Springing from "The Black Forest" Mountains from Germany and crossing over eight countries and three capitals, covering 2857 km, the Danube, the second river as dimensions from Europe, ends its way forming, before its merge with the Black Sea, one of the most beautiful deltas from Europe and even from the whole world.
The history of the Danube Delta started 10,000 years ago, through laying down more successive strata of alluvia that were to the extant seagoing gulf at the river mouth of the Delta into the Black Sea, this one being obliged to withdraw into its river bed. The big sand banks, the islands of the Delta, Letea, Caraorman, the Saltings St. Gheorghe are made up of the sea and of the alluvia.
The three branches are made up gradually, beginning with St. Gheorghe branch (63.7 km), then Sulina branch (63.7 km) and finishing with the youngest Chilia branch (120 km). Between these branches have been formed a lot of natural connections, channels and lakes, among that, at the favourable heights, the entire Delta might be traversed. The total surface of the Delta is of 5800 km2 , containing Razelm Sinoe lagoon complex.
Tulcea city represents the access gate to the Danube Delta. Built up on seven hills, this former commercial city has become nowadays an important seagoing and river harbour, as well as the most important centre of fishing industry in Romania. The interest for the Delta has led to the unprecedented development of tourism. As points of touristic interest in Tulcea we remind The History and the Archeology Museum, The Ethnography and Folklore Museum, and especially The Danube Delta Museum.
THE DANUBE DELTA - THE HYDROLOGICAL NET
The Danube Delta is situated at the interception of the 45° parallel North latitude with the 29° meridian East longitude. The surface: 4152 km2, from which 3446 km2 Romanian territory. The area is relatively plane, with a proclivity of 0,0060/00, covered by water, permanently or temporarily in proportion of 70-80%. It has the aspect of an equilateral triangle with the sides of approximately 80 km length. At a flow of 5000-9.000 m.c. /sec., it transports yearly, on an average, 50 millions of tones of alluvia (approximately 8 times more than the Tibre and 20 times more than the Rhine). The water temperature (1.00 p.m. time): in June 20°, in July and August 22°, in September 18°.
The main water courses are the four river mouth branches of the Delta in the sea:
1. CHILIA - the northeast and the most active branch, with two groupings of ramifications and its own micro delta. Length: 105 km till Periprava, the maximum breadth: 1000 m; the maximum depth: 39 m. it transports cca. 60% from the whole river waters; coefficient of sinuosity: 1.56. Navigation of local interest.
2. TULCEA - branch that spreads between Chilia and St. Gheorghe (on the right shore, Tulcea City). Length: 19 km; the maximum breadth: 300m, maximum depth: 34m. It carries 40% from the river waters, coefficient of sinuosity: 1.40. The main way of navigation.
3. SULINA - the most arranged, the straightest and the shortest river mouth branch. Length: 64km; maximum breadth: 250 m; maximum depth: 18 m. It carries approx. 22% from the river waters; coefficient of sinuosity: 1.03. River-seagoing traffic channel (at the obligatory minimum depth of 7.32 m, ships of 7000 to can navigate).
4. ST. GHEORGHE - the oldest river mouth branch of the Delta in the sea. Length: 64 km; maximum breadth: 550 m; maximum depth: 26 m. It carries approx. 22% from the river waters; coefficient of sinuosity: 1.60. Navigation of local interest.