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Chukchi Sea

Chukchi Sea

Overview

Chukchi Sea is a marginal sea
Marginal sea
The term marginal sea has differing meanings. In one sense the term is equivalent to territorial waters. In another sense the term indicates a partially enclosed sea adjacent to or widely open to the open ocean, but bounded by submarine ridges...

 of the Arctic Ocean
Arctic Ocean
The Arctic Ocean, located in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Arctic north polar region, is the smallest and shallowest of the world's five major oceanic divisions...

. It is bounded on the west by the De Long Strait
De Long Strait
The De Long Strait separates Wrangel Island from the Siberian mainland. It is very broad, its minimum width being 141 km, between Cape Blossom at the southwestern tip of Wrangel Island and Cape Billings, close to Gytkhelen, Chukotka.Technically, more than a strait in the proper sense of the...

, off Wrangel Island
Wrangel Island
Wrangel Island is an island in the Arctic Ocean, between the Chukchi Sea and East Siberian Sea. Wrangel Island lies astride the 180° meridian. The International Date Line is displaced eastwards at this latitude to avoid the island as well as the Chukchi Peninsula on the Russian mainland...

, and in the east by Point Barrow
Point Barrow
Point Barrow or Nuvuk is a headland on the Arctic coast in the U.S. state of Alaska, northeast of Barrow. It is the northernmost point of all the territory of the United States, at...

, Alaska
Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

, beyond which lies the Beaufort Sea
Beaufort Sea
The Beaufort Sea is a marginal sea of the Arctic Ocean, located north of the Northwest Territories, the Yukon, and Alaska, west of Canada's Arctic islands. The sea is named after hydrographer Sir Francis Beaufort...

. The Bering Strait
Bering Strait
The Bering Strait , known to natives as Imakpik, is a sea strait between Cape Dezhnev, Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, Russia, the easternmost point of the Asian continent and Cape Prince of Wales, Alaska, USA, the westernmost point of the North American continent, with latitude of about 65°40'N,...

 forms its southernmost limit and connects it to the Bering Sea
Bering Sea
The Bering Sea is a marginal sea of the Pacific Ocean. It comprises a deep water basin, which then rises through a narrow slope into the shallower water above the continental shelves....

 and the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

. The principal port on the Chukchi Sea is Uelen
Uelen
Uelen is a rural locality in the Chukotsky District, just south of the Arctic Circle in Chukotka Autonomous Okrug in the Russian Far East. Population: 776 in 2003, with 595 Chukchi and 72 Yupik. Located near Cape Dezhnev where the Bering Sea meets the Chukchi Sea, it is the easternmost settlement...

 in Russia. The International Date Line
International Date Line
The International Date Line is a generally north-south imaginary line on the surface of the Earth, passing through the middle of the Pacific Ocean, that designates the place where each calendar day begins...

 crosses the Chukchi Sea from NW to SE. It is displaced eastwards to avoid Wrangel Island
Wrangel Island
Wrangel Island is an island in the Arctic Ocean, between the Chukchi Sea and East Siberian Sea. Wrangel Island lies astride the 180° meridian. The International Date Line is displaced eastwards at this latitude to avoid the island as well as the Chukchi Peninsula on the Russian mainland...

 as well as the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug
Chukotka Autonomous Okrug
Chukotka Autonomous Okrug , or Chukotka , is a federal subject of Russia located in the Russian Far East.Chukotka has a population of 53,824 according to the 2002 Census, and a surface area of . The principal town and the administrative center is Anadyr...

 on the Russian mainland.


The sea has an approximate area of 595,000 km² (230,000 mi²) and is only navigable about four months of the year.
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Encyclopedia

Chukchi Sea is a marginal sea
Marginal sea
The term marginal sea has differing meanings. In one sense the term is equivalent to territorial waters. In another sense the term indicates a partially enclosed sea adjacent to or widely open to the open ocean, but bounded by submarine ridges...

 of the Arctic Ocean
Arctic Ocean
The Arctic Ocean, located in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Arctic north polar region, is the smallest and shallowest of the world's five major oceanic divisions...

. It is bounded on the west by the De Long Strait
De Long Strait
The De Long Strait separates Wrangel Island from the Siberian mainland. It is very broad, its minimum width being 141 km, between Cape Blossom at the southwestern tip of Wrangel Island and Cape Billings, close to Gytkhelen, Chukotka.Technically, more than a strait in the proper sense of the...

