Russian Navy’s Northern Fleet has announced continuing the expedition to the Novaya Zemlya Archipelago in July-August 2021. Two of the fleet ships Elbrus and Ilya Muroments are being used for the expedition. The Northern Fleet and the Russian Geographical Society (RGS) are jointly exploring the area.
“The Northern Fleet jointly with the Russian Geographical Society (RGS) will continue studies of the Novaya Zemlya Archipelago during a complex expedition on the Northern Fleet’s vessels – Elbrus and Ilya Muromets – in July – August, 2021,” says the fleets press service release.
In July 9, 2020, a group of Russian students had discovered a new island in the region of Severny Island of the Novaya Zemlya archipelago studying satellite images. The island is a product of Arctic warming. The Northern Fleet and RGS decided to send an expedition in September 2020. As per RGS website “according to satellite monitoring data, the island was formed on July 9, 2020 as a result of the collapse of the ice bridge connecting the Severny Island with the retreating Vilkitsky Yuzhny glacier. The dimensions of the new island are 410 by 200 m, the area is 5.6 hectares, the height, together with the remaining ice cover, reaches 27 m.”
The expedition took place between August to October 2020 with a team consisting of surveyors, cartographers, oceanographers, geologists, biologists and other specialists. This is the third such expedition. The first expedition was in 2018, the joint team explored Novaya Zemlya which is one of the sites used by the USSR to test nuclear weapons. In in 2019, the joint team explored the islands of Franz Josef Land, the Russian archipelago located in the Arctic Ocean and has a presence of Russian military personnel.