Franz Josef Land


Also found in: Dictionary, Acronyms, Wikipedia.
Related to Franz Josef Land: Novaya Zemlya, Spitsbergen, Kotelny Island

Franz Josef Land

(frăns jō`zəf, fränts yō`zĕf), Rus. Zemlya Frantsa Iosifa, archipelago, c.6,300 sq mi (16,320 sq km), in the Arctic Ocean N of Novaya Zemlya, Russia. It consists of more than 190 islands of volcanic origin, including Aleksandra Land, George Land, Wilczek Land, Graham Bell Island, Hooker Island, and Rudolf Island. Government observation stations (erected 1929) and settlements are on the latter two islands, and a military base (erected 2015) is on Aleksandra Land. Some 90% of Franz Josef Land is covered by ice interspersed with poor lichen vegetation; the average mean temperature is 6.5°F; (−14.2°C;).

The islands were explored in 1873 by Karl Weyprecht and Julius von Payer, leaders of an Austrian expedition, and were subsequently more fully explored by expeditions such as those led by Frederick George Jackson (1894–97), Fridtjof Nansen (who spent the winter of 1895–96 in Franz Josef Land), Walter Wellman (1898–99), the duke of the Abruzzi (1899–1900), Evelyn Baldwin (1902–3), and Anthony Fiala (1903–5). In 1926 Russia, then a constituent republic of the USSR, claimed the archipelago as national territory, which was disputed by Norway; they now are part of the Russian Arctic National Park.

Franz Josef Land

 

(Russian, Zemlia Frantsa-Iosifa), an archipelago in the northeastern Barents Sea; part of Arkhangel’sk Oblast, RSFSR.

Franz Josef Land comprises 191 islands, with a total area of 16,134 sq km, and is divided into three parts. The eastern part, which is separated from the others by the Avstriiskii (Austrian) Sound, includes the large islands Zemlia Vil’cheka (Wilczek Land; 2,000 sq km) and Greem-Bell (Graham Bell; 1,700 sq km). The central part lies between the Avstriiskii Sound and the strait known as the Britanskii (British) Channel and contains the most numerous group of islands. The western part lies west of the Britanskii Channel and includes the archipelago’s largest island, Zemlia Georga (George Land; 2,900 sq km).

Many of the islands of the archipelago are formed of sandstones, aleurolites, and limestones; these rocks are overlain with extrusive horizontal basaltic crusts. Most of the islands constitute remnants of an extensive basaltic plateau that are covered by glaciers, which occupy a total area of 13,735 sq km. The maximum elevation of these islands is 620 m. The straits are wide troughs, with depths reaching 500–600 m, that have been scoured by glaciers. The principal elements of the ice sheets are ice caps and outlet glaciers, from the fronts of which icebergs break off. The surface area free of ice is occupied by small “oases,” capes, and nunataks. Relatively large ice-free areas on the islands Zemlia Aleksandry, Zemlia Georga, Greem-Bell, and Kheis (Hayes) have a hilly terrain.

The climate is typically arctic. The mean annual temperature is approximately – 12°C on Rudol’f Island. The mean July temperature ranges from – 1.2°C in Tikhaia Bay on the coast of Guker (Hooker) Island to 1.6°C on Kheis Island. The mean January temperature is approximately –24°C, with winter temperatures dropping to a low of – 52°C; winds may reach a velocity of 40 m per sec. Annual precipitation varies from 200–300 mm to 500–550 mm; maximum precipitation occurs in the zone where ice caps accumulate.

The islands have a total of approximately 1,000 lakes, with depths of up to 10 m and areas of up to 2 sq km. There are several rivers on the islands, ranging in length from 10 to 15 km. Landscapes typical of the arctic desert zone predominate. The dominant forms of vegetation are mosses and lichens. Mammals include the polar bear and, more rarely, the arctic fox. The waters that wash the islands are inhabited by the ringed seal, the bearded seal, the harp seal, the walrus, the narwhal, and beluga. Birds are the most numerous type of fauna; 26 species are represented, including dovekies, guillemots, kittiwakes, ivory gulls, and glaucous gulls. Polar stations are located on Zemlia Aleksandry and Rudol’f Island. In 1957 the E. T. Krenkel’ Geophysical Observatory was established on Kheis Island.

Franz Josef Land was discovered in 1873 by the Austro-Hun-garian expedition of J. Payer and K. Weyprecht and was named for the Austrian emperor Franz Josef I.

REFERENCES

Geologiia SSSR, vol. 26: Ostrova Sovetskoi Arktiki. Moscow, 1970.
Sovetskaia Arktika: Moria i ostrova Severnogo Ledovitogo okeana. Moscow, 1970. (In the series Prirodnye usloviia i estestvennye resursy SSSR.)
Oledenennie Zemli Frantsa-Iosifa. Moscow, 1973.

L. S. GOVORUKHA

Franz Josef Land

an archipelago of over 100 islands in the Arctic Ocean, administratively part of Russia. Area: about 21 000 sq. km (8000 sq. miles)
References in periodicals archive ?
Anthony Fiala, whom Capelotti describes as the "most irrepressibly guileless" of Baldwin's men, would go on to lead the third American venture to Franz Josef Land, with even less competence.
But Mr Gore-Grimes and his crew set course for Franz Josef Land on the 44-foot yacht hoping there might be a change of mind by the Russian authorities.
"During hydrographic research at the Franz Josef Land archipelago, the expedition discovered a strait dividing Northbrook Island into two parts," Capt.
He added: "I am afraid this looks like the end of my ambitions to reach Franz Josef Land."
A few colonies revisited on Franz Josef Land also showed an increase; an example is Rubini Rock, where numbers grew from 12 to 35-50 pairs during 1930-2013 (Demme, 1934; Belikov and Randla, 1984; Skakuj, 1992; Lunk and Joern, 2007; M.
Finding the north coast solidly icebound, he swung back south, around Sorkapp and east towards Franz Josef Land, the western extent of which was still totally unknown.
We then set off to investigate the wildlife-watching opportunities available in the frigid realms of Franz Josef Land and the clear waters and steamy jungles of Thailand and profile Canada
The crew are heading towards Franz Josef Land, an island in the Arctic belt where an Irishman landed in 1904.
From 1871 to 1882, Leigh Smith led five expeditions to the Arctic, during which he mapped and named numerous islands in the Svalbard and Franz Josef Land archipelagoes.
I was filming in Franz Josef Land, a group of islands almost 1,000 kilometres south of the North Pole in the high Russian Arctic.
John Gore-Grimes and the crew of his pounds 500,000 Arctic Fern yacht became stuck in ice 100 miles south of Franz Josef Land.
Though travelling the Arctic seas with tourists on cruise ships was certainly very different from walking the tundra in search of skua, Ko managed to continue to collect important biological information on some of the least-known populations of rare Arctic species, e.g., the bowhead whale in Franz Josef Land and the ivory gull in Severnaya Zemlya (de Korte and Belikov, 1994; Volkov and de Korte, 1996).