Yana River

Last updated
Yana river.png
Basin of the Yana River
Native nameДьааҥы/Džaangy
Country Russia
Physical characteristics
  location Confluence of Sartang and Dulgalakh
Laptev Sea
0 m (0 ft)
Length872 km (542 mi)
Basin size238,000 km2 (92,000 sq mi)
  average1,110 m3/s (39,000 cu ft/s)
Map showing the two Yana Rivers in the Russian Far East. The river of this article is the northern one which It flows into the Laptev Sea. Janajana.png
Map showing the two Yana Rivers in the Russian Far East. The river of this article is the northern one which It flows into the Laptev Sea.

The Yana River (Russian :Я́на,IPA:  [ˈjanə] ; Yakut : Дьааҥы, Caañı), is a river in Sakha in Russia, located between the Lena to the west and the Indigirka to the east.



It is 872 kilometres (542 mi) long, while the upper Yana is 1,320 kilometres (820 mi) long. Its drainage basin covers 238,000 square kilometres (92,000 sq mi), and its annual discharge totals approximately 35 cubic kilometres (28,000,000  acre⋅ft ). Most of this discharge occurs in May and June as the ice on the river breaks up. The Yana freezes up on the surface in October and stays under the ice until late May or early June. In the Verkhoyansk area, it stays frozen to the bottom for 70 to 110 days, and partly frozen for 220 days of the year.

The river begins at the confluence of the rivers Sartang and Dulgalakh. It flows north across the vast Yana-Indigirka Lowland, part of the greater East Siberian Lowland, shared with the Indigirka to the east. As the river flows into the Yana Bay of the Laptev Sea, it forms a huge river delta covering 10,200 square kilometres (3,900 sq mi). Yarok is a large flat island located east of the main mouths of the Yana.

There are approximately 40,000 lakes in the Yana basin, including both alpine lakes formed from glaciation in the Verkhoyansk Mountains (lowlands were always too dry for glaciation) and overflow lakes on the marshy plains in the north of the basin. The whole Yana basin is under continuous permafrost and most is larch woodland grading to tundra north of about 70°N, though trees extend in suitable microhabitats right to the delta.

The principal tributaries of the Yana are: Adycha, Oldzho, Abyrabyt and Bytantay. Most of these tributaries are short rivers flowing from the Verkhoyansk Mountains or the Chersky Range.

Verkhoyansk, Batagay, Ust-Kuyga, Nizhneyansk are the main ports on the Yana.

The Yana basin is the site of the so-called Pole of Cold of Russia, where the lowest recorded temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere are found. In the winter, temperatures in the centre of the basin average as low as −51 °C (−60 °F) and have reached as low as −71 °C (−96 °F) though in the mountains it is believed that temperatures have reached −82 °C (−116 °F).[ citation needed ] Yakut folklore says that, at such temperatures, if you shout to a friend and they cannot hear you, it is because the words have frozen in the air. However, when spring comes the words "thaw" and one can hear everything that was said months ago.[ citation needed ]


The Yana River hosts the first known site of human habitation in the Arctic, with evidence of habitation found in the delta from as early as 32,000 years ago [1] , some 3500 years before the Last Glacial Maximum).

In 1633–38 Ilya Perfilyev and Ivan Rebrov sailed down the Lena and east along the Arctic coast to the mouth of the Yana and reached the Indigirka River estuary. In 1636–42 Elisei Buza followed essentially the same route. In 1638–40, Poznik Ivanov ascended a tributary of the lower Lena, crossed the Verkhoyansk Range to the upper Yana and then crossed the Chersky Range to the Indigirka. [2]

In 1892–1894 Baron Eduard Von Toll, accompanied by expedition leader Alexander von Bunge, carried out geological surveys in the basin of the Yana (among other Far-eastern Siberian rivers) on behalf of the Russian Imperial Academy of Sciences. During one year and two days the expedition covered 25,000 kilometres (16,000 mi), of which 4,200 kilometres (2,600 mi) were up rivers, carrying out geodesic surveys en route.

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Indigirka River river in Russia

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Chersky Range mountain range

The Chersky Range is a chain of mountains in northeastern Siberia between the Yana River and the Indigirka River. Administratively the area of the range belongs to the Sakha Republic and Magadan Oblast. The highest peak in the range is 3,003 metres (9,852 ft) tall Peak Pobeda, part of the Ulakhan-Chistay Range. The range lies on the boundary between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. The Chersky mountains, along with the neighboring Verkhoyansk Range, have a moderating effect on the climate of Siberia. The ridges obstruct west-moving air flows, decreasing the amount of snowfall in the plains to the west.

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Sartang River river in Russia

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Selennyakh River river in Sakha Republic, Russia

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Kigilyakh or Kisiliyakh are tall, pillar-like natural rock formations looking like tall monoliths standing more or less isolated. Usually they are composed of granite or sandstone shaped as a result of cryogenic weathering. Most Kigilyakhs formed during the Cretaceous period and are about 120 million years old.

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Kular Range Mountain range in Russia

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Yana-Indigirka Lowland

The Yana-Indigirka Lowland is a large, low alluvial plain located in northern Siberia, Far Eastern Federal District, Russia.

Selennyakh Range

The Selennyakh Range is a range of mountains in far North-eastern Russia. Administratively the range is part of the Sakha Republic of the Russian Federation. The town of Deputatsky, capital of the Ust-Yansky District, is located in the area of the range.

Central Yakutian Lowland plain

The Central Yakutian Lowland or Central Yakutian Lowlands, also known as Central Yakut Plain or Vilyuy Lowland, is a low alluvial plain in Siberia, Russia.

East Siberian Lowland

The East Siberian Lowland, also known as Yana-Kolyma Lowland, is a vast territory in Northeastern Siberia, Russia. The territory of the lowland is one of the Great Russian Regions. Administratively it is part of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia).


  1. https://web.archive.org/web/20190501233156/https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/448829v1
  2. Lantzeff, George V., and Richard A. Pierce (1973). Eastward to Empire: Exploration and Conquest on the Russian Open Frontier, to 1750. Montreal: McGill-Queen's U.P.

General References

Coordinates: 71°32′14″N136°39′11″E / 71.53722°N 136.65306°E / 71.53722; 136.65306