Uzboi – shadow of bygone river

Uzboi - shadow of bygone riverAs can be seen flying in a plane over the deserts Transcaspia – sun-scorched land, gray- yellow sand dunes stretching to the horizon – and suddenly in the middle of nowhere there riverbed. Water in it, and before the eyes of the astonished traveler – deathly gray bottom, steep bend of the river , with high external and internal sloping shore. Uzboi famous and mysterious ” shadow bygone river” , the old channel of the Amu Darya , once a tributary of the Caspian Sea , and only then turned to the Aral Sea .

Famous wadis – dry riverbeds , filled with water only in the rainy season – were first described in the North African desert , and that’s why for them in the global geographical literature Arabic name stuck . The easiest way would be to assume that Uzboi also represents something similar. However, the scientists who conducted the research here , sure : Uzboi – this is a typical river valley formed by a long-acting and permanent river stream . Rapids land bed , swings with traces of former activity waterfalls, formed terraces with numerous remains of shells of freshwater mussels and organic remains of the former Flora – all this leaves no doubt that in the Trans-Caspian desert deep river once flowed .

Geological and human history

Today, most geographers of the opinion that Uzboi originates from the geological epoch, when the site of ancient Tethys Ocean – present territory of Turan – marine waters receded , and in their place new elements formed relief. At the same time , according to geologists , there was a vast Karakum plain, in the western part of which in the course of active tectonic processes having the Aral Sea Basin and Sarikamish Basin . It gradually filled by fresh water , and at some point the water flow over the edge , rushed to the Caspian Sea . The fact that this was exactly the Amu Darya , scientists have no doubt .
The origins of the Amu Darya – it glaciers on the tops of the Afghan Hindu Kush. Starting here swift and rapid mountain stream locals called Vachan-Darya . Further, he has become a small river , the river merges with the Pamir and receives a new name – Panj . First, it is the frontier river , which separates Afghanistan from three Central Asian countries. For here is so rapid , and the rocks on the banks so steep that the river is not only unsuitable for navigation but also for irrigation. Taking the waters of rivers Gunt Murghab Kyzylsu and Vakhsh and Panj affluent becomes calmer . Taking after merging with a new name Vakhsh – Amu Darya or river already carries more water than the famous Nile. Then she takes his last major tributary – Surkhandarya – and rushes to the west , where almost to the confluence of the Aral Sea area divides two deserts – the Kyzyl Kum and Kara . However, the Amu Darya and the plain , which is called also Dzheyhun , reveals its stormy . The river so wide that its opposite shore is lost in the haze , running oblique waves generated not by the wind, and the fast-flowing water to foam , whirlpools dragging debris boards and bundles of reeds, sometimes podmyta shores with cannon roar descend into the water blocks . The water here has always meant life, but it also brought untold misery – river flooding in the flood were a disaster . And the old men repeated if razolyut Tedjen and Syrdarya – it does not matter . But if you come from the banks Dzheyhun …

Already at its mouth Amu presents another surprise : she runs up to ten channels and forms one of the largest river deltas in the world – an area of ​​more than eleven thousand square kilometers. Accurate map of the vast intricacies of channels , creeks , canals, islands and marsh reed jungle does not exist. As fickle river and then changes direction, some ducts dry , others previously dry, fill with water , changing contours of the islands , headlands and river bends .

Alas, much has been in the past: from the last century Central Asian rivers of water for irrigation mercilessly , and as a result there shoaling wells dried up channels once blooming coast turned into a desert. Now the water does not reach the Amu Darya to the Aral Sea .

Currently near the Amu Darya delta of the former Aral can easily find the point where it branches off from the already parched sleeve called Daryalik – this is the beginning Uzboi . He moves to the very Sarikamish depression , from which comes the two arms of a bygone river – Acts and Adzhaib . Former estuary Uzboi today is easy to see on the coast of the Caspian Sea Krasnovodsky Gulf .

But how and why Uzboi ceased to exist ?

Classical geology and ” folk geography ”

There are many versions and legends. Most Russian researchers western Turan believe Uzboi originated existed and stopped its flow in prehistoric times – that is that way for about 10,000 years. Expedition led by archaeologist SP Tolstova found that runoff Uzboi stopped at least 2-3 thousand years ago because , as they say geologists , with the transgression of the Caspian Sea and the decrease in the level of Lake Sarykamysh due to reduced inflow of water into it Amudarya .
However, to say that this version does not fit in geological history, to say nothing . Too detailed map of bygone river preserved in popular memory : the inhabitants of Central Asian deserts unmistakably indicate not only the bayou , but even existed in her skirts . The most amazing thing is that instead of Burgundy – Adzhikuinskih rapids near the mouth Uzboi , from the bottom of a dried-up river water are the huge run- stones . And even more difficult to imagine that on the banks of the dried Daryalyk – part Uzboi – already in the XIII century rise majestic fortress Ak -Kaya – ” White Rock .” On its shores you can see the graves and mausoleums of revered saints – shrines, and ruins of ancient cities and the remains of the caravan routes . Here are found the remains of an original irrigation system is a dense network of water conveyance channels , between which there were irrigated. All this, historians believe , simply could not exist if there was no water Uzboi or she appeared here occasionally.

Moreover, in its own, so to speak, ” the middle reaches ” Uzboi today gives the impression of a lively river with beaches, framed by thickets of tamarisk and reeds . Channel is filled with bright blue lakes salt brine . Valley Uzboi collects groundwater from all over the neighborhood, and salt lakes Uzboi long known for its healing powers of clay and salt water, drank it and bathed in it . Preserved here and freshwater lakes : Yaskhan , Togolok and Topiatan .

Put forward , however, and other versions , according to which the flow of water in Uzboi in historical times and was repeatedly interrupted. It is believed , for example, that until the XVI century, the Amu Darya has her mouth Aral Hlyboki known as Daryalik that Sarikamish and fed lake and Uzboi . Finally, in many historical documents can be found evidence that during those most turbulent spills water broke through in the Amudarya and Daryalik Sarykamysh .

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