Kotelny Island is part of the Anzhu Islands subgroup of the New Siberian Islands located between the Laptev Sea and the East Siberian Sea in the Russian Arctic. It is municipally part of Bulunsky District. Kotelny and Bunge Land are named as separate islands on most 20th century maps, although sometimes on the newest maps the name "Kotelny" is applied to the whole island. A flat, low-lying, plain connecting both is known as Bunge Land; the total area of Kotelny Island is 23,165 km². Kotelny is one of the 50 largest islands in the world; these merged islands are a uninhabited territory belonging to the Sakha Republic of the Russian Federation. The island was discovered by a Russian merchant and hunter, Ivan Lyakhov, with the merchant Protod’yakonov, in 1773. In 1770, Ivan Lyakhov noticed reindeer tracks heading seaward across the sea ice. In 1773, he and Protod’yakonov discovered the Lyakhovsky Islands by boat using the bearing of these tracks. Continuing from the Lyakhovsky Islands, they discovered Kotelny Island and named it "Kettle Island" after a copper kettle, which they found while exploring it.
The person, who visited Kotelny Island and left the copper kettle, is unknown. This island had been known as "Thaddeus Island" or "Thaddeus Islands" in some maps. Under the employment of Semen and Lev Syrovatskiy, Yakov Sannikov conducted numerous hunting and cartographic expeditions between 1800 and 1810. On one of these expeditions in 1805, he discovered Faddeyevsky Island. In 1809–1810 Yakov Sannikov and Matvei Gedenschtrom went to the New Siberian Islands on a cartographic expedition. Yakov Sannikov reported the sighting of a "new land" north of Kotelny in 1811; this became the myth of Zemlya Sannikova or "Sannikov Land". In 1886 Baron Eduard Von Toll thought, he guessed that this was the so-called "Zemlya Sannikova". The western part of Kotelny Island proper known as "Kettle Island", is the largest section of the group, with an area of 11,665 km², it is hilly, rising to 374 m on Mt. Malakatyn-Tas; the Chukochya River flows westwards to the Laptev Sea. Cape Anisy 76.200°N 139.1167°E / 76.200.
Cape Medvezhiyis the southernmost headland of the island. Bunge Land or Zemlya Bunge is a huge empty and barren intermediate zone, it is located between Kotelny and Faddeyevsky, unlike Bunge Land, could be described as proper islands. Sandy and flat, its area is 6,200 km². Since it rises only to a maximum height of 8 m above sea level, Bunge Land is flooded during storm surges, except for a small area in the southeast that rises to an elevation of 11 to 21 m above sea level; the area, periodically submerged accounts for over 80% of the total surface and is devoid of vegetation. Bunge Land is named after explorer Alexander Alexandrovich Bunge. Faddeyevsky Peninsula is a large peninsula projecting from the northern end of Bunge Land eastwards with its isthmus in the north. There is a deep inlet on Faddeyevski between adjoining Bunge Land. Unlike Kotelny this island is flat despite its size, its highest point being only 65 m, its area is 5,300 km². Faddeyevsky dotted with small lakes; this island was named.
Deep inside the bay on the northern side of Kotelny lies Skrytyy Island 75.667°N 140.833°E / 75.667. It is 5.5 km wide. Close to Bunge Land's northwestern coast there are two islands: Zheleznyakov Island, right off the NW cape and, east of it, Matar Island. Both islands are about 5 km in length. Nanosnyy Island 76.283°N 140.416°E / 76.283. It is C-shaped and only 4 km in length, but its importance lies in the fact that it is the northernmost island of the New Siberian group. Figurina Island was located about 30 km east of Nanosnyy Island; when discovered in 1822 by P. Anzhu, while he was searching for "Sannikov Land", its area was about 8 to 9 km². At that time, it had sea cliffs as high as 20 m. Although marked on maps published in 1926, 1941, 1945, a Soviet hydrographic expedition conducted in the early 1940s found that Figurina Island no longer existed. Kotelny Island consists of sedimentary rocks and sediments ranging in age from Early Paleozoic to Late Cenozoic; the oldest rocks fossiliferous shallow- to deep-water marine, Ordovician to Early Devonian limestones and dolomites.
