Bennett island. New siberian islands & Sannikov Land

Bennett island. New siberian islands & Sannikov Land Bennett island. New siberian islands & Sannikov Land

The New Siberian Islands are an archipelago located to the north of the East Siberian coast between the Laptev Sea and the East Siberian Sea north of the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic. With the area of about 29,000 km2 they consist of Kotelny Island and Faddeyevsky Island linked by Bunge Land (occasionally submerged by the sea).

The New Siberian Islands were once major hills within the Great Arctic Plain that once formed the northern part of the Late Pleistocene "Beringia" between Siberia and Alaska during the Last Glacial Maximum. These islands are what remains of about 1.6 million square kilometers of the formerly subaerial Great Arctic Plain that now lies submerged below the sea.

The first news about the existence of the New Siberian Islands was brought by Yakov Permyakov in 1712, when he reached Great Lyakhovsky Island. The islands were named aſter the merchant Ivan Liakhov, who received a monopoly on the fur and ivory trade there. At the beginning of the 19th century the islands were further explored by Yakov Sannikov, Matvei Gedenschtrom and others. In 1809-1810 Yakov Sannikov reported the sighting of a "new land" north of Kotelny in 1811. This became the myth of Zemlya Sannikova, or "Sannikov Land". In 1886 polar explorer and scientist Baron Eduard von Toll, during his first visit to the New Siberian Islands, thought that he had seen an unknown land north of Kotelny Island. He guessed that this was the so-called "Zemlya Sannikova". Most probably it was just a giant ridged ice floe. The New Siberian Islands are unique in the burial and preservation of fossil ivory. 87 mammoth tusks and bones collected from Faddeevsky, Kotelniy and New Siberia islands ranged from 9470±40 BP to greater than 50,000 BP. Their wonderful state of preservation is the result of their having been frozen in permafrost since their burial. Bennett Island is the largest of the islands of the De Long group in the northern part of the East Siberian Sea. Area: approx. 150 km2. The highest point of the island is 426 m. Bennett Island was discovered by American explorer G. W. De Long in 1881 and named aſter J. G. Bennett, Jr., who financed the expedition. The De Long islands are not usually considered part of the New Siberian group: Jeannette Island, Henrietta Island, Bennett Island, Vilkitsky Island and Zhokhov Island.

The climate is arctic and severe. Snow cover is present for 9 months of the year. Permafrost and underground ice are very common. The surface of the islands is covered with Arctic tundra vegetation and numerous lakes.