The Narova river (Narva, Alukse) springs from Peipus-Pskov lake system; a great amount of water the Narova receives from this system. A catch water basin together with lakes area is 47 815 km2. Total catch water basin of the Narova doesn’t go beyond the coordinates: from 56° 08' n.l. to 59° 28' n.l. and from 25° 36' east longitude to 30° 16' east longitude.
Peipus-Pskov lake system is located on Pripeipus lowland. These lakes are a relic of a big glacial tank. The shores are mostly low, sandy and have dunes. There are many islands in the lakes, the biggest of which is Piyrissaar island (Porka) . About 30 rivers flow into the lakes. The largest are the Great and the Emaiygi; not big ones are the Vikhandu, the Zhelcha, the Piuza; a lot of small rivers and, of course, a great amount of streams. Only one river flows out of Peipus-Pskov lake system – it is the Narova. The lakes freeze in November and become clear in May. There are rundown and set phenomenon (like a flood) here. In the system food fish live: whitebait, roach, perch, burbot, bream, pike perch, white-fish, pike, whitefish and others. There is navigation, including passenger one in the system. The only passenger line is Tartu-Pskov (Tartu city – the Emaiygi river – lake Peipus– lake Warm– lake Pskov– the Great river – Pskov city)
Peipus-Pskov lake system is divided into three parts. The biggest part – the north – is lake Peipus. Lake Peipus mirror area is 2 611 km2, maximum depth is 12,9 m, average one – 7,6 m, volume of water in the lake is 26,98 km3. From extreme north-east “corner” the only river the Narova flows out. On the coastline there are cities: Gdov (Russia), Kallaste and Mustvae(Estonia). Southern part – lake Pskov has a mirror area of 708 km2 and maximum depth 5,3 meters. The central part – lake Warm – connects lake Peipus to lake Pskov. Its area is 236 km2 and maximum depth – 15,3 meters (the greatest depth of the system). Common area of Peipus-Pskov lake system is 3 555 km2.
Near the mouth of the Narova two villages are situated: Skamia (Russia) and Vasknarva (Estonia). In Vasknarva (Sirents) there are the ruins of medallic castle, which was built in 1349 and later destroyed. The castle’s highest point is 12,5 meters with walls thickness up to 3,6 meters. Average discharge in the river near Vasknarva is 321 m3\second or 10,123 km3\year. A little bit downstream, near Omut village (Russia) the river is blocked up by Omut rapids with common distance of fall of about 5 meters, which however don’t prevent small navigation. Approximately in the middle of the upper stream the Borovnia river flows into the Narova.
Borovnia is famous for the deciduous wood, growing on its banks and consisting of lindens, ash-trees, elms, birches and maples, some of which can’t be clasped in arms. Enormous fern, which height goes up to a man’s chest, grows at the foot of these trees. The area of the wood is 430 hectares between the rivers the Gorodenka, the Borovnia and the Narova and there is a botany- zoological reserve.
in the distance of 40 km from the mouth to Narva reservoir the river flows through paludal forests of north-east of Estonia and south-west of Leningrad region in Russia.
To the west of the river a wide swamp Pukhatu is – the biggest swamp in Estonia with the area of 468 km2 that consists of several lakes joined by the channels, and in the east there are Slantsy swamps. In this section of the river the Black river (Mustaiygi) and several streams flow into it. In the upper stream the Narova flows in distributaries, making quite big islands. Some of them, especially not far from the source, supersede the Narova in a width (specifically distributaries, rounding the island Verkhovskiy, here the width of the river is around 900 meters). It’s the upper stream of the river. The whole part is devoted to the middle stream (part “Narva reservoir”), that’s why we jump to the lower stream (more precisely to its section situated lower hydroelectric power station).
From the Narva waterfalls to the bridge of Friendship the Narova valley is located in canyon which depth is more than 20 meters. The canyon of the Narova river is a landscape reserve that is under the state protection. Starting from Narvskaya hydroelectric power station, the Narova bends round Maiden peninsula. Its area is 180-200 km2, and the length of the coastline – 1,2 km. In the place where Narva castle “looks” at Ivangorod fortress, a defile is forming – a narrow pass between two rock-heights. In this section Narova stream is the stormiest.
Further the river flows 2,2 kms within the bounds of Narva. And the rest 12 kms flows through the banks, overgrown with conifers woods, meeting on her way several islands, in particular Petrovskiy island and Kanna island.
In 700 meters from the Narova mouth the Rosson River flows into it. Rosson connects the Narova to the Luga River, flowing in 15 km to the east. The Rosson has the most interesting phenomenon – a bifurcation. Depending on the quantity of water in the Narova and Luga, the Rosson flows either towards the Narova, or towards the Luga. This phenomenon can be perfectly observed in Narva-Jysuu.
The Narova flows into the Gulf of Narva. The Gulf of Narva (Narva bay) is south-east part of the Gulf of Finland in Russia (Leningrad region) and in Estonia (Ida-virumaa). Here is a statistics of the Gulf of Finland: area – 29 600 km2; catch water basin – 421 000 km2; average depth – 38 meters; water volume – 1 100 km3; total annual rivers inflow – 98-128 km3, from which for the Neva is about 80% and for the Narova – 11%. the length of the Gulf of Narva is 40 kilometers, the width at the entrance (the”entrance” is a relative concept because of its width) – about 90 km, depth – more than 30 meters. The Gulf freezes from December till March. The temperature of water near the coast in July is +18,8°C. The Narova is the second river in large that flows into the Gulf of Finland after the Neva.
Water flow in the mouth of the Narova is 399 m3\second or 12.58 km3\year that is 78m3\sec or 2,46 km3\year more than of the river head. The Narova is navigable lower Estonian hydroelectric power station (14,9 km) and in the reservoir (30 km), so it turns out the river is 58% navigable. The area of columbine of the Narova – 56 200 km2, that is approximately equally to the area of columbine of such big rivers as the Kuban, the Birusa and the Ufa. 39 000 km2 occupy Russia and 17 200 – Estonia (the area of Estonia is 45 200 km2). Ice phenomenon on the Narova lasts for up to 5,5 months, in summer - mean water. The length of the river is 77 km, from which 40 km – upper stream, 20 km – middle stream, 17 km – lower stream. The Narova fall is 30 km, from which 19% (4 m-7,5 m) accounts for Narva waterfalls and 16% (5 m) for Omut rapids. The average width is 200-300 meters, however downstream lower hydroelectric power station up to 390 meters, the greatest width is in the upper river near the island Verkhovskoe – about 900 meters. The predominant depth is 3-4 meters, somewhere up to 6 meters, lower hydroelectric power station – up to 11 meters, before the mouth – up to 15 meters. Average speed of the Narova streamis 1m\sec, on the rapids up to 3 m\sec, and in the lower stream only 0,5 m\sec.
Local flora and fauna
The Narova is rich in fish. Here there is a roach, perch, bream, pike, redeye and others the same as in lake Peipus and Narva reservoir. However salmon fishes, eel and narva lamprey spawn in the lower stream. The main tributary of the river is Plussa. It is 11,6% of the Narova
In Prinarovie forests hares, roes, foxes, wild boars and others live. There is following variety of forests: fir, pine, oak, maple tree, linden, birch, alder, and aspen. . In Narva-Jysuu some cedars, which seeds were brought from Russia by chance, grow. Mushrooms - orange-cap boletus, brown cap boletus, Boletus luteus, saffron milk cap, milk mushroom, chanterelle and russule. Berries – bilberries, bog whortleberry, raspberry-bush, red bilberries and cranberry on swamps.