Middle Devonian to Carboniferous interbedded limestones, dolomites and conglomerates overlie these sedimentary strata. The Permian to Jurassic strata exposed within Kotelny Island consist of interbedded, fossiliferous mudstones and sandstones. All of these sedimentary rocks are faulted, folded into complex anticlines and synclines, intruded by thin diabase dikes. Pleistocene to Holocene fluvial sediments, which range in age from 1,500 to greater than 55,000 radiocarbon years BP, underlie stream terraces that lie within the Balyktakh and Dragotsennaya River valleys. Thick permafrost has developed in these sediments. Within Bunge Land and the southwest corner of Kotelny Island unconsolidated sediments ranging in age from Early Cretaceous to Holocene overlie the above folded and faulted sedimentary rocks; the oldest of these sediments are Early Cretaceo
Ice is water frozen into a solid state. Depending on the presence of impurities such as particles of soil or bubbles of air, it can appear transparent or a more or less opaque bluish-white color. In the Solar System, ice is abundant and occurs from as close to the Sun as Mercury to as far away as the Oort cloud objects. Beyond the Solar System, it occurs as interstellar ice, it is abundant on Earth's surface – in the polar regions and above the snow line – and, as a common form of precipitation and deposition, plays a key role in Earth's water cycle and climate. It occurs as frost, icicles or ice spikes. Ice molecules can exhibit more different phases that depend on temperature and pressure; when water is cooled up to three different types of amorphous ice can form depending on the history of its pressure and temperature. When cooled correlated proton tunneling occurs below −253.15 °C giving rise to macroscopic quantum phenomena. All the ice on Earth's surface and in its atmosphere is of a hexagonal crystalline structure denoted as ice Ih with minute traces of cubic ice denoted as ice Ic.
The most common phase transition to ice Ih occurs when liquid water is cooled below 0 °C at standard atmospheric pressure. It may be deposited directly by water vapor, as happens in the formation of frost; the transition from ice to water is melting and from ice directly to water vapor is sublimation. Ice is used in a variety including cooling, winter sports and ice sculpture; as a occurring crystalline inorganic solid with an ordered structure, ice is considered to be a mineral. It possesses a regular crystalline structure based on the molecule of water, which consists of a single oxygen atom covalently bonded to two hydrogen atoms, or H–O–H. However, many of the physical properties of water and ice are controlled by the formation of hydrogen bonds between adjacent oxygen and hydrogen atoms. An unusual property of ice frozen at atmospheric pressure is that the solid is 8.3% less dense than liquid water. The density of ice is 0.9167–0.9168 g/cm3 at 0 °C and standard atmospheric pressure, whereas water has a density of 0.9998–0.999863 g/cm3 at the same temperature and pressure.
Liquid water is densest 1.00 g/cm3, at 4 °C and becomes less dense as the water molecules begin to form the hexagonal crystals of ice as the freezing point is reached. This is due to hydrogen bonding dominating the intermolecular forces, which results in a packing of molecules less compact in the solid. Density of ice increases with decreasing temperature and has a value of 0.9340 g/cm3 at −180 °C. When water freezes, it increases in volume; the effect of expansion during freezing can be dramatic, ice expansion is a basic cause of freeze-thaw weathering of rock in nature and damage to building foundations and roadways from frost heaving. It is a common cause of the flooding of houses when water pipes burst due to the pressure of expanding water when it freezes; the result of this process is that ice floats on liquid water, an important feature in Earth's biosphere. It has been argued that without this property, natural bodies of water would freeze, in some cases permanently, from the bottom up, resulting in a loss of bottom-dependent animal and plant life in fresh and sea water.
Sufficiently thin ice sheets allow light to pass through while protecting the underside from short-term weather extremes such as wind chill. This creates a sheltered environment for algal colonies; when sea water freezes, the ice is riddled with brine-filled channels which sustain sympagic organisms such as bacteria, algae and annelids, which in turn provide food for animals such as krill and specialised fish like the bald notothen, fed upon in turn by larger animals such as emperor penguins and minke whales. When ice melts, it absorbs as much energy as it would take to heat an equivalent mass of water by 80 °C. During the melting process, the temperature remains constant at 0 °C. While melting, any energy added breaks the hydrogen bonds between ice molecules. Energy becomes available to increase the thermal energy only after enough hydrogen bonds are broken that the ice can be considered liquid water; the amount of energy consumed in breaking hydrogen bonds in the transition from ice to water is known as the heat of fusion.
