WE ALL KNOW IT IS A SCANDAL RAISED BY THE SENSATIONAL HUNTING MEDIA! The trouble is not as big as it was sown, the area is reopened for tourists and fishing, there was no case of bird flu infecting humans…
Fondest memory: Quiet places, small town, with outgoing people.
The sandbanks are quite a peculiarity of the Danube Delta's configuration. They have been made by alluvia deposited either by the water of the river (river sandbanks) or by the water of the sea (maritime sandbanks) along time; their origin may be also sought in fragments of plain left between the waters. Whatever their origin, the sandbanks in the Danube Delta lend a special character to the landscape, and are related to the growth of a special kind of vegetation.
Letea is the largest maritime sandbank in the Danube Delta, with a 20 km length, a 15 km maximum breadth, a surface of 17,000 ha and its maximum height of 13 m. It is shaped as an isosceles triangle, with its point at Periprava and its base in the proximity of Sulina branch. The soil consists of sand gathered in dunes which sometimes are over 3 m high; they are inhabited by tortoises, yellow and green lizards; there are also over 1,800 species of insects, among which the large fly (Satanas gigas), 11 species that have not been listed in specialized literature, and one species of night butterfly (Rhyparioides metelkana) which is now extinct from Europe. Near the village of Letea lies the forest by the same name, acknowledged as a monument of nature (see also Flora).
Caraorman is a maritime sandbank situated south of Sulina branch, also shaped as an isosceles triangle, with its point at Crisan and its base near Sfântu Gheorghe branch. It is 18 km long, it has a maximum breadth of 8 km, 7,000 ha, and 6,7 m as its highest altitude. The sandy soil winds in endless sand dunes which can reach a 7 m height, thus resembling a real desert. In the western part of the sandbank is to be found the Caraorman forest, a monument of nature (see also Flora).
Fondest memory: Saraturile (salt sandbanks), a maritime sandbank situated north of the village of Sfântu Gheorghe with 9 km in length, 10 km maximum breadth, 7,500 ha, and 4 m as its highest altitude, is, according to certain authors, the former Peuce island mentioned by the ancient geographer Strabon. The soil is sandy, with dunes 2 m high and a poor vegetation made up of halophyte plants (adapted to salt marshes) and xerophite plants (adapted to drought). When the sand is burning hot, mirages occur, just like in the desert.
Chilia, a sandbank situated north of the locality by the same name, is 15 km long, 5 km broad, 5,500 ha and 6.5 m as its highest altitude; it is actually what was left of a plain, which is now surrounded by water.
Stipoc, a fragment of predeltaic land formed of river alluvia, is an extensive sandbank in between the locality Pardina (Chilia branch) and the south of the Chilia sandbank. It is 30 km long, with a maximum breadth of 2.5 km, a surface of 3,500 ha, and a maximum height of 3 m.
Crasnicol is a maritime sandbank situated south of the locality Sfântu Gheorghe (18 km long); together with other many and large sandbanks, it amounts to about 3,500 ha. Sandbanks are very much like marshes too, as the land may emerge or submerge overnight. The area is Danube Delta's realm for migratory and passage birds.
When it gets to Patlageanca with 6400 m³ per second (on an average), the Danube forms two arms: Chilia to the North and Tulcea to the South and the latter at Ceatalul Ismail is divided into Sulina and Sfantu Gheorghe.
The main water courses are the four arms through which the Danube flows into the sea.
CHILIA - the northernmost and most active arm, with two groups of branches and a micro-delta of its own. Length: 105 km up to Periprava; maximum width: 1.000 m; maximum depth: 39 m. It carries around 60% of all river water; sinuousness coefficient: 1,56. Local shipping.
TULCEA - an arm running between the streches of the land Chilia and Sf. Gheorghe (on the left bank, Tulcea town). Length: 19 km; maximum width: 300 m; maximum depth: 34 m. It carries about 40% of the river water; sinuousness coefficient: 1,40. Man shipping way.
SULINA - the shortest, straightest and most developed arm. Length: 64 km; maximum width: 250 m; maximum depth: 18 m. It carries about 22% of the river water; sinuousness coefficient: 1,03. River-maritime traffic channel (7.000 ton ships may sail where the arm is at least 7.32 m deep).
SFANTU GHEORGHE - the oldest arm through which the Danube flows into the sea. Length: 64 km; maximum width: 550 m; maximum depth: 26 m. It carries about 22% of the river water; sinuousness coefficient: 1,60. Local shipping.
Fondest memory: The secondary hydrographic network of the Danube Delta generally has four components: creeks (former arms of the Danube, which are getting clogged), backwaters (smaller creeks), channels (rectified and dredged), periboinas (litoral loopholes where water is exchanged). Besides, there are also simple formations of a depression-lacustrine nature: marshes (0.50-3 m deep), estuaries (by the mouth of rivulets), lagoons (old marine gulfs), swamps (low water that may vanish), japsas (pools left by high waters), as well as complex ones: depression lakes (Padina, Sontea, Furtuna, Dranov, Matita, Obretin etc.). The Delta hydrographic basin also comprises the corresponding litoral line, the maritime zone along the coast, 10-15 km wide, less than 25 m deep, influenced by the flow of the sweet water.
The Danube Delta began to be formed in Quaternary, in the icy era consisting of two distinct periods:
the continental period - produced by the marine regression, when the shore was very much withdrawn and the arms of the Danube launched visible canyons in what it is now the continental platform
the gulf period - that followed a transgression. The hypothesis about the coast issued by Grigore Antipa and confirmed by P. Zencovici, admits the presence of a gulf, isolated by the marine currents through transversal narrow reefs and which finally formed the bank.
The Danube clogged this surface in the conditions of a reduced tide of about 70 cm. The continuous clogging shaped the present aspect of the delta. "The place where a new land is being created". When the Danube Delta is seen from Tulcea Hills, it looks like a green surface crossed by silver stripes.
The Danube Delta is a plain, which is continuously being formed, it has an average altitude of 50 cm and it is made up of:
positive relief (narrow reefs, islands, drift woods)
negative relief (the Danube arms, channels, brooks, swamps, marshes and lakes).
The land of the delta represents 13% of its surface and it is made up of:
river narrow reefs that accompany the Danube arms and are oriented towards West-East with an altitude of 0.5-5 m.
marine narrow reefs oriented towards North-South; Letea is remarkable for its altitude of 124 m, the maximum altitude for the delta and also Caraorman, Dranov, Ivancea, Saraturile, etc.
continental narrow reefs that represent residuum from the land before the delta was formed: Chilia and Stipoc.
The quantity of alluvial deposits brought by the Danube every year, to which are added the residuum of the dead organisms, the eolian dust etc. will make the percent of land increase to the detriment of the negative relief.
The climate is continental in the Danube Delta, influenced by the vicinity of the sea and the abundance of water from the inside.
The anual average temperature: 11°C; average temperature (13:00 hours) of the months: july 24°C, september 21°C.
The lowest nebulousness in the country, low precipitation (annual average 350 mm). Air moisture in the summer time (14:00 hours): cca 60% inside and 70% in the litoral zone.