Russian Students Discovered a New Island in the Arctic

Фото предоставлено Северным Флотом
Фото предоставлено Северным флотом

On July 9, Russian students made a geographical discovery - they discovered a new island in the region of Severny Island of the Novaya Zemlya archipelago. The discovery was made online as a result of processing satellite images. It is planned that in September a joint expedition of the Russian Geographical Society and the Northern Fleet will explore the new island.

According to satellite monitoring data, the island was formed on July 9, 2020 as a result of the collapse of the ice bridge connecting 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 coordinates of the center are 75 ° 33'50.89 "N, 58 ° 18'14.76" E.


Образование нового острова с проливом шириной около 80 м. 11.07.2020. Сентинель-2. Коперник.

The discovery was made by eight students of the “RiskSat” project group from Troitsk, Tula, Venev, Dedovsk, Gatchina, St. Petersburg and Yakutsk. The group is organized by “RiskSat”, a company specializing in aerospace education for young people. The senior scientist of the group: Candidate of Technical Sciences, Associate Professor of RUDN University, General Director of “RiskSat”, Alexey Kucheiko.

Previously, the school group had already discovered islands in the Novaya Zemlya region using satellite images. In 2016, students discovered an island near the Vize glacier, and in 2017 - near the Vilkitsky Yuzhny glacier. In 2019, young explorers also discovered an island in the region of Schmidt Island of the Severnaya Zemlya archipelago.

"It is no secret that the Arctic is getting warmer, the glaciers are retreating, and land is found in their place. The students have discovered, albeit a small, but nevertheless a real island, which should be plotted on nautical charts. Of course, this is an important geographical discovery," comments the Chief of Staff of the Northern Fleet, Senior Scientist of the complex expedition of the Northern Fleet and the Russian Geographical Society to the Franz Josef Land archipelago in 2019, Colonel, Sergei Churkin.

It is planned that the new island will be studied by members of the expedition of the Russian Geographical Society and the Northern Fleet to the Arctic archipelagos. The expedition will take place from August to October 2020. It will be attended by surveyors, cartographers, oceanographers, geologists, biologists and other specialists.

“We have promptly clarified the tasks of the expeditionary crew, which will sail around Severny Island of Novaya Zemlya along the route of the famous Arctic explorer Vladimir Rusanov, '' notes Sergey Churkin. “The entry into the Vilkitsky Bay was planned already, but earlier the task was somewhat different - to examine a number of old fishing huts, which are located in this bay. Now, as far as ice conditions will allow, the expedition members will approach the new island. At the very least, they will take a picture of it; and at most, they will try to land and take more accurate measurements.”


Схема маршрута экспедиции
Схема маршрута экспедиции

It is interesting that the students of the project group dedicated their new discovery to the memory of the USSR pilot-cosmonaut, Hero of the Soviet Union, German Titov, who would have turned 85 this year.