The Eastern Arctic Seas Encyclopedia

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

Routan Islands

Reference work entry

Routan Islands – two islands (Bolshoy and Malyi) in the Chaunskaya Bay of the East Siberian Sea, 70°N, 5 km from the Peninsula of Pevek, which are separated by the Straits of Pevek. Geographically, the islands belong to the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, Russia. The Island of Bolshoy (Great) Routan has an almost triangular shape. It is a sandy area of 33.7 km2 with a maximum height of 78 m above the sea level. Its dimensions are 9.5 km to 4.5 km. The main part of the island is a plateau-like surface with a slope of 2–4° mainly toward the northwest and southwest. In the eastern and southeastern part of the island, the plateau steeply drops toward the sea, and the edge of the plateau is dissected by large and short ravines. In the southern and southwestern parts, the plateau decreases and gradually turns into vast spits and mud and slightly saline plains. The flat surfaces are occupied by combinations of tundra communities. The 500–600 m wide strait is located southward of the Maly (Small) Routan Island. The Small Routan Island is much less and is located 1 km away from the west of the southernmost point of the Great Routan. Its length is only 1.3 km. There is a small polar station on the Great Routan. There are several lakes; the largest are Krugloye and Vodovoznoye. The Small Routan has one large lake in the southern part – Gusinoye. The islands were discovered in March 1821 by the expedition of the Kolyma team headed by F. Wrangel.

There is the natural sanctuary Routan (19 ha) on the islands.

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