The Eastern Arctic Seas Encyclopedia

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

Maria Pronchishcheva Bay

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-24237-8_326

Maria Pronchishcheva Bay – a bay in the Laptev Sea, located on the east coast of Taymyr about 75 km north of the entry to the Gulf of Khatanga. The bay length is more than 60 km and width varies from 3 to 10 km. The maximum depth is 22 m. To the west of the bay lies Byrranga Mountains from which several rivers run down into the bay. The shores are low. Most of the year, the bay is covered with ice. Arctic tundra is located around the bay. The water area of the bay and its shores are included in a special section of the Arctic Taymyr Reserve. Administratively, it is part of Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia. It was discovered in 1736 by Vasily Pronchishchev. For a long time, it was unnamed. In 1913, the cape at the entry to the bay was named by the expedition of Vilkitsky after the wife of Pronchishchev – Tatiana Pronchishcheva – and mapped as Pronchishcheva Cape. In the 1920s, cartographers deciphered the inscription as “Maria Pronchishcheva Bay,” and only in 1983, V. Bogdanov, a student of the Faculty of Journalism of the Moscow University, established the authenticity of the name (Tatiana) and biography of Pronchishcheva. On the shore of the bay, there is a polar meteorological station. The bay is visited by tourists from Khatanga. In 1988, the icebreaker-class vessel “Vasily Pronchishchev” delivered to the bay a 500-kg cast-iron cross in Arkhangelsk. On the cross, there is the epigraph in the Slavic script: “To Lieutenant Vasiliy Pronchishchev and his wife Mary. Perished in 1736.”

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