The Eastern Arctic Seas Encyclopedia

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


Reference work entry
  1. 1.

    A strait (from the Chukchi “Peek” “bloated, fat”), which connects the Chaun Bay and the East Siberian Sea. It is located between the islands of Big Ayon, Rautan, and the northwestern part of Pevek Peninsula. It administratively belongs to the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, Russia. The strait has an elongated shape of approximately 14 km long and 4 km wide with an average depth of 15–25 m; the maximum is 31 m. The northeastern part of the strait is limited by the spit of Routan (in the north) and Cape Pevek (in the east) and the southwestern part by Cape Peschanyi (in the west) and Cape Matyushkina (in the south). At the eastern shore, the spit of Nablyudeniya separates the eponymous bay from the strait. On the eastern shore of the strait, there are one inhabited locality, the northernmost city of Russia (Pevek), and abandoned villages of Stroitelnyi and Valkumey.

  2. 2.

    A peninsula separating the Chaun Bay from the East Siberian Sea, Chukotka, Russia. On the west coast of the peninsula, 3 km southwest of Pevek, there is the eponymous lagoon. In addition, the northernmost and the highest point of the peninsula is called Pevek.

  3. 3.

    A city in Chukotka, located on the shores of the eponymous strait connecting Chaun Bay and the East Siberian Sea, opposite the Rautan Islands, 640 km from Anadyr. It is the northernmost city in Russia. The polar night lasts from November 27 to January 16 and the polar day from May 18 to July 27. The population is 4,700 people (2015). It is founded in 1933 (the town in 1967) and within a few years became an important regional port, thanks to the natural harbor (Chaunskaya Bay), the opening of the Northern Sea Route and the discovery of tin in the mine Pyrkakaya (which was later renamed as Krasnoarmeiskiy) about 70 km from the city. Then, other tin deposits and later gold fields were discovered. In 1947, there were three uranium enrichment plants (“west,” “east,” and “north”). From 1949 to 1957, there was the Chaunlag and Chaunchukotlag network of Soviet corrective labor camps here. The industries include a mining and processing plant, gold mines, oxygen and mechanical repair plants, a geological survey company, hydrometeorological and polar stations, and production of building materials. Near P. there is a tin mining (the village of Valkumey), a meat-packing plant, and a dairy. The administration of the reserve “Wrangel Island” is located here as well. The regional airport “Pevek” is 18 km northeast of the city, directly on the East Siberian Sea coast, the second largest in Chukotka. In P. there are also a cultural center, a kindergarten, a secondary school, a leisure/cinema center, a library, an internet club, and a museum. The museum has a stand dedicated to hydrographer and oceanographer N. I. Yevgenov.

    In the 1990s, P. was the absolute “champion” among the cities in the relative population decline. If, in 1989, there were 12,900 residents in the city, during the 2002 census, only 5,200 residents were counted. The main reason for such depopulation of the area was job cuts (in the 1990s, tin mines were closed) and the deterioration of infrastructure. Around the city, there are several completely abandoned miners’ settlements.

  4. 4.

    The port of P. is a large sea trading port on the Northern Sea Route, located in the Chaun Bay of the East Siberian Sea. Food and consumer goods supplies to the northern regions of Eastern Siberia go through this port. The port is the eastern base of the Northern Sea Route’s Marine Operations Headquarters, which operatively controls the vessels sailing the Chukchi Sea. It was founded on April 20, 1951, when the directorate of the Arctic Sea Port of P. was organized. The discovery of the richest mineral deposits in the Chaunskiy district of Chukchi Peninsula and their further intensive development significantly contributed to the creation of the port.


The port of P. was built in 1951, and the city was formed around the port. But it has been also affected by economic troubles of the recent 20 years, the number of jobs progressively reduced, the life got more expensive, and the infrastructure of the city deteriorated. Of course, people began to leave. However, Pevek is still promising. First of all, it works in conjunction with the port of Green Cape in Kolyma, which gives a space for maneuvering, and secondly, it has deep berths, and most importantly, the government adopted the program of industrial development of Chukotka until 2020, and the development of significant gold deposits of Maiskiy and Kupol has already begun.

At the initial stage of the port construction, it was just a mooring line of four pile berths 429.5 m long. At that time, the port had no mechanical equipment, offices, and industrial premises and did not actually meet its purpose. In 1957, with the transfer of the port to the Far Eastern Shipping Company of Ministry of the Sea Fleet, the works began for preparing a master plan for the redevelopment of industrial buildings and construction of houses for the employees. In the 1960s, reconstruction, expansion, and further development of the port continued. For the first time in the Arctic, the construction of tongue-and-groove berths with solid concrete floors began. During this period, much work was done to expand the storage area of the port and improve production and living conditions of port workers. In 1970–1980s, the reconstruction, refurbishment, and upgrade of the port facilities continued. At this time, the port became a base port for handling transhipment cargoes of the Kolyma direction. In 1982, the port was awarded the Order of the “Badge of Honor.” By this time, the seaport, which occupies a strategic position in the eastern Arctic sector behind the polar circle, became a modern highly mechanized largest port on the Northern Sea Route. In the 1990s, as a result of the elimination of the major mining companies of Chaun-Chukotka, there was an obvious sharp decline in the turnover of this commercial seaport. During the difficult years of economic reforms, the port managed to maintain stable operations and retain its highly qualified professional. In 1997, the port was transformed into an open joint-stock company “Sea Commercial Port of Pevek”.

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016