitim

 

an urban-type settlement in Lena Raion, Yakut ASSR. It has a landing pier on the left bank of the Lena, opposite the mouth of the Vitim River. Population, 3,600 (1968). Vitim has a logging and timber distribution establishment.


Vitim

 

a river in the Buriat ASSR along its frontier with Chita Oblast and in Irkutsk Oblast, RSFSR. A right tributary of the Lena River. Length, 1,837 km (with the Vitimkan River, 1,978 km); basin area, 225,000 sq km.

The Vitim River has its source at the confluence of the Vitimkan and China rivers. In its upper and middle reaches it winds around the Vitim Plateau, flowing in a deep canyon-like valley. Further on, the river flows within the boundaries of the Stanovoi Elevation. In penetrating through the Severnyi-Mui and Deliun-Uran ranges, it forms the Paramskii and Deliun-Oronskii rapids. It emerges from the mountains just below the pier of Vorontsovka. Here the valley and the channel widen, and as it falls into the Lena River (in two principal branches), the Vitim River forms a delta. It is fed mainly by rain. The average annual flow rate at the town of Bodaibo is 1,530 cu m per sec and approximately 2,000 cu m per sec at the mouth. The Vitim River has high waters (8 to 10 m) for a rather long period (from May to October). The river is at its highest (up to 4,900 cu m per sec) in June. In March and April the flow rate declines sharply (down to 80 cu m per sec). The Vitim River freezes at the beginning of November; the ice begins to break up between May 10 and May 20. In the section above the village of Kalakan the river frequently freezes for 100 to 120 days. The Vitim’s main tributaries are the Konda, Karenga, Kalakan, Kalar, and Bodaibo on the right and the Tsipa, Muia, Mamakan, and Mama on the left. There is regular navigation from the mouth to the town of Bodaibo; cargoes are transported further to the village of Kalakan by riverboat. There are gold and mica deposits in the basin of the Vitim River.

B. G. SKAKAL’SKII

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