The Eastern Arctic Seas Encyclopedia

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

Laptev Sea Shelf

Reference work entry

Laptev Sea Shelf – the area of the shelf is assessed ambiguously –from 504 to 530 (72 % total area) to 650,000 km2. The differences of the assessments are determined by the location of the outer borderline of the shelf, either on its edge, i.e., on the isobath of approx. 200 m, or on the registered border of the continental shelf which is located at the depth of 800 m, on the isobath of 200 m. The shelf is approx. 400 km wide on average; the minimum is approx. 150 km; the maximum is approx. 810 km.

The shelf is characterized by shallow depths and flat relief. Geomorphology transformation processes continue in the shallow water part of the Laptev Sea shelf at present. The destruction of the islands, which are mainly formed by frozen subsoil, results from thermoabrasion. The same processes caused the disappearance of the Vasilyevskiy, Mercurius, and St. Diomede islands and turned Semyonovskiy Island into a sand drift.

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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016