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Bratsk Reservoir on the Angara River
Bratsk Reservoir Information and Facts
Bratsk Reservoir is an artificial lake on the upper part of the Angara River, located in the Irkutsk Oblast of Russia.
The reservoir is situated in the drainage basin that contains the drainage basins of Lake Baikal and Irkutskoye Reservoir. It is bordered on the North-East by a plain located on the Siberian Plateau, formed by sedimentary rocks. The basin’s South-Western boundary is formed mainly by mountainous ranges containing rocks with intrusions of gneiss and crystalline slate. These rocks also have particles of quartzite and marble in them.
The reservoir has two main arms which are situated parallel to eachother: a 547-kilometers long part on the Angara River and a 370-kilometers long branch on the Oka River.
The reservoir was named after the largest city on its coastline, Bratsk. Other important human settlements are Svirsk and Usol’e-Sibirskoe.
Construction of the Dam
The reservoir is the result of the Bratsk Hydroelectric Plant, which was constructed between 1961 and 1967. At the time of the dam’s installation Bratsk Reservoir was the biggest artificial lake on the planet.
The construction is a channel-type reservoir which has a long-term storage regulation and operates in a cascade with two other reservoirs: Irkutskoye (situated upstream) and Ust-Ilimskoye (downstream). The gathered resources are used primarily for generating hydroelectric power, navigation, transportation, timber-rafting, as well as for fisheries and a number of recreational activities.
The Baikal Amur Mainline railroad passes on top of the dam.
In local literature
The reservoir was the subject of numerous creative writing essays. Yevgeny Yevtushenko Russian poet wrote an eponymous poem about the construction process of the dam. Valentin Rasputin’s novel, Farewell to Matyora, appeared in 1979 and discussed the lives of the many farmers and villages affected by the floods, who lost their farms and eventually had to relocate.