Pripet Marshes


Pripet Marshes
an extensive wooded marshland in S Byelorussia (Belarus) and NW Ukraine. 33,500 sq. mi. (86,765 sq. km).

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Vast marsh region, southern Belarus and northwestern Ukraine.

The largest swamp of the European continent, the marshes lie in the thickly forested basin of the Pripet River. They cover an area of about 104,000 sq mi (270,000 sq km). Densely wooded and largely uninhabited, the region has supported a diversified lumber industry. A vast amount of land reclamation took place during the 20th century, including the regulation of water drainage, permitting the development of agricultural areas.

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region, Eastern Europe
Ukrainian  Polissya , Belarusian  Palyessye , Polish  Polesie (“Woodlands”) 

      vast, waterlogged region of eastern Europe, the largest swamp of the European continent. The Pripet Marshes occupy southern Belarus and northern Ukraine. They lie in the thickly forested basin of the Pripet River (a major tributary of the Dnieper) and are bounded on the north by the Belarusian Ridge and on the south by the Volyn-Podilsk and Dnieper uplands. The marshes cover an area of approximately 104,000 square miles (270,000 square km). The distinctive natural traits of the Pripet Marshes are a wide development of saturated sandy lowlands, intersected by a dense network of rivers with weakly cut riverbeds and wide floodlands; and a prevalence of pine forests amid the wide expanse of low-lying bogs and marshes.

      The region experiences a warm temperate climate. The average annual precipitation reaches 22–26 inches (550–650 mm) and exceeds evaporation, giving sufficient—and in some places quite abundant—moisture. Combined with an abundance of subsoil waters and their proximity to the surface, a virtually unique soil saturation and associated bogging down of the surface are thus produced.

      Numerous tributaries of the Pripet (Pripet River) (including the Stokhid, Styr, Horyn [Goryn], Ubort, Yaselda, and Ptich rivers) course down into the swamps from the surrounding highlands, carrying in large amounts of water. In the spring, when snowmelt occurs, the region's rivers overflow their low banks and intensify the saturation of the land. Huge marshes are developed along the course of the Pripet itself, while the middle of the river is marked by the soggy expanses of the Pinsk Marshes. The numerous lakes that dot the landscape are in various stages of choking up into additional bogs.

      About one-third of the region is forested, consisting of pine, birch, alder, oak, aspen, white spruce, and hornbeam. The region has thus supported—where conditions permit—a diversified lumbering industry. Elk, lynx, wolf, fox, wild boar, roe, beaver, badger, and weasel are to be seen and are sometimes hunted. A host of birds, including black grouse, orioles, hazel grouse, woodpeckers, owls, blue tits, and ducks, inhabit the forests and marshlands. These, too, are hunted. Human intervention is most evident, however, in the sections of the region that are being developed and transformed into agricultural lands, where rye, barley, wheat, flax, hemp, potatoes, a variety of vegetables, and fodder grasses are cultivated.

      Land reclamation projects were first initiated in 1872 by a state-sponsored “western expedition for the drainage of swamps” led by the Russian scholar I.I. Zhilinsky. A vast amount of land reclamation has taken place during the 20th century. A complex series of measures for achieving this formidable goal was under way during the late 20th century. They included the regulation of water drainage and the construction of reservoirs on the rivers, the regulation of river channels, afforestation of sandy uplands, and the clearing of undesirable vegetative cover.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pripet Marshes — Prip′et Marsh′es n. geg an extensive wooded marshland in S Belorussia and NW Ukraine. 33,500 sq. mi. (86,765 sq. km) …   From formal English to slang

  • Pripet Marshes — an extensive wooded marshland in S Byelorussia (Belarus) and NW Ukraine. 33,500 sq. mi. (86,765 sq. km) …   Useful english dictionary

  • Pripet — [prē′pyät΄y prē′pet] river in Ukraine & Belarus, flowing through a large, swampy basin (Pripet Marshes) into the Dnepr: c. 500 mi (805 km): Russ. name Pripyat [prē′pyät΄y ] …   English World dictionary

  • Pripet River — Belarusian Prypyats River Ukrainian Pryp yat River River, northwestern Ukraine and southern Belarus. Rising in northwestern Ukraine near the Polish border, it flows east through the Pripet Marshes to Mazyr, then joins the Dnieper River in the… …   Universalium

  • Pripet — or Russian Pripyat or Belarusian Prypyats or Ukrainian Pryp yat geographical name river 500 miles (805 kilometers) E central Europe in NW Ukraine & S Belarus flowing E through the marshlands called Polesye (or Pripet Marshes to the Dnieper) …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Pripet — /prip it, et, pree pet/, n. a river in NW Ukraine and S Byelorussia (Belarus), flowing E through the Pripet Marshes to the Dnieper River in NW Ukraine. 500 mi. (800 km) long. Russian, Pripyat /prddyee pyit/. Polish, Prypec. * * * …   Universalium

  • Pripet — Prip•et [[t]ˈprɪp ɪt, ɛt, ˈpri pɛt[/t]] n. geg a river in NW Ukraine and S Belorussia, flowing E through the Pripet Marshes to the Dnieper River in NW Ukraine. 500 mi. (800 km) long. Russian, Pri•pyat [[t]ˈpryi pyɪt[/t]] …   From formal English to slang

  • Pripet — /ˈprɪpət/ (say pripuht) noun a river in eastern Europe, rising in Ukraine and flowing east then south east to the Dnieper through the extensive Pripet Marshes of Belarus. About 805 km. Also, Pripyat …   Australian English dictionary

  • Pripet — /prip it, et, pree pet/, n. a river in NW Ukraine and S Byelorussia (Belarus), flowing E through the Pripet Marshes to the Dnieper River in NW Ukraine. 500 mi. (800 km) long. Russian, Pripyat /prddyee pyit/. Polish, Prypec …   Useful english dictionary

  • Pinsk Marshes — The Pinsk Marshes (Пинские болота) or Pripyat Marshes (Pripet Marshes, Припятские болота) are a vast territory of wetlands along the Pripyat River and its tributaries from Brest, Belarus (west) to Mogilev (northeast) and Kiev (southeast).The… …   Wikipedia


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