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the northernmost island in the Franz Josef Land archipelago in Arkhangel’sk Oblast, RSFSR. Area, approximately 297 sq km. Rudolf Island is composed primarily of sandstones and basalts and is almost entirely covered by an ice sheet. Its shores are steep and rocky. The explorer J. von Payer named the island after the crown prince of Austria-Hungary. Rudolf Island has often been used as a base for expeditions to the North Pole. A polar research station has been on the island since 1936.