, off Wrangel Island
Wrangel Island
Wrangel Island is an island in the Arctic Ocean, between the Chukchi Sea and East Siberian Sea. Wrangel Island lies astride the 180° meridian. The International Date Line is displaced eastwards at this latitude to avoid the island as well as the Chukchi Peninsula on the Russian mainland...

, and in the east by Point Barrow
Point Barrow
Point Barrow or Nuvuk is a headland on the Arctic coast in the U.S. state of Alaska, northeast of Barrow. It is the northernmost point of all the territory of the United States, at...

, Alaska
Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

, beyond which lies the Beaufort Sea
Beaufort Sea
The Beaufort Sea is a marginal sea of the Arctic Ocean, located north of the Northwest Territories, the Yukon, and Alaska, west of Canada's Arctic islands. The sea is named after hydrographer Sir Francis Beaufort...

. The Bering Strait
Bering Strait
The Bering Strait , known to natives as Imakpik, is a sea strait between Cape Dezhnev, Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, Russia, the easternmost point of the Asian continent and Cape Prince of Wales, Alaska, USA, the westernmost point of the North American continent, with latitude of about 65°40'N,...

 forms its southernmost limit and connects it to the Bering Sea
Bering Sea
The Bering Sea is a marginal sea of the Pacific Ocean. It comprises a deep water basin, which then rises through a narrow slope into the shallower water above the continental shelves....

 and the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

. The principal port on the Chukchi Sea is Uelen
Uelen
Uelen is a rural locality in the Chukotsky District, just south of the Arctic Circle in Chukotka Autonomous Okrug in the Russian Far East. Population: 776 in 2003, with 595 Chukchi and 72 Yupik. Located near Cape Dezhnev where the Bering Sea meets the Chukchi Sea, it is the easternmost settlement...

 in Russia. The International Date Line
International Date Line
The International Date Line is a generally north-south imaginary line on the surface of the Earth, passing through the middle of the Pacific Ocean, that designates the place where each calendar day begins...

 crosses the Chukchi Sea from NW to SE. It is displaced eastwards to avoid Wrangel Island
Wrangel Island
Wrangel Island is an island in the Arctic Ocean, between the Chukchi Sea and East Siberian Sea. Wrangel Island lies astride the 180° meridian. The International Date Line is displaced eastwards at this latitude to avoid the island as well as the Chukchi Peninsula on the Russian mainland...

 as well as the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug
Chukotka Autonomous Okrug
Chukotka Autonomous Okrug , or Chukotka , is a federal subject of Russia located in the Russian Far East.Chukotka has a population of 53,824 according to the 2002 Census, and a surface area of . The principal town and the administrative center is Anadyr...

 on the Russian mainland.

Geography



The sea has an approximate area of 595,000 km² (230,000 mi²) and is only navigable about four months of the year. The main geological feature of the Chukchi Sea bottom is the 700 km (435 mi)-long Hope Basin
Hope Basin
The Hope Basin is a geological feature of the Chukchi Sea Shelf. It lies off the Chukchi Sea coast of Alaska. Its area extends from the outer continental shelf of the Seward Peninsula for about westwards off the coast of Chukotka towards Wrangel Island....

, which is bound to the northeast by the Herald Arch. Depths less than 50 m (164 ft) occupy 56% of the total area.

The Chukchi Sea has very few islands compared to other seas of the Arctic. Wrangel Island
Wrangel Island
Wrangel Island is an island in the Arctic Ocean, between the Chukchi Sea and East Siberian Sea. Wrangel Island lies astride the 180° meridian. The International Date Line is displaced eastwards at this latitude to avoid the island as well as the Chukchi Peninsula on the Russian mainland...

 lies at the northwestern limit of the sea, Herald Island
Herald Island (Arctic)
Herald Island or Gerald Island is a small, isolated Russian island in the Chukchi Sea, to the east of Wrangel Island. It rises in sheer cliffs, making it quite inaccessible, either by ship or by plane. The only sliver of shoreline is at its northwestern point, where the cliffs have crumbled into...

 is located near its northern limit, and a few small islands lie along the Siberia
Siberia
Siberia is an extensive region constituting almost all of Northern Asia. Comprising the central and eastern portion of the Russian Federation, it was part of the Soviet Union from its beginning, as its predecessor states, the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire, conquered it during the 16th...

n and Alaska
Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

n coasts.