As with water, ice absorbs light at the red end of the spectrum preferentially as the result of an overtone of an oxygen–hydrogen bond stretch. Compared with water, this absorption is shifted toward lower energies. Thus, ice appears blue, with a greener tint than liquid water. Since absorption is cumulative, the color effect intensifies with increasing thickness or if internal reflections cause the light to take a longer path through the ice. Other colors can appear in the presence of light absorbing impurities, where the impurity is dictating the color rather than the ice itself. For instance, icebergs containing impurities can appear grey or green. Ice may be any one of the 18 known solid crystalline phases of water, or in an amorphous solid state at various densities. Most liquids under increased pressure freeze at higher temperatures because the pressure helps to hold the molecules together. However, the strong hydrogen bonds in water make it different: For some pressures higher than 1 atm, water freezes at a temperature below
Crocker Land Expedition
The Crocker Land Expedition took place in 1913. Its purpose was to investigate the existence of Crocker Land, a huge island sighted by the explorer Robert Peary from the top of Cape Colgate in 1906, it is now believed. Following his 1906 expedition that failed to reach the North Pole, Robert E. Peary reported in his book that he had sighted distant land from the heights of the northwestern shore of Ellesmere Island, he named it Crocker Land, after San Francisco banker George Crocker, one of his financial backers. It is now known that Peary's claim was fraudulent, as he wrote in his diary at the time that no land was visible; the invention of Crocker Land was an attempt to secure further support from Crocker for Peary's 1909 expedition. If so, the attempt failed, as Crocker had diverted all of his available resources to the rebuilding of San Francisco following the 1906 earthquake; the existence or non-existence of Crocker Land became important following the controversial events of the autumn of 1909, when both Peary and Frederick Cook returned to civilization, claiming to have reached the North Pole.
Since Cook claimed to have traversed the alleged region of Crocker Land and found no such land, the existence of Crocker Land would be proof of the falsity of Cook's claim. Backers of Peary's claim therefore set out to find it; the expedition was organized by Donald Baxter MacMillan and sponsored by the American Museum of Natural History, the American Geographical Society and the University of Illinois' Museum of Natural History. MacMillan's geologist and botanist was Walter Elmer Ekblaw of the University of Illinois. Navy Ensign Fitzhugh Green served as physicist. Maurice Cole Tanquary, of the University of Illinois, was the zoologist, Harrison J. Hunt the surgeon. Minik Wallace, the Inuk famously brought to the United States as a child by Robert Peary in 1897, was the guide and translator for the expedition; as well as confirming and mapping the position of Crocker Land, the declared purpose of the expedition was to investigate "geology, glaciology, terrestrial magnetism, electrical phenomena, zoology, oceanography and archaeology".
In newspapers of the time, MacMillan described Crocker Land as "the world’s last geographical problem". In June 1906, Commander Peary, from the summit of Cape Thomas Hubbard, at about latitude 83 degrees N, longitude 100 degrees W, reported seeing land glimmering in the northwest 130 miles away across the Polar Sea, he did not go there, but he gave it a name in honor of the late George Crocker of the Peary Arctic Club. That is Crocker Land, its boundaries and extent can only be guessed at, but I am certain that strange animals will be found there, I hope to discover a new race of men. The expedition left Brooklyn Navy Yard aboard the steamer Diana on 2 July 1913. Two weeks at midnight on 16 July, the Diana struck rocks while trying to avoid an iceberg. MacMillan blamed the collision on the captain, drunk at the time; the expedition transferred to another ship, the Erik, arrived at Etah, in north-west Greenland, on the second week of August. The next three weeks were spent constructing a large eight-room shed, with electricity generation capabilities, to serve as the local headquarters of the expedition.
An attempt was made to set up a radio room, but it was not successful, the expedition was never able to establish reliable radio communications with the outside world. After making a number of preliminary trips to place supply caches along the route, MacMillan, Green and seven Inuit set off on the 1,200-mile journey to Crocker Land on 11 March 1914; the temperature was many degrees below zero and weather conditions were poor. The party reached the 4,700-foot-high Beitstadt Glacier, which took them three days to climb; the temperature dropped and Ekblaw suffered severe frostbite. He was evacuated back to Etah by some of the Inuit. One by one, the other members of the party turned back. By the time the expedition reached the edge of the Arctic Ocean on 11 April, only MacMillan and two Inuit and Ittukusuk, remained; the four dog sleds set off across the treacherous sea ice, avoiding thin patches and expanses of open water, on 21 April, the party saw what appeared to be a huge island on the north-western horizon.
