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Description of Novaya Zemlya
Novaya Zemlya is an archipelago in the Arctic
Ocean between the Barents and Kara Seas, is included in the
Arkhangelsk region of Russia as its administrative district Novaya
Zemlya and, within the framework of local government, in the status
of the urban district Novaya Zemlya.
The archipelago consists of two large islands, the Northern and
the Southern, separated by a narrow strait (2-3 km) of Matochkin
Shar and many relatively small islands, the largest of which is
Mezhdusharsky. The northeastern tip of the North Island - Cape
Vlissing - is the easternmost point of Europe.
archipelago stretches from southwest to northeast for 925 km. The
northernmost point of Novaya Zemlya is the eastern island of the
Greater Oran Islands, the southernmost is Pynin Island of the
Petukhovsky Archipelago, the western is a nameless cape on the
Gusinaia Peninsula of the South Island, the eastern one is the Cape
Vlissing Island of North. The area of all islands is more than 83
thousand km²; the width of the North Island is up to 123 km, the
South is up to 143 km.
In the south, the Strait of Gates (50
km wide) is separated from Vaigach Island.
The climate is arctic, severe. Winter is long and cold, with
strong winds (the speed of the katabatic (runoff) winds reaches
40-50 m / s) and blizzards, and therefore it is sometimes called New
Land in the literature “The Land of the Winds”. Frosts reach −40 °
C. The average temperature of the warmest month - August - from 2.5
° C in the north to 6.5 ° C in the south. In winter, the difference
reaches 4.6 °. The difference in temperature conditions between the
coasts of the Barents and Kara seas exceeds 5 °. Such temperature
asymmetry is due to the difference in the ice regime of the
indicated seas. In the archipelago itself are many small lakes;
under the rays of the sun, the water temperature in southern areas
can reach 18 ° C.
About half of the area of the North
Island is occupied by glaciers. On a territory of about 20,000 km²,
there is a continuous ice cover extending nearly 400 km in length
and up to 70–75 km in width. The ice thickness is over 300 m. In
some places, the ice descends into the fjords or breaks into the
open sea, forming ice barriers and giving rise to icebergs. The
total area of the Novaya Zemlya glaciation is 29,767 km², of which
about 92% are glacier cover and 7.9% are mountain glaciers. On the
South Island - areas of the Arctic tundra.