Russia’s Northern Fleet seeks confirmation of new Arctic islands discovery


The Northern Fleet sailors plan to confirm the discovery of new islands and other geographic objects that emerged from ice caps near the Novaya Zemlya archipelago, the Northern Fleet’s press service reported today. 

“The Northern Fleet’s surveyors who carry out missions onboard the Altai rescue tugboat and the Gorizont survey vessel will confirm and detail the geographic discoveries made based on space monitoring data,” the report says. 

The press service reported that both vessels are currently found in the Kara Sea. The Gorizont’s crew is carrying out hydrographic research in the Bely Island area. The vessel entered the Kara Sea several days ago through the Kara Strait. 

The integrated expedition to study Franz Josef Land onboard the Altai vessel passed through the Matochkin Shar Strait that separates the Yuzhny and Severny islands of the Franz Josef Land archipelago. On Monday, the explorers will land on Pakhtusov Island to search for traces of the first expeditions and historic artifacts.

The Northern Fleet’s combined expedition to Franz Josef Land set off from the fleet’s main base, Severomorsk, on August 15 to operate until late September. Its members will carry out geographic and archaeological studies of the Arctic archipelago and will partially follow the routes of the pioneering explorers.

The Northern Fleet seamen will travel along the expedition routes of Julius von Payer (1874) and Frederick Jackson (1897), as well as the rescue expedition led by navigator Valerian Albanov and carry out some historical experiments.

During the mission, the hydrographers will determine the state of the shoreline in areas where ice melting made it possible to study parts of the shore that had previously been hidden and explore a number of “blank spots” on the maps.

The combined expedition is being carried out on the 90th anniversary of the first hoisting of the Soviet flag (August 30, 1929) and the 105th anniversary of Russia’s flag being raised over Franz Josef Land (during the expedition led by Captain 1st rank Iskhak Islyamov). The Northern Fleet will carry out a number of historical and patriotic activities on the archipelago as dedicated to these events.