The Eastern Arctic Seas Encyclopedia

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

Vilkitsky Strait

Reference work entry

Vilkitsky Strait – separates the Taymyr Peninsula, its northern end, and the Severnaya Zemlya Archipelago; it connects the Kara Sea and the Laptev Sea. The length is about 130 km and the narrowest place is 55 km wide. The depth is 200 m. The shores are predominantly high, covered by stony alluvial deposits and tundra vegetation. V.S. is one of the areas on the Northern Sea Route difficult to travel over. Continuous flows by the southern shore move eastward and by the northern shore westward (velocity is 0.1–0.2 m/s). Floating ice can be found here throughout the year. V.S. was discovered in 1913 by the Hydrographic Expedition in the Arctic Ocean on icebreakers “Taymyr” and “Vaygach” under the command of captain II rank B. A. Vilkitsky. The strait did not have an official name up to 1916 when it was named “Tsesarevich Aleksey Strait” by Nikolay II’s order. In 1918 the strait was renamed into “Boris Vilkitsky Strait” to commemorate the Russian hydrographer. It has been called V.S. since 1954.

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