As MacMillan said, "Hills, snow-capped peaks extending through at least one hundred and twenty degrees of the horizon.” Piugaattoq, an Inuit hunter with 20 years of experience of the area, explained that it was just an illusion. He called it poo-jok, which means'mist'. However, MacMillan insisted they press on though it was late in the season and the sea ice was breaking up. For five days they went on, following the mirage. On 27 April, after they had covered some 125 miles of dangerous sea ice, MacMillan was forced to admit that Piugaattoq was right—the land that they had sighted was in fact a mirage. MacMillan wrote: The day was exceptionally clear, not a cloud or trace of mist. Yes, there it was! It could be seen without a glass, extending from southwest true to north-northeast. Our powerful glasses, brought out more the dark background in contrast with the white, the whole resembling hills and snow-capped peaks to such a degree that, had we not been out on the frozen sea for 150 miles, we would have staked our lives upon its reality.
Our judgment as now, is that this was a mirage or loom of the sea ice. The
New Siberian Islands
The New Siberian Islands are an archipelago in the Extreme North of Russia, to the North of the East Siberian coast between the Laptev Sea and the East Siberian Sea north of the Sakha Republic. The first news about the existence of the New Siberian Islands was brought by a Cossack, Yakov Permyakov, in the beginning of the 18th century. In 1712, a Cossack unit led by M. Vagin reached the Great Lyakhovsky Island. In 1809–10 Yakov Sannikov and Matvei Gedenschtrom went to the New Siberian Islands on a cartographic expedition. Sannikov reported the sighting of a "new land" north of Kotelny in 1811; this became the myth of Sannikov Land. In 1886 Polar explorer and scientist Eduard Toll, during his first visit to the New Siberian Islands, thought that he had seen an unknown land north of Kotelny Island, he guessed. Toll paid a further visit to the island group in the spring of 1892, accompanied by one Cossack and three natives, he traveled over the ice in sleds drawn by dogs and reached the south coast of Great Lyakhovsky Island.
Along the southern coast of this island he found well-preserved bones, peat, a tree within 40-meter high sea cliffs that expose Late Pleistocene sediments. These sediments are cemented by permafrost and have accumulated periodically over the last 200,000 years. In September 2014, the Russian Navy re-established a Soviet era naval base which had lain abandoned since 1993; the New Siberian Islands proper, or Anzhu Islands, covering a land area of about 29,000 km2, consist of: Kotelny Island 11,700 km2 and Faddeyevsky Island 5,300 km2. Bunge Land 6,200 km2 links Faddeyevsky Island. Close to Bunge Land's northwestern coast lie two smaller islands: Zheleznyakov Island, right off the NW cape and east of it, Matar Island. Both islands have a length of about 5 km. Nanosnyy Island 76.283°N 140.416°E / 76.283. It is C-shaped and only 4 km in length, but its importance lies in the fact that it is the northernmost island of the New Siberian group. Novaya Sibir 6,200 km2 Belkovsky Island 500 km2To the south and nearer to the Siberian mainland lie the Lyakhovskiye Islands: Great Lyakhovsky Island 4,600 km2 Little Lyakhovsky Island 1,325 km2 Stolbovoy Island 170 km2 Semyonovsky Island 0 km2 The small De Long Islands lie to the north-east of Novaya Sibir.
Jeannette Island Henrietta Island Bennett Island Vilkitsky Island Zhokhov Island The New Siberian Islands are low-lying. Their highest point is located with an elevation of 426 m; the New Siberian Islands once formed major hills within the Great Arctic Plain that covered the northern part of Late Pleistocene "Beringia" between Siberia and Alaska during the Last Glacial Maximum. These islands represent the remains of about 1.6 million square kilometers of the subaerial Great Arctic Plain that now lies submerged below parts of the Arctic Ocean, East Siberian Sea, Laptev Sea. At this plain's greatest extent, sea level was 100–120 m below modern sea-level and the coastline lay 700 to 1000 kilometers north of its current position; this plain did not undergo extensive glaciation during the Late Pleistocene or the Last Glacial Maximum because it lay in the rain shadow of the Northern European ice sheet. During the frigid polar climate of the Last Glacial Maximum, 17,000 to 24,000 BC, small passive ice caps formed on the adjacent De Long Islands.
