The Eastern Arctic Seas Encyclopedia

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

Vize, Vladimir Yulyevich (1886–1954)

Reference work entry

Vize, Vladimir Yulyevich (1886–1954) – a Soviet oceanologist, Arctic explorer, and associate member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (from 1933). His ancestors were of Swedish descent. In 1910, he graduated from the Faculty of philosophy of the University of Göttingen in Germany. In 1912–1914, he participated in the expedition of G. Y. Sedov on the ship “St. Foka” to the North Pole. In 1918, V. started working in the Main Physical Observatory where he studied oceanography and meteorology as well as sorted the materials collected by G. Y. Sedov’s expedition. In 1921–1923, he commanded the oceanographic group in an expedition on the ship “Taymyr.” The expedition mainly worked in the Kara Sea. In 1922, V. was invited to work in the Central Hydromet Bureau, but at the same time continued working in the Main Physical Observatory. In 1923, he published his work titled On the Possibility of Prediction of the Barents Sea Ice Conditions. Starting from 1928, he worked in the Institute for North Studies. He led an expedition on the icebreaker “Malygin” which was rescuing Nobile’s expedition members. In 1929–1930, he controlled the expedition on the icebreaker “G. Sedov” aimed at establishing a scientific observatory in Franz Josef Land. In the course of this expedition in the Kara Sea, he discovered an island named after V., who predicted the existence of this island as early as in 1924 when he analyzed the consistent patterns of ice drift in G. L. Brusilov’s expedition and developed his ideas in a work titled “On Surface Currents in the Kara Sea.” In 1932, he led an expedition on the icebreaker “A. Sibiryakov,” which was the first to conduct a thorough navigation from the west to the east along the Northern Sea Route in one navigation. In 1934, the expedition led by V. on the icebreaker “Fyodor Litke” passed the Northern Sea Route in one navigation in an opposite direction, from the east to the west. In 1936–1937, V. commanded the high-latitude expedition on the icebreaker “Sadko.” He spent the years of the Great Patriotic War (1941–1945) in Krasnoyarsk where he had been evacuated with the Arctic Institute, being its director. Starting from 1945, he was a Professor of Leningrad State University and head of the Oceanography Department.

V. is the author of about 400 scientific works in oceanography, meteorology, glaciology, and history of the Arctic explorations, in which he studies the objective laws of atmospheric circulation and its role in the formation of the Arctic ice sheet and the hydrological regime of the Arctic seas. He studied the climate formation processes in the Central Arctic Basin and the impact of ice on the climate of the Northern Hemisphere. He elaborated the methods of ice forecasts and in 1928 started to forecast the ice condition in the Barents Sea and later in other seas as well. These forecasts formed a base for scientific and operational service support of the Northern Sea Route. V. played a significant role in the Northern Sea Route reclamation, and in particular, he initiated a systematic ice aerial reconnaissance. A laureate of State Prize of the USSR (1946).

Among the main books are “To Franz Josef Land” (1930), “Northern Sea Route” (1940), and On board the “Sibiryakov” and “Litke” through the Arctic Seas. “Two historical navigations of 1932 and 1934” (1946) and “Morya Sovetskoy Arktiki” (1948).

The name of V. was given to a glacier, an island to the west of Severnaya Zemlya in the Kara Sea; a cape on Bolshevik Island, Severnaya Zemlya, the Kara Sea; two bays in Novaya Zemlya Island (in Rusanov Bay and in Blagopoluchiya Bay); a cape in the north of Brady Island and a glacier on Greely Island in the Franz Josef Land Archipelago, the Barents Sea; and a cape on Severny Island in Novaya Zemlya. A research ship of the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute “Professor Vize” is named after him as well.

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