The Danube River


The Danube River Essay, Research Paper

Physical Properties:

The Danube River (Also known as the Donau, Dunaj, Duna, Dunav, Dunarea, and Dunay River) flows for approximately 1,770 miles (2,850 kilometers). The Danube runs through eight countries with six variations of its name (listed above). The countries that it runs through are: West Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Romania, and the Soviet Union. The river rises in the Black Forest mountains of West Germany and flows to its mouth on the Black Sea.

The Danube has 315,000 square miles of drained area. In that drained area, the Danube gets about 30 inches of rainfall a year. In all, the river includes 300 tributaries, 34 of which are navigable. The river basin expands unevenly along its length. It covers about 18,000 square miles at the Inn confluence, 81,000 square miles after joining with the Drava, and 228,000 square miles below the confluences of its most affluent tributaries, the Sava and the tisza. In the lower course the basin s rate of growth decreases to about 315,000 square miles again.

About 56% of the Danube basin is drained by its right bank tributaries, which collect their waters from the Alps and other mountain areas and contribute up to 66 percent of the total runoff or outfall. Some come from the Adriatic Sea, too. The Danube has three sections, the upper, middle, and lower sections. The total amount of volume the the Danube has is 8,525 cubic yards per second. It does increase with every tributary because it increases by 4,565 cubic yards per second from the upper part to the middle part. The average flow at the mouth is the same as above, 8,525 cubic yards per second.

Yes, the Danube is steep in some sections but not in others because the upper course stretches from its source to the Gorge in the Austrian Alps and the Western Carpathian Mountains called the Hungarian Gates, which would be very steep. The middle course runs from the Hungarian Gates to the Iron Gate Gorge in the Southern Romanian Carpathians. The lower course flows from the Iron Gate to the delta-like estuary at the Black Sea, which isn t very steep.

The Danube has no oxbows, bayous, or any other types of natural features associated with this river except for the 300 tributaries. There aren t even any cataracts throughout the Danube, although some of the Danube s tributaries that come from the Alps north of Italy probably has a few waterfalls. There is a delta that has formed at the mouth of the river, and the Danube splits up into three major rivers. They are: the Chilia, which carries 67% of the total runoff; the Sulina, which carries 9%; and the Sfintu Gheorghe (St. George), which carries 24%. It is 1,660 square miles and it is populated, mainly by a city at the mouth called Sulina.

The kinds of animals that live in/near the Danube are: the sturgeon, wels, pike, beluga, and the Black Sea herring. The river deposites a lot of silt, But the fish eat plants nearby and other smaller fish nearby, possibly plankton. The fish mainly lived until the late 1960s. Now, only 70 species remain in the Danube.

If you were to navigate the river, a lot of boats would be good to use. You wouldn t need a really good one because there are no cataracts and the depth sometimes is only three feet. The narrowest parts of the river is only 132 feet, so you can use a fairly large boat. You would need a motor because the fastest it is going to go is only 11.2 miles per hour. These things would probably make a boat good enough to navigate the river, especially because they were able to in 1830. Some supplies that you would need for you trip are canned foods, beef jerky, matches, axes, a knife, gun, fishing rod, compass, bow and arrow, rice, and beans. Some dangers may be drowning, food poising, sicknesses such as the flu and you have no cure for it, freezing, injuries, and lack of storage on your somewhat small boat. You will have to take all types of clothing. While traveling in the upper parts of the Danube, you would probably have to take heavy clothing because the highs are only about 40 or 50 degrees, and the lows are below freezing. In the middle and lower parts of the river, you would have to take some cool stuff because the highs get up to 76 degrees, but you must still have the heavy clothing because the lows are again below freezing.

Cultural Impact:

Right now if you were to look on the right coast of the Danube River, you would see one country on you left and another country on your right. You would also see castles and fortresses in the 9th century. You would also see a lot of silt deposited on the banks of the river. You would see Hungarians, Germans and all of the other people form the different countries that it passes through.

There have been thousands of bridges built, and they are spread out throughout the whole river. They use them to get across to another country and have built them hundreds of years ago. Even the romans built the bridges thousands of years ago once they stretched their empire outside of the Danube, and when they fought the barbarians.

The river hasn t developed any ports or harbors, mainly because it runs through Europe. Even where the mouth is in the Black Sea, Sulina (the city on the delta) doesn t have one. Steam power developed there a few years after they were invented in the United States. That was the early 1800s or the late 1700s.

They haven t developed a way to get around cataracts because there aren t any cataracts on this river. I don t know of any religious purposes that the early Europeans would have used the Danube for, but they might have in the medieval times.

2,000 years ago, you probably would have seen the romans preparing an army to fight the barbarians, or even some other roman army. They would be building a bridge for future times that they would want to cross the river. 200 years ago, between December and March periods of ice drift combine with the spring thaw, causing floating ice blocks to accumulate at the river islands, jamming the river s course, and often creating major floods. 100 years ago, people started to use steam-regulating equipment, using dams and dikes. The chemical content also changes as city sewerage, fertilizers, and industrial wastes are dumped into the river. Pollution also increases as the waters flow past industrial areas.

The first hunters that used the Danube River were probably the Romans. Archeologists have found evidence of early communities by finding a whole empire under the hardened molten rock. This empire collapsed by the barbarians and by their own armies. They found out by writing that they find. Another empire that was strong and collapsed was the Hungarian/Austrian and collapsed by the Germans.

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