Vaigach(redirected from Vaygach Island)
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, island, 1,312 sq mi (3,398 sq km), Nenets Autonomous Area, off NE European Russia, in the Arctic Ocean, between the mainland and Novaya Zemlya.
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an island in the Arctic Ocean, on the border between the Barents and Kara seas. It is cut off from the shores of the mainland by the strait of Iugorskii Shar and from Novaia Zemlia by the strait of Karskie Vorota. The island is part of Nenets National Okrug, Arkhangel’sk Oblast, RSFSR. Its area is 3,383 sq km; its length, about 100 km; and its width, up to 45 km. The western shore of the island has many bays, while the eastern shore is less irregular and is frequently rocky. The surface of the island is flat. In the central part there are two parallel ridges up to 140-170 m high. The island is mainly composed of clayey shales, sandstones, and limestones of the Lower Paleozoic and Permian eras. The climate is cold. The average temperature is -20° C in February and about 5° C in June. Most of the rivers are of insignificant length (20 to 40 km) and have abundant rapids and waterfalls. Swamps and small lakes are numerous. The island is covered with tundra vegetation. The settlements of Vaigach and Dolgaia Guba are situated on the northern shore, and Varnek is on the south.
a Russian icebreaker, built in 1909 in the Neva shipyard of St. Petersburg especially for hydrographie work in the Arctic. The ship was 54 m long and 11 m wide, had a displacement of 1,200 m, and a maximum speed of 10.5 knots. From 1910 to 1915, together with the Taimyr, the Vaigach served as a base for the Hydrographie Arctic Expedition, undertaken to describe the shores of Siberia. In 1913 an expedition aboard the Vaigach and Taimyr, under the leadership of B. A. Vil’kitskii, discovered the islands of Severnaia Zemlia. In 1914-15 the Vaigach was the first ship in history to navigate the northern sea route from Vladivostok to Arkhangel’sk, with a wintering stop in the area of the Vil’kitskii straits. The Vaigach sank in 1918 after running on underwater rocks in Enisei Bay.