Fragments of these ice caps remain on Jeannette and Bennett Islands. Traces of former small slope and cirque glaciers in the form of buried ground ice deposits are preserved on Zhokhov Island; the sea submerged the Great Arctic Plain within a short time span of 7,000 years during the Early–Middle Holocene. As noted by Digby and numerous publications, this archipelago consists of a mixture of folded and faulted sedimentary and igneous rocks ranging in age from Precambrian to Pliocene; the Lyakhovsky Islands consist of a folded and faulted assemblage of Precambrian metamorphic rocks. The Anzhu Islands consist of a faulted and folded assemblage of Ordovician to Devonian limestones, sandstones, volcanoclastic strata, igneous rocks; the De Long Islands consist of early Paleozoic, middle Paleozoic and Neogene sedimentary and igneous rocks. These sedimentary and igneous rocks are mantled by loose Pleistocene and Holocene sediments that range in thickness from a fraction of a meter to about 35 meters.
Digby noted that some early papers published about the New Siberian Islands incorrectly describe them along with other Arctic islands, as being made either up entirely of mammoth bones and tusks or of ice and the bones of mammoths and other extinct megafauna. Some of these papers were written by persons who had never visite
De Long Islands
The De Long Islands are an uninhabited archipelago included as part of the New Siberian Islands, lying north east of Novaya Sibir. This archipelago consists of Jeannette Island, Henrietta Island, Bennett Island, Vilkitsky Island and Zhokhov Island; these five islands have a total area of 228 km². Bennett Island is the largest island and it has the archipelago's highest point at 426 m; these islands lie around 77°N, are covered by glaciers, rise to peaks. In 1996, the total area of these islands covered by ice caps and glaciers was 80.6 km². This island group belongs to the Sakha Republic administrative division of Russia. Early Paleozoic, Middle Paleozoic and Neogene rocks have been mapped within the De Long Islands; the Early Paleozoic rocks are Cambrian and Ordovician sedimentary rocks interbedded with minor amounts of limestone. The Middle Paleozoic rocks consist of predominately folded and faulted basaltic and dioritic volcanoclastics, lavas and sills. Cretaceous rocks are composed of basalts and interbedded argillites and minor coals.
The youngest rocks exposed within the De Long Islands are Neogene basaltic volcanic rocks. The De Long Islands were once major hills within the Great Arctic Plain that once formed the northern part of Late Pleistocene “Beringia” between Siberia and Alaska during the Last Glacial Maximum; these islands are what remains of about 1.6 million square kilometres of the formally subaerial Great Arctic Plain that now lies submerged below the Arctic Ocean and East Siberian Sea. At this plain's greatest extent during the Last Glacial Maximum, sea level was 100–120 m below modern sea level and the coastline was located 700 to 1,000 kilometres north of its current position; this plain was neither extensively glaciated during the Late Pleistocene nor during the Last Glacial Maximum because it lay in the rain shadow of the Northern European ice sheet. The Great Arctic Plain was submerged, except for the New Siberian and other isolated islands, within a short time span of 7,000 years during the Early-Middle Holocene.
During the frigid polar climate of the Last Glacial Maximum, 17,000 to 24,000 BP, small passive ice caps did form on the De Long Islands. Fragments of these ice caps are preserved on Jeannette and Bennett Islands. Traces of former Late Weichselian slope and cirque glaciers in the form of buried ground ice deposits are preserved on Zhokhov Island. Jeannette Island, Henrietta Island, Bennett Island were discovered in 1881 by the ill-fated Jeannette Expedition expedition, named after the USS Jeannette, commanded by Lieutenant Commander George W. De Long. In August 1901, during the Russian polar expedition of 1900–1902, the Russian Arctic ship Zarya headed across the Laptev Sea, searching for the legendary Sannikov Land but was soon blocked by floating pack ice in the New Siberian Islands. During 1902 the attempts to reach Sannikov Land, deemed to be beyond the De Long Islands, continued while Zarya was trapped in fast ice. Leaving the ship, Russian Arctic explorer Baron Eduard Toll and three companions vanished forever in November 1902 while travelling away from Bennett Island towards the south on loose ice floes.
