Lake Ladoga is located between Leningrad Oblast and the Republic of Karelia in northwest Russia and close to the border with Finnland. Lake Ladoga originates from the Neva River and flows into the Gulf of Finland. Lake Ladoga is the largest freshwater lake in Europe and the 15th largest lake in the world.
The northern shores are mostly high and craggy and are broken by deep, ice-covered, fjordlike inlets. The southern shores have many sandy or rocky beaches. The new Ladoga Canal around the lake is built on the south bank, an important waterway between the Baltic-White Sea and the Volga-Baltic Sea.
St. Petersburg is located at the mouth of the Neva River; the Three Baltic States are west of St. Petersburg (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania). In the northern part of the lake are the famous Ladoga skerries, shaped like a necklace, a series of rocky islands separated by narrow channels, forming a stunning natural scenery.
Lake Ladoga Introduction
Lake Ladoga was formed by melting glaciers, a process that has lasted for thousands of years. The huge lake merged with the ancient sea several times. Finally, about 3,000 years ago, the currents pushed the banks to change across the Neva towards the Baltic Sea. Along the lake are cities such as Priozyorsk, Shlisselburg, and Sortavala.
During World War II, during the siege of St. Petersburg, Lake Ladoga became the lifeline of transportation. The military supplies and the evacuation of the wounded and sick all passed through Lake Ladoga. Nowadays, Lake Ladoga is an integral part of the Volga-Baltic and Baltic-White Sea transport systems, through which the waterway from Russia to Finland and Germany is available. The entire lake of Ladoga is navigable.
Lake Ladoga Size
- Lake Ladoga is 17,700 square kilometers (6,800 square miles) in surface area (exclusive of islands), with 219 kilometers (136 miles) in length and a maximum width of 138 kilometers (86 miles).
- Its greatest depth, at a point west of Valaam Island, is 230 meters (754 feet), and the average depth is 51 meters (167 feet).
- Its catchment area covers about 276,000 square kilometers (107,000 sq mi).
|Max. length||219 km (136 mi)|
|Max. width||138 km (86 mi)|
|Surface area||17,700 sq km (6,800 sq mi)|
|Catchment area||276,000 sq km (107,000 sq mi)|
|Average depth||51 m (167 ft)|
|Max. depth||230 m (754 ft)|
|Water volume||837 cubic km (201 cubic mi)|
Climate And Hydrology
The catchment area of Lake Ladoga includes 50,000 lakes and 3,500 rivers over 10 kilometers in length. The largest tributaries are the Volkhov, the Svir, and the Vuoksa. About 85% of the water comes from tributaries, 13% comes from rain, and the remaining 2% is groundwater. The lake area has a continental climate with an average annual precipitation of 610 mm. The highest water levels are in June and July, and the lowest is in December and January.
The icing period lasts 5 to 6 months in the coastal areas and about three months in the central area. The coastal areas begin to freeze in December, the lake's center begins to freeze in January or February, and it thaws from March to May.
Storms are often raging on Lake Ladoga due to strong wind gusts. It was this kind of weather that often led to shipwrecks, forcing Peter I to decide to build bypass passages to secure transit shipments. Construction of the canal continued over the next few centuries. Thanks to these artificial hydraulic works, the lake is connected to the southern and northern regions of Russia, from the Baltic Sea to the coasts of the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea, forming a critical transport waterway.