Severnaya Zemlya

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Severnaya Zemlya
NASA image of the archipelago
NASA image of the archipelago
Waters Arctic Ocean
Geographical location 79 ° 45 ′  N , 98 ° 15 ′  E Coordinates: 79 ° 45 ′  N , 98 ° 15 ′  E
Severnaya Zemlya (Krasnoyarsk Territory)
Severnaya Zemlya
Number of islands approx. 30
Main island October Revolution Island
Total land area 36,600 km²
Residents uninhabited
Map of Severnaya Zemlya
Map of Severnaya Zemlya

Severnaya Zemlya ( Russian Северная Земля , "northern country"; formerly Nicholas II country ) is a large Russian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean that belongs to the Krasnoyarsk region.



The partly heavily glaciated Arctic archipelago, which lies in front of Russia or Siberia and thus the northern mainland mass of Asia , is located a little north of the Taimyr peninsula or on the other side of the Wilkizki Strait in the Arctic Ocean . The New Siberian Islands are southeast of the archipelago, the Franz Josef Land archipelago to the west and the large double island of Novaya Zemlya to the southwest .

Severnaya Zemlya extends from 78 to 81 ° north latitude and from 90 to 106 ° east longitude . The archipelago essentially consists of four large islands and numerous smaller islands and islets . Seen from north to south, the three largest islands are called Komsomolets, October Revolution and Bolsheviks.

The 965 m high Karpinsky Mountain on the October Revolution Island is the highest peak in the archipelago.

Together with the double island of Novaya Zemlya, located around 1,000 km to the south-west , the archipelago includes the Kara Sea - that part of the Arctic Ocean into which the large Ob and Yenisei rivers flow alongside some other rivers . This explains the relatively rainy climate, despite the mostly extreme cold. In the east of the archipelago lies the Laptev Sea , into which the significant East Siberian river Lena pushes the sediment deposits of its large delta ever further.

Island world

The Severnaya Zemlya islands sorted by size:

There are also well over 25 smaller islands.


Discovery and Exploration

Severnaya Zemlya is considered to be the last great territorial discovery. Some of the islands were discovered in September 1913 by the Hydrographic Expedition of the Northern Arctic Sea with the icebreakers Taimyr and Waigatsch under the direction of Boris Wilkizki , when he tried to cross the Northeast Passage from east to west at Cape Chelyuskin because of an ice barrier to the north had to. From 15 to 18 May 1928 Umberto Nobile flew over Franz-Josef-Land in the airship Italia coming from Spitzbergen and approached the west coast of Severnaya Zemlya. From 1930 to 1932, the islands were surveyed and explored by Georgi Alexejewitsch Uschakow and Nikolai Nikolajewitsch Urwanzew from their base camp on Domaschni Island on several extended sleigh trips.

In July 1931, the LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin airship took off on a research trip to the Arctic . In a few days the expedition accomplished an almost complete survey of the land mass between the 40th and 110th longitude east, from Franz Joseph Land to Severnaya Zemlya. Half a dozen islands were discovered, others struck off the map and one of the last white spots on the world map was filled. The zeppelin only needed a few days for this. A sea and land expedition would have needed several years for a comparable workload.

1947 were on the Mona Islands belonging Hercules island objects found that in 1913 lost expedition of the Russian geologist Vladimir Rusanov could be assigned. It is therefore likely that this group already reached the islands.

Today there is only a small meteorological station on Golomjanny Island in the west of the archipelago (in the Sedov Islands group ).


The archipelago as a whole was initially named after Tsar Nicholas II. Nicholas II Land ( Russian Земля Николая II ), the individual islands (if identified at all at that time) named after female saints of the Orthodox Church. The archipelago and the individual islands were given their current names in 1926 by the Executive Committee of the CPSU .

An initiative to officially reintroduce the old names for the archipelago and the individual islands failed in 2007 due to rejection by the regional parliament of the Krasnoyarsk region .



In autumn 2002 the premiere of the musical Nord-Ost took place in Moscow , which is based on an adventure novel Weniamin Alexandrowitsch Kawerins († 1989). A pair of lovers researches the old letters of the "two captains", which date from 1912 to 1944 and also report on the discovery.

Film world

"Severnaya Zemlya" was also the name of the fictional Russian satellite monitoring station in the James Bond film GoldenEye . However, this was - as can be seen from the maps shown towards the end - somewhere in Central Siberia.

See also

Individual evidence

  1. William Barr: Severnaya Zemlya: The Last Major Discovery . In: The Geographical Journal . Volume 141, No. 4, 1975, pp. 59-7 (English). doi : 10.2307 / 1796946
  2. ^ William Barr: A Tsarist Attempt at Opening the Northern Sea Route: The Arctic Ocean Hydrographic Expedition, 1910-1915 . In: Polar Research . tape 45 , no. 1 , 1975, p. 51-64 (English). hdl : 10013 / epic.29422
  3. Полярная станция Голомянный on, accessed September 5, 2017 (Russian)
  4. Депутаты ЗС Красноярского края против переименования островов архипелага Северная Земля , Regnum News Agency (in Russian) May 24, 2007. Земля , May 24, 2007.