Two ice breakers move along the frozen Moskva River with the Kremlin in the background during snowfall in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016. Moscow was hit by a heavy snowfall Tuesday, which led to the cancellation of dozens of flights at the city airports as temperatures dipped to -10 C (14 F) in Moscow.
The Moskva River also known as the Moscow River, is a river of western Russia. It rises about 140 km (90 mi) west of Moscow, and flows roughly east through the Smolensk and Moscow Oblasts, passing through central Moscow. About 110 km (70 mi) south east of Moscow, at the city of Kolomna, it flows into the Oka River, itself a tributary of the Volga, which ultimately flows into the Caspian Sea.
The river is 503 km (313 mi) long, with a vertical drop of 155 m (509 ft) (long-term average). The area of its drainage basin is 17,600 km2 (6,800 sq mi). The maximum depth is 3 metres above Moscow city limits, and up to 6 metres below it. Normally, it freezes in November–December and begins to thaw around late March. In Moscow, the river freezes occasionally;[contradiction] during an unusually warm winter in 2006–2007, ice began melting on January 25. The absolute water level in downtown Moscow is 120.0 metres above sea level (long-term average of summer lows after World War II); a historical maximum of 127.25 metres above sea level was set by the 1908 flood.
Sources of water
The main tributaries are the Ruza, Istra, Yauza, Pakhra, and Severka rivers. Sources of water are estimated as 61% thaw, 12% rain and 27% subterranean. Since completion of the Moscow Canal (1932–1937), the Moskva River has also collected a share of Upper Volga water. This has enabled reliable commercial shipping, which was previously interrupted by summer droughts (older dams built in 1785, 1836 and 1878 were not effective). The average discharge, including Volga waters, varies from 38 m³/s near Zvenigorod to 250 m³/s at the Oka inlet. The speed of the current, depending on the season, varies from 0.1 m/s (winter, dams closed) to 1.5–2.0 m/s (May, dams open)