The sea is named after the Chukchi people
Chukchi people
The Chukchi, or Chukchee , ) are an indigenous people inhabiting the Chukchi Peninsula and the shores of the Chukchi Sea and the Bering Sea region of the Arctic Ocean within the Russian Federation. They speak the Chukchi language...

, who reside on its shores and on the Chukotka Peninsula. The coastal Chukchi traditionally engaged in fishing, whaling and the hunting of walrus
Walrus
The walrus is a large flippered marine mammal with a discontinuous circumpolar distribution in the Arctic Ocean and sub-Arctic seas of the Northern Hemisphere. The walrus is the only living species in the Odobenidae family and Odobenus genus. It is subdivided into three subspecies: the Atlantic...

 in this cold sea.

In Siberia
Chukotka Autonomous Okrug
Chukotka Autonomous Okrug , or Chukotka , is a federal subject of Russia located in the Russian Far East.Chukotka has a population of 53,824 according to the 2002 Census, and a surface area of . The principal town and the administrative center is Anadyr...

 places along the coast are: Cape Billings
Cape Billings
Cape Billings , is a headland on the northern coast of Chukotka, Russian Federation to the west of Cape Schmidt. The shore in the area around cape Billings is bounded by narrow landspits, beach ridges and swales enclosing a series of coastal inshore lagoons....

, Cape Schmidt
Mys Shmidta
Mys Shmidta is an urban-type settlement in Iultinsky District of Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, Russia. The settlement is located about southeast of the cape of the same name. The cape, but not the settlement, was formerly known as North Cape or Cape North. Cape Billings is located to the west of...

, Amguyema River
Amguyema River
The Amguyema River is a stream located in Far East Siberia. It into the Chukchi Sea between Cape Schmidt and Cape Vankarem.The Chantalveergyn River is a left-side tributary of the Amguyema....

, Cape Vankarem
Cape Vankarem
Cape Vankarem is a cape in the Chukchi Sea on the northern coast of Chukotka between Cape Schmidt to the west and Kolyuchinskaya Bay to the east...

, the large Kolyuchinskaya Bay
Kolyuchinskaya Bay
Kolyuchinskaya Bay is a large bay in the Chukchi Sea on the northern shore of the Chukotka Peninsula, Russia. To the west is Cape Vankarem and to the east Neskynpil'gyn Lagoon and Cape Serdtse-Kamen. The length of the bay is 100 km. Its mouth is only 2.8 km because of the Serykh Gusey...

, Neskynpil'gyn Lagoon
Neskynpil'gyn Lagoon
The Neskynpil'gyn Lagoon is a shallow coastal lake in the Chukchi Sea at the northern shore of the Chukotka Peninsula, Russia. 30 km to the east is Kolyuchinskaya Bay and 25 km west, Cape Serdtse-Kamen....

, Cape Serdtse-Kamen
Cape Serdtse-Kamen
Cape Serdtse-Kamen is a headland on the northeastern coast of Chukotka, Russian Federation. It is about 140 Km west of Cape Dezhnev, 120 Km east of Kolyuchinskaya Bay and about 30 km to the east of the Neskynpil'gyn Lagoon...

, Enurmino
Enurmino
Enurmino ) is a rural locality in Chukotsky District of Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, Russia. It is located on the Chukchi Sea near Cape Serdtse-Kamen. The population of the village as of March 2003 was 297, of which 296 were indigenous peoples...

, Chegitun River
Chegitun River
The Chegitun River is a stream located in the Chukotka Peninsula in Far East Siberia. It is the easternmost river flowing into the Chukchi Sea from the Siberian side, which makes it the river of the Eurasian continent that is farthest to the east....

, Inchoun
Inchoun
Inchoun is a rural locality in Chukotsky District of Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, Russia. It is located on the shores of the Chukchi Sea, about west of Uelen. The population of the village as of March 2003 was 373, of which 353 were indigenous peoples...

, Uelen
Uelen
Uelen is a rural locality in the Chukotsky District, just south of the Arctic Circle in Chukotka Autonomous Okrug in the Russian Far East. Population: 776 in 2003, with 595 Chukchi and 72 Yupik. Located near Cape Dezhnev where the Bering Sea meets the Chukchi Sea, it is the easternmost settlement...

 and Cape Dezhnev
Cape Dezhnev
Cape Dezhnyov or Cape Dezhnev is a cape that forms the eastmost mainland point of Eurasia. It is located on the Chukchi Peninsula in the very thinly populated Chukotka Autonomous Okrug of Russia. This cape is located between the Bering Sea and the Chukchi Sea, across from Cape Prince of Wales in...

.

In Alaska
Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

, the rivers flowing into the Chukchi Sea are the Kivalina
Kivalina River
The Kivalina River is a long river in the northwestern part of the U.S. state of Alaska, flowing into Kivalina Lagoon in the Northwest Arctic Borough. It begins in the De Long Mountains and flows southwest through Kivalina Lagoon to the Chukchi Sea. It's Inuit name was spelled "Kuveleek" by...

, the Kobuk
Kobuk River
The Kobuk River is a river located in the Arctic region of northwestern Alaska in the United States. It is approximately long...

, the Kokolik
Kokolik River
The Kokolik River is a river in Alaska's North Slope flowing into the Chukchi Sea.Its Inuit name was reported by Lt. D. H. Jarvis, USRCS, in 1898. A. J. Collier, USGS, reported the name "Kepizetka", probably obtained from the so-called Cullinghow's map of Cape Lisburne, a manuscript map drawn by an...

, the Kukpowruk
Kukpowruk River
The Kukpowruk River is a 160 mile long river in North Slope Borough, Alaska, United States, which flows into the Chukchi Sea. Arctic Slope Regional Corporation is the major landowner along the river....

, the Kukpuk
Kukpuk River
The Kukpuk River is a 12.5 mile long river in the Lisburne Peninsula, in Alaska's North Slope flowing into the Chukchi Sea.On September 6, 1826, Capt...

, the Noatak
Noatak River
The Noatak River is a river in northwestern Alaska. The river's headwaters are on tall Mount Igikpak in the Schwatka Mountains of the Brooks Range in the Gates of the Arctic National Park. The Noatak flows generally westward approximately to the Chukchi Sea at Kotzebue Sound. The river's entire...

, the Utukok
Utukok River
The Utukok River is a long river in the North Slope Borough of the U.S. state of Alaska that flows into the Chukchi Sea.Rising at in the De Long Mountains at the confluence of Kogruk Creek and Tupik Creek and flowing north, northeast, and then northwest, to Kasegaluk Lagoon and the Arctic Ocean, ...

, the Pitmegea
Pitmegea River
The Pitmegea River is a 42 mile long river in North Slope Borough, Alaska, United States. From the source in the De Long Mountains, the river flows northwest to the Chukchi Sea at Cape Sabine, 40 miles northwest of Mount Kelly....

, and the Wulik
Wulik River
The Wulik River or Ulik River is an 90 mile long river in the northeastern part of the U.S. state of Alaska.It heads in the De Long Mountains 5 mi. N of Sheep Mtn., at 682300N 1625400W and flows SW to Kivalina Lagoon in the Chukchi Sea, east of Kivalina, and 42 mi...

, among others. Of rivers flowing in from its Siberian side, the Amguyema
Amguyema River
The Amguyema River is a stream located in Far East Siberia. It into the Chukchi Sea between Cape Schmidt and Cape Vankarem.The Chantalveergyn River is a left-side tributary of the Amguyema....

, Ioniveyem
Ioniveyem River
The Ioniveyem River is a stream located in the Chukotka Peninsula in Far East Siberia. It flows northwards into the Kolyuchinskaya Bay, Chukchi Sea....

, and the Chegitun
Chegitun River
The Chegitun River is a stream located in the Chukotka Peninsula in Far East Siberia. It is the easternmost river flowing into the Chukchi Sea from the Siberian side, which makes it the river of the Eurasian continent that is farthest to the east....

 are the most important.

Extent


The International Hydrographic Organization
International Hydrographic Organization
The International Hydrographic Organization is the inter-governmental organisation representing the hydrographic community. It enjoys observer status at the UN and is the recognised competent authority on hydrographic surveying and nautical charting...

 defines the limits of the "Chuckchi Sea" