Lake Chervonoje EUR-50

Riparian Nation(s) Belarus
Surface Area 40 km2 Mean Depth 1.2 m Volume 0.04 km3
Shoreline 30.8 km Catchment Area 353 km2 Residence Time 0.6 yr
Frozen Period Dec-Apr Mixing Type Polymictic Morphogenesis/Dam
Related Info/Site


Lake Chervonoje is one of the largest lakes in Belarus Republic. It is located in the watershed of the River Pripiat, a right-side tributary of the River Dnepr that drains into the Black Sea. The lake water originates partly from the seepage of groundwater in the enormous marshy lowland of Polesie.

Surface runoff from the catchment area is partially regulated by diking marsh systems and peat bogs for drainage or moisture supply. Though the shoreline is embanked, natural shores are low being sandy and peaty on the southern side of the lake. The lake water level has now been lowered by 0.4 m in comparison with the former natural level, and fluctuates with an annual range of 0.3 0.4 m. Deeper lake bottom is covered by siliceous ooze rich in decaying organic matter. An intensive sediment re-suspension due to wind force takes place in the ice-free period. Transparency of the lake water becomes as small as 0.1 m in summer. Dissolved oxygen in the lake water is exhausted at the end of the freezing period. Total mineral contents amount to 200 240 mg l-1, and the level of organic matter content is also high.

Eighteen species of macrophytes have been recorded in the lake, and 24% of its surface area are covered by their growth. There are 288 taxa of phytoplankton, their maximum biomass reaching 80 g m-3. The species number and summer biomass of zooplankton amounts to 197 and 0.8 g m-3, while those of zoobenthos to 107 and 22 g m-2, respectively.

L. Chervonoje is intensively used. The lake water is pumped up freely throughout the year for fish farming. Drainage water from diked marshes and peat plots for agricultural uses is discharged directly into the lake from pumping stations. The extraction of lake sediments for industrial uses is estimated at 100,000 t yr-1. Fish fingerlings, particularly of Carassius auratus, are released into the lake every year, and the annual fish production amounts to 15 kg ha-1. There are villages such as Puchovichi, Liachovichi, etc. along the lakeshore (1).

Photo of Lake Chervonoje
Photo: Res. Lab. Linmol., Berarus State Univ.