Vilkitsky Island and Zhokhov Island were discovered by Boris Vilkitsky during the Imperial Russian Arctic Ocean Hydrographic Expedition in 1913 and 1914 respectively. They lie further south, are unglaciated, lower lying. Henrietta was the site of a research station from 1937 to 1963; some US individuals assert American ownership of Jeannette and Bennet Islands in the De Long group. This assertion is not supported by the US government. Following their discovery in 1881, De Long claimed these islands for the U. S. and reported to the United States Department of the Navy that a party had landed on Henrietta Island and taken possession. During 1916 the Russian ambassador in London issued an official notice to the effect that the Imperial government considered these islands were integral parts of the Russian Empire; this territorial claim was maintained by the Soviet Union. A resolution of the Alaska State Senate in 1988 supported an American claim to the islands, but during 1994 the Alaska State Supreme Court ruled in D. Denardo v. State of Alaska that Bennett Island, along with several other islands, is not part of Alaska.
The United States Department of State has asserted that claim has never been made by the United States to any of the islands, the US recognizes it as Russian territory. Balagan-Tas List of islands of Russia Media related to De Long Islands at Wikimedia Commons
The Arctic Ocean is the smallest and shallowest of the world's five major oceans. The International Hydrographic Organization recognizes it as an ocean, although some oceanographers call it the Arctic Mediterranean Sea or the Arctic Sea, classifying it a mediterranean sea or an estuary of the Atlantic Ocean, it is seen as the northernmost part of the all-encompassing World Ocean. Located in the Arctic north polar region in the middle of the Northern Hemisphere, the Arctic Ocean is completely surrounded by Eurasia and North America, it is covered by sea ice throughout the year and completely in winter. The Arctic Ocean's surface temperature and salinity vary seasonally as the ice cover melts and freezes; the summer shrinking of the ice has been quoted at 50%. The US National Snow and Ice Data Center uses satellite data to provide a daily record of Arctic sea ice cover and the rate of melting compared to an average period and specific past years. Human habitation in the North American polar region goes back at least 50,000–17,000 years ago, during the Wisconsin glaciation.
At this time, falling sea levels allowed people to move across the Bering land bridge that joined Siberia to north west North America, leading to the Settlement of the Americas. Paleo-Eskimo groups included the Pre-Dorset; the Dorset were the last major Paleo-Eskimo culture in the Arctic before the migration east from present-day Alaska of the Thule, the ancestors of the modern Inuit. The Thule Tradition lasted from about 200 B. C. to 1600 A. D. around the Bering Strait, the Thule people being the prehistoric ancestors of the Inuit who now live in Northern Labrador. For much of European history, the north polar regions remained unexplored and their geography conjectural. Pytheas of Massilia recorded an account of a journey northward in 325 BC, to a land he called "Eschate Thule", where the Sun only set for three hours each day and the water was replaced by a congealed substance "on which one can neither walk nor sail", he was describing loose sea ice known today as "growlers" or "bergy bits". Early cartographers were unsure whether to draw the region around the North Pole as water.
The fervent desire of European merchants for a northern passage, the Northern Sea Route or the Northwest Passage, to "Cathay" caused water to win out, by 1723 mapmakers such as Johann Homann featured an extensive "Oceanus Septentrionalis" at the northern edge of their charts. The few expeditions to penetrate much beyond the Arctic Circle in this era added only small islands, such as Novaya Zemlya and Spitzbergen, though since these were surrounded by pack-ice, their northern limits were not so clear; the makers of navigational charts, more conservative than some of the more fanciful cartographers, tended to leave the region blank, with only fragments of known coastline sketched in. This lack of knowledge of what lay north of the shifting barrier of ice gave rise to a number of conjectures. In England and other European nations, the myth of an "Open Polar Sea" was persistent. John Barrow, longtime Second Secretary of the British Admiralty, promoted exploration of the region from 1818 to 1845 in search of this.
In the United States in the 1850s and 1860s, the explorers Elisha Kane and Isaac Israel Hayes both claimed to have seen part of this elusive body of water. Quite late in the century, the eminent authority Matthew Fontaine Maury included a description of the Open Polar Sea in his textbook The Physical Geography of the Sea; as all the explorers who travelled closer and closer to the pole reported, the polar ice cap is quite thick, persists year-round. Fridtjof Nansen was the first to make a nautical crossing of the Arctic Ocean, in 1896; the first surface crossing of the ocean was led by Wally Herbert in 1969, in a dog sled expedition from Alaska to Svalbard, with air support. The first nautical transit of the north pole was made in 1958 by the submarine USS Nautilus, the first surface nautical transit occurred in 1977 by the icebreaker NS Arktika. Since 1937, Soviet and Russian manned drifting ice stations have extensively monitored the Arctic Ocean. Scientific settlements were established on the drift ice and carried thousands of kilometers by ice floes.
In World War II, the European region of the Arctic Ocean was contested: the Allied commitment to resupply the Soviet Union via its northern ports was opposed by German naval and air forces. Since 1954 commercial airlines have flown over the Arctic Ocean; the Arctic Ocean occupies a circular basin and covers an area of about 14,056,000 km2 the size of Antarctica. The coastline is 45,390 km long, it is surrounded by the land masses of Eurasia, North America, by several islands. It is taken to include Baffin Bay, Barents Sea, Beaufort Sea, Chukchi Sea, East Siberian Sea, Greenland Sea, Hudson Bay, Hudson Strait, Kara Sea, Laptev Sea, White Sea and other tributary bodies of water
Zarya (polar ship)
Zarya was a steam- and sail-powered brig used by the Russian Academy of Sciences for a polar exploration during 1900–1903. Toward the end of the 19th century, the Russian Academy of Sciences sought to build a general-purpose research vessel for long-term expeditions; the first such Russian ship—and, for a couple of decades, the only one—was Zarya. In 1899, Baron Eduard Toll, an Arctic explorer preparing to embark on a new polar voyage, bought a Norwegian three-masted barque called Harald Harfager for the cost of 60,000 rubles. Toll was helped in his choice by Fridtjof Nansen; the ship had a draught of 5 meters. Renamed Zarya, the ship was sent to the shipyard of Colin Archer in Larvik to be modified in order to deal with the ice. Colin Archer, the renowned Norwegian shipbuilder, had designed and built Fritdjof Nansen's ship Fram, which in 1896 had returned unscathed from its long drift in the northern polar ocean during Nansen's "Farthest North" expedition, 1893–96. Archer had fitted out Southern Cross for the Southern Cross Expedition in 1897 to become a polar ship.
Archer strengthened Zarja with internal frames and beams and deckhouses were added and modified. The rig was changed to barkentine. In October 1899 the ship was certified by Norwegian authorities for a three-year expedition in the Arctic. On June 21, 1900, Zarya left Saint Petersburg with a crew of 20. N. N. Kolomeitsev was the commander of the ship. On July 24 she arrived at the harbour of Alexandrovsk on Murman and continued toward the Kara Sea. Zarya made her first wintering trapped in the ice of a bay that Toll named after Colin Archer shipyard near Taymyr Island; the scientists spent 11 months researching the Nordenskiöld Archipelago and the Taymyr Peninsula coast. In the spring Kolomeitsev was sent on a long sledge trip by expedition leader Eduard Toll, at this point second-in-command, Fyodor Andreyevich Matisen became the captain for the remaining part of the expedition. Member of the expedition was Aleksandr Kolchak. In August 1901 the ship headed across the Laptev Sea towards the New Siberian Islands, searching for the legendary Sannikov Land, but was soon blocked by floating pack ice.
During 1902 the attempts to reach Sannikov Land continued. Leaving the ship, Baron Toll and three companions went in search of the elusive land, one of the main objects of the expedition, they vanished in November 1902 while travelling away from Bennett Island towards the south on loose ice floes. Badly beaten by the ice, beyond any hope of repair, Zarya was moored east of the delta of the river Lena, in the Bay of Tiksi on the lee side of Brusneva Island, never to leave the place again. Instead of the Russian flag, she flew the flag of the Neva Yacht Club, the oldest yacht club in Russia, until she was stripped of all equipment and her hull was allowed to fill with water. Captain Matisen returned to Yakutsk and the remaining members of the expedition left for Saint Petersburg. Today, the city museum in Russia keeps documents and artifacts related to the expedition. An island in the vicinity of Cape Chelyuskin at 77°37′N 104°24′E, as well as a peninsula east of the Middendorff Bay and the strait between Belkovsky Island and Kotelny Island were named Zarya to commemorate this Russian polar ship.
William Barr, Baron Eduard von Toll's Last Expedition: The Russian Polar Expedition, 1900-1903 The contribution of the Russian polar expedition in oceanographic investigation of the Arctic Seas of Russia History of Zarya and the expedition & Nevsky Flot