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Polar expeditions | Franz Josef Land (FJL)

Franz Josef Land, Franz Joseph Land, or Francis Joseph's Land  is an archipelago located in the far north of Russia. It is found in the Arctic Ocean north of Novaya Zemlya or New Land and east of Spitsbergen or Svalbard, and is administered by Arkhangelsk region. Franz Josef Land consists of 191 ice-covered islands with a total area of 16,134 km2 (6,229 sq mi). It is currently uninhabited.

The archipelago was possibly first discovered by the Norwegian sealers Nils Fredrik Rønnbeck and Johan Petter Aidijärvi aboard the schooner Spidsbergen in 1865 who, according to scarce reports, sailed eastward from Svalbard until they reached a new land, denoted Nordøst-Spitsbergen (Spitsbergen was the contemporary name of Svalbard). It is not known if they went ashore, and the new islands were soon forgotten.

The archipelago is volcanic, composed of Tertiary and Jurassic basalts, and though covered mostly by ice it does have outcrops covered with moss. The northeastern part of the archipelago is locked in pack ice most of the year round; however the ice sometimes retreats north past the islands in summer (September). The northernmost point in the archipelago, and in the entirety of Europe, is Mys Fligely (Fligely Point), on Ostrov Rudol'fa (Rudolf Island), which reaches as far north as 81°52'N. The largest island is Zemlya Georga (George Land) which measures 110 km (68 mi) from end to end. The highest point in the archipelago is on Ostrov Viner-Neyshtadt (Wiener Neustadt Island) which reaches 620 m (2,034 ft) above sea level. The basalts of the Franz Josef Islands are part of the High Arctic Large Igneous Province. The central cluster of large islands in the midst of the archipelago forms a compact whole, known as Zichy Land,  where islands are separated from each other by very narrow sounds that are frozen most of the year.

The ecology of Franz Josef Land is influenced by its harsh cold climate, but the region nevertheless supports a diversity of biota. Native wildlife consists mostly of walrus, Arctic Foxes, polar bears and seals. Historic accounts from the late 19th century indicate the presence of polar bears and seals. The polar bear population in this region, as the case with other Arctic sub-regions, is genetically distinct from other polar bear sub-populations. Common birds include kittiwakes, fulmars, and gulls. Beluga whales are often spotted in the waters.Reindeer antlers have been found on Hooker Island, suggesting that herds reached here up to about 1,300 years ago during a warmer climate.

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Polar expeditions | Franz Josef Land (FJL) | Summer 2013

Новый тур - Экспедиция к архипелагу Земля Франца-Иосифа. л/к Новый тур. Архипелаг Земля Франца Иосифа – самый ближайший к Северному Полюсу в восточном полушарии - расположен в 540 милях от Северного Полюса. Он был открыт в 1873 году австрийской экспедицией на судне «Тегеттхоф». На сегодняшний день это один из редких «необжитых» уголков ...
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