The Danube Delta

A wonderful world

Delta Dunarii

The Danube Delta (3446 km²), mainly situated in Dobrogea, Romania and partially in Ukraine, is the largest and the best preserved deltas in Europe. The Danube Delta is part of UNESCO heritage since 1991 and is classified as a national biosphere reserve in Romania and a national park in the international IUCN taxonomy.

The Danube Delta, the lowest and the newest plain region, is located on the east side of the country at the mouth of Danube into the Black Sea. In the northern part, across Chilia arm, lies Buceagului plain, in the southern and south-eastern part Dobrogea plateau and in the eastern part Black Sea. Danube Delta includes also the lagoons of Razim-Sinoe with a total area of 4.340 km2. Danube Delta is a transitory unit between the Romanian plain, which continues with the Danube River (through hydrography and the functionality of the hydric system) and the Black Sea (the report between Danube and the Sea is variable in time).

The genesis of Danube Delta was borne in an ex maritime golf which included the Danube and lagoons of Rizim-Sinoe territories, through the river deposits brought by the Danube or resedimented by the circular flow of the Black Sea, which created in the Pelistocen epoch the conjugated system of Delta levees (Letea, Caraorman).

After the formation of this system of river banks, which originally closed the bay, Delta territory became an estuary. Then Delta has evolved in close connection with the three arms, in the order of their existence: Sfantul Gheorghe (the old one), Sulina and Chilia (the most recent). In the last century Delta knows a withdrawal process in the Danube distributaries.

The Danube branches into three main distributaries: the first in the west of Tulcea (Patlageanca), with the separation in the northern part of Chilia. In the east of Tulcea, Danube bifurcates for the second time in Sulina and Sfantul Gheorghe branches.

Chilia arm, in the north, is the longest (120 km), with the highest flow (almost 60% from the volume of the river). Single flow sectors alternate on Chilia arm (right to Stipoc, Chilia and Letea levees), with bifurcation sectors (on several secondary flows), between the leeves; the secondary arms are Tataru, Cernavoda and Babina. A secondary internal delta of Chilia is in full process of formation at the mouth of the river into the see and is progressing into the sea with a couple of ten meters per year (40-80m/year); this part of the secondary delta is not included in the territory of our country.

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