Norilsk residents changed local rivers beds

Norilsk residents changed local rivers beds

February 20, 2023

The most famous hydraulic structure in Norilsk was the dam, which blocked the Dolgaya river, flowing from the lake of the same name.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. They built the dam to raise the water level in the lake, which was originally the main source of water for both technological and domestic needs.

The dam construction in 1942 was entrusted to the chief engineer of Spetsstroy (Norilsk building organization), Vladimir Vsesvyatsky. It was not an easy task: there was permafrost at the base of the 8-meter dam, and its clay-concrete body was artificially frozen by introducing calcium chloride through pipes.

Another modified drain was the Bear Creek, which flows out of the gorge between the Rudnaya and Gudchiha mountains. In August 1941, the Norilsk workers from morning to evening in the tundra, they dragged wheelbarrows with earth along wooden decks, cut down thickets of bushes with axes, smashed the permafrost with sledgehammers and steel wedges. The Norilsk people were constructing a canal to divert the Bear Creek, which crossed the tundra in the place where the workshops of the Big Metallurgical Plant were to be built. This eliminated the need to construct dozens of bridges.

Bear Creek, outing in bad weather on skis. 1950s

And it was not the only experience of that kind. In addition to the Bear Creek, the course of the Nalednaya river was also changed so that the river flowing from the industrial zone would flow into Norilskaya river not above the water intake, but below it. And later, a section of the Talnah river (the Norilsk people call it Talnashka) was straightened along the future urban development of the new district.

In the History Spot’s previous publication, we told that in 1976 the Finland president Urho Kekkonen came to Norilsk on a visit.

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Text: Svetlana Ferapontova, Photo: Nornickel Polar Branch archive

February 20, 2023

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