Analysis of Lake Inerka Field Data Completed in Mordovia as Part of Comprehensive Study

Озеро Инерка. Фото: Отделение РГО в республике Мордовия

As part of the comprehensive study, the branch of the Russian Geographical Society in the Republic of Mordovia completed field data analysis of the unique natural monument "Lake Inerka". This is the largest lake in the region with an area of ​​more than 56 hectares. For many millennia, the natural potential of the reservoir has been used by man for hunting and fishing.

Inerka is located in the valley of the Sura River, 12 kilometers southwest of the district center Bolshiye Berezniki. Translated from the Erzya language, its name means "great lake". The length of the freshwater reservoir is about 3 kilometers, the maximum width is 215 meters, and the maximum depth is 12 meters. The water in the lake remains transparent up to 2 meters deep. Many species of fish and rare birds live here, as well as a large number of plants listed in the Red Book. Since 1983, the lake has been given the status of a natural monument of republic significance.

Inerka is an oxbow lake type and is one of the reservoirs that formed in the old bed of the Sura River. At the end of the last century, Inerka was saved from merging with the Sura and turning into a swamp. To do this, it was necessary to divert the river bed to the side by 350 meters in order to prevent the breakthrough of a narrow isthmus between the river and the lake. Otherwise, water from Inerka, where the level is higher, would have flowed into the Sura.

In recent decades, the processes of development of coastal natural complexes for recreation have been actively taking place. On the banks of Inerka there are houses and recreation centers. The features of the Sura landscape, where the natural monument "Lake Inerka" is located, are determined by its position in the forest-steppe zone of the Volga Upland. A characteristic feature of this region of Mordovia is a well-pronounced slope change in terrain types. On the elevated butte-watershed massifs, forest landscape types are common, which are replaced by meadow-steppe geocomplexes in the lower valley parts of the slopes.

The slope change of landscapes is oriented relative to the Sura valley. Here, on ancient alluvial sands, heavily recycled by aeolian processes, intrazonal (forming inclusions within one zone) coniferous and mixed forests are widespread.