Definitions

Torne River

Torne River

[tawr-nuh]
Swedish Torneälv

Northernmost river of Sweden. Issuing from Torne Lake near the Norwegian border, it flows southeast and south for 354 mi (570 km) to the Gulf of Bothnia. The lower course, strewn with rapids and mostly non-navigable, forms a section of the Sweden-Finland boundary. It is known for its salmon.

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The Torne River (Finnish: Tornionjoki, Swedish: Torne älv, Torneälven, Northern Sami: Duortneseatnu, Meankieli: Tornionväyla), is a river in northern Sweden and Finland. Approximately a half of the river's length is a part of the border between these two countries. It rises at Lake Torne (Swedish: Torneträsk) near the border with Norway and flows generally southeast for a distance of 522 km (324 miles) into the Gulf of Bothnia. It is the largest river in Norrbotten both by length and by watershed area.

Geography

The Torne rivershed has a total area of 37,300 km² or 40,147.1 km² (see sidebar). Of this, 25,393.1 km² is in Sweden, 14,266.3 km² is in Finland and 497.7 km² is in Norway.

Lake Torne

The source of the Torne River is generally considered to be Lake Torne (Swedish: Torneträsk) near the border with Norway. Lake Torne is fed by Njuoraätno and Kåppasjåkka in the west, Gurttejohka, Snurrijåkka, Bessešjohka, Bággesgorsajohka, Davip Duoptejohka, Lulip Duoptejohka, Sarvájohka and others in the north, and Rákkasjohka, Gohpasjohka, Abiskojåkka, Miellejohka, Bessešjohka, Golkkokjohka, Nivsakkjohka and others in the south . Above Torne lake, the watershed of the Torne includes the villages Riksgränsen, Katterjåkk, Vassijaure, Låktatjåkka, Kopperåsen and Tornehamn. On the south shore of Torne lake are Björkliden, Abisko, Stordalen, Kaisepakte. Stenbacken and Torneträsk. On the north shore are the Sami villages Laimoluokta and Kattuvuoma .

Upper river

Beyond the lake, the Torne rivers flows unhindered by any concentrations of human inhabitants until the village of Kurravaara, around 12 km northeast of Kiruna. The river splits in two parts that only join at Kurravaara , the part between the river is Alajávri nature reserve (Alajávri naturreservat). Between the lake and Kurravaara, the streams Čearrojogaš and Rávdojohka join on the right side, and shortly befare Kurravaara, the 134.69 km long Rautas river flows into the Torne. On the left side, the streams Gukkajohka, Reaskkajohka and Dápmokjohka join. In the area between the two streams, the Beallejohka joins the right arm from the left .

After Kurravaara, the river proceeds Laxforsen, where it is joined from the right by the Luossajoki. Here is the first bridge over the river for the road leading from the E10 to Laxforsen, Luossajärvi and Esrange . The river continues to Jukkasjärvi, where the Icehotel is built in winter from the river ice.

To the bifurcation

Beyond Paksuniemi, the river is joined by the Pounujoki from the right. At Vittangi, the 125.7 km long Vittangi river , which passes by Esrange, joins from the left . Here is the second river-crossing bridge, used by the E45 to Karesuando. The river then proceeds to Kuoksi, where it is crossed by the road to Lainio and Oksajärvi, and to Juopakosku, where the Junojoki joins from the left. At Junosuando, the Torne river loses 56% of its water to the Tärendö River in one of the four bifurcations in the watershed area . Here is also a bridge for the road to Kangos and Parkolombolo, this the fourth bridge over the river.

Shortly after Junosuando, the Piipionjoki joins from the left and at Palokorva, the 259.74 km long Lainio River joins from the left. In the Lainio River watershed are two more, smaller bifurcations: the lakes Goldajávri, Råstojaure flow toward contributaries of the Laino river as well as to the Norwegian steams Signaldalselva and Råstaelva respectively.

Down to Pajala

Between Junosuando and Pajala, the Käymäjoki joins from the left and the Liviöjoki and the Mertajoki join from the right. The village Anttis is located on the left bank of the river, with Swedish road Riksväg 395 (Svappavaraa - Pajala) on the right bank; the fifth bridge connects Anttis to the main road. Shortly after Pajala, the Torne river joins with the 379.88 km long Muonio river, the biggest contributary of the Torne river. Near Pajala are two more bridges going north . North of this point, the Muonio river forms the border with Finland. From this point, the border with Finland is formed by the Torne river.

Lower river

From here the river flows south along the Finno-Swedish border. This part is known as Torne Valley and is a popular tourist destination. Slightly south of Pajala is a border-crossing bridge for a road leading to Kolari, the eighth bridge over the main river from the source. The river proceeds to the village Kassa . At the village of Pello, which lies on both sides of the river, is a bridge between the two parts. The river continues south to Svanstein, crosses the arctic circle at Juoksengi and proceeds to Niskanpää and Kuivakangas. In Övertorneå (Finnish: Ylitornio) there is another bridge, the final road bridge before the sea. Here, the 127.43 km long Tengeliön River joins from the (Finnish) left side . The river continues to Hedenäset and Risudden.

At Karungi, the Liakanjoki departs from the Torne river and flows to the Bothnian gulf independently in Finland. From Karungi south, there are railways on both sides of the valley. At Kukkola is Kukkolaforsen, a rapids which is also a tourist attraction. Before finally arriving at the twin city of Haparanda/Tornio, it passes by the villages Vojakkala and Mattila.

In the twin city of Haparanda/Tornio are four more bridges: one for cyclists and pedestrians, one for local traffic, one for the E4 and the southernmost, last and 14th bridge over the Tornio river is a double gauge railway bridge connecting the Swedish and Finnish railway systems.

History

In the Treaty of Fredrikshamn in 1809, when Sweden lost the areas which constitute present-day Finland to Imperial Russia, the river was together with Muonio River and Könkämä River chosen as border between Sweden and the new Russian Grand Duchy of Finland, thus splitting the provinces of Lappland and Västerbotten.

According to the treaty, the border shall follow the deepest part of the river. Once per 25 years a commission of Swedish and Finnsh representatives shall determine this border. This means that the border can move. In year 2006 such a border determination was made. Near Haparanda/Tornio the border has been fixed. There it goes along what has been the river, but in part now goes on land.

Culture

Cities on the Torne River often have both Swedish and Finnish names, like Haparanda (from Finnish Haaparanta, "Aspen Shore") and Tornio (from Swedish Torneå).

Historically, the language used on both sides of the river was Finnish. In the late 19th century, schools were installed in Sweden, also here. Then there was a decision to make the area Swedish speaking by teaching the school children only Swedish writing and allowing only Swedish talk during lessons, sometimes also during breaks. During the second half of the 20th century, Swedish was the dominant language on the Swedish side. The Finnish spoken language are similar for informal talk on both sides of the river, although some newer words differ. To support the traditional language on the Swedish side a new written language has been constructed, Meänkieli. On the Finnish side only Finnish writing is used. These two languages differ considerably in spelling.

References

See also

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