Russia Maps New Islands As Ice Retreats

Research vessel Visir.

Published Oct 13, 2016 11:21 PM by The Maritime Executive

Researchers on Russia’s Northern Fleet research vessel Visir have discovered new islands off the coast of Novaya Zemlya. 

The vessel has returned to Murmansk after an 11,000 mile voyage through Arctic waters. The biggest of the islands discovered along Novaya Zemlya is about 400 meters long and has been exposed as the Roza glacier has retreated.

Novaya Zemlya consists of two major islands, separated by the narrow Matochkin Strait, and a number of smaller islands. The two main islands are Severny (Northern) and Yuzhny (Southern). Novaya Zemlya separates the Barents Sea from the Kara Sea. The total area is about 90,650 square kilometers (35,000 square miles).

Last year’s survey led to the discovery of nine new islands in the region.

This year, the researchers also found islands and peninsulas near the glaciers Nansen, Moshchny, Vershinsky, Rozhdestvensky and Sredny.

During the course of the expedition, the scientists collected more than 11 thousand kilometers of survey data along the Northern Sea Route. Additionally, they surveyed a previously unchartered area east of Vize Island.