Lake Uvildy EUR-52

Riparian Nation(s) Russia
Surface Area 61 km2 Mean Depth 12.7 m Volume 0.77 km3
Shoreline 117 km Catchment Area 144 km2 Residence Time 19 yr
Frozen Period Nov-May Mixing Type Dimictic Morphogenesis/Dam
Related Info/Site


Lake Uvildy is one of the largest lakes situated in the ancient Urals. Its drainage basin is of tectonic origin, and was formed in Miocene (20 25 million years ago) by the fault dislocation of the Eastern Urals anticline on the boundary of the Transurals Peneplain. It seems possible that its transformation proceeded further due to the tectonic movement during the Quaternary period.

The lake basin is 12.2 km long and consists of three sub-basins separated by submerged ridges and an island chain. The largest and deepest (maximum depth 37 m) southern sub-basin is called Marine Reach. The northern and western (Red Reach) sub-basins are bordered by Beriozovy Island, the largest of 52 islands on the lake.

Lakeshores are lightly cut and gently sloping in Marine Reach, while they are sharply cut and with a lot of islands in the other two sub-basins. The southwestern coasts of Red Reach are high and rocky with steep forested slopes, offering the most picturesque scenery. The western side of the two sub-basins are low and marshy, bearing birch and osier stands. Reeds grow along the littoral zone of the lake. The area occupied by macrophytes amounts to 10 km2. Stoneworts (Chara) grows on the lake floor down to a depth of 14 m. Deeper bottoms (to 16 m) are covered by a moss Fontinalis.

The catchment area is not wide, and is located on hilly eastern slopes of the Southern Urals, where pine and birch forests grow on gray forest podzol except for swampy depressions. The greater part of the catchment is drained by two tributary rivers flowing into the northern sub-basin, the Cheremshanka and the Kosaya.

The lake is oligotrophic and filled with transparent freshwater. In 1964 1967, the lake water was channeled eastward from Marine Reach via a small canal to the neighbouring Lake Malye Iradiaghy for supporting a fish-breeding nursery. The most significant consumption of the lake water started in the dry years of 1975 1976 to improve water supply to the city of Cheliabinsk by constructing a deep canal with a watergate that connected Lake Uvildy with Argazy Reservoir on the River Miass. This resulted in the subsidence of the lake's water level by 3.9 m and the decrease of the lake water volume by 0.245 km3.

L. Uvildy is intensively used as the site of recreation and health resort. The lake silt is used as medicinal mud in sanatoria located on the lake shore. Coastal radon springs are used for medical purposes as well (1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

Photo of Lake Uvildy
Photo: Urals Sci. Res. Inst.