The Eastern Arctic Seas Encyclopedia

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

Preobrazheniya Island

Reference work entry

Preobrazheniya Island – located approx. 27 km east of Cape Sibirskiy. Sometimes it is called Cape Vstrechnyi (Oncoming) since it is oncoming for ships sailing to the Gulf of Khatanga in the Laptev Sea. The island has a horseshoe shape. Its convex side faces east. The island is 8 km long and no more than 1.8 km wide. The whole eastern and northeastern sides of the island are approx. 90 m high, with quite steep rocky cliffs. To the west, the island lowers gently. Pebble spits run to the west from the north and south ends of the island. On the west side of the island, there is the deep Neupokoeva Bay. In 1913, on the northern end of the island, a cast-iron cross was found and erected. In 1934, he was already standing near the cliff of the island, indicating rapid destruction of the sheer northeastern coast. In the same year, the cross was moved to several tens of meters inland. There are walruses and bird rookeries on the island. There are no rivers on the island. On the south spit, there is a small freshwater lake. It is discovered, apparently, in 1736, by the head of the Lena-Khatanga detachment of the Great Northern Expedition of 1733–1743, Lieutenant V. V. Pronchishchev, and named the Island of Preobrazheniya in 1739 by the head of this detachment, Lieutenant Kh. P. Laptev, after the religious holiday. In 1878, the island was examined by the participants of the Swedish Polar Expedition of 1878–1880 on the schooner “Vega” under the leadership of A. E. Nordenskiöld. For the first time after the expedition, the island was visited with commercial purposes by the famous industrialist N. A. Begichev in 1908, and in his memoirs he called it Bronenosets (the Armorclad) Island. In 1933, the island was visited by the Soviet hydrographic expedition on the schooner “Pioneer” under the leadership of hydrographer S. D. Lappo whose members surveyed the island, mapped the surveyed areas, and gave the island a new name of Vstrechnyi. Since 1940, its original name was restored.

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