The Eastern Arctic Seas Encyclopedia

2016 Edition
| Editors: Igor S. Zonn, Andrey G. Kostianoy, Aleksandr V. Semenov

Chetyrehstolbovoy Island

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-24237-8_122

Chetyrehstolbovoy Island – an island in the Medvezhyi Islands (Bear Islands) in the East Siberian Sea, the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Russia. It is the easternmost island of the group. The Leontiev Island, which is the closest to Ch., is about 21 km to the northwest. Ch. is the third island of the group in terms of size, after the Krestovsky and Leontiev islands. It has an oblong shape and extends from west to east. The island is 9.5 km in length and up to 2.5 km in width. The island rises from the sea as a single mountain, reaching the height of 94 m. The northern coast is steep, while the southern is mildly sloping. The coastline is indented, steep cliffs alternating with slopes, on which there are beach ridges that isolate fresh water lagoons from the sea. An upland area with steep sides, reaching the height of approx. 40 m above sea level, is located at the westernmost of the island. In the northeastern part of the island, there is an upland with the highest point of approx. 100 m above sea level. The middle part of the island is heavily fissured by a net of ravines, which in summer accommodate water flows. A small bay is located at the southern tip of the island. Most of the island’s surface is covered with weathering products that form stone deposits. The fauna is represented by deer, bears, wolves, foxes, and small rodents who arrive here from the mainland. Short, stiff grass and moss grow on the low banks and on the gentle slopes. In 1924, the Norwegian expedition ship “Maud” stayed in the proximity of the island. A polar station, opened in 1933, is located in the eastern part of the island.

The island was discovered in 1710 by a Cossack named Jacob Permiakov and mapped in 1769 by land-surveying ensigns Ivan Leontiev, Ivan Lysov, and Alexey Pushkarev, who traveled there by dog sleds from Nizhnekolymsk. The island received its name placed after the kigilyakha pillars – the remains of the ancient land surface of the island – that reach more than 15 m in height. The pillars were formed due to the influence of extreme temperatures that create cracks in the rock and because of subsequent weathering. As a result of this, by the mid-1990s only one pillar remained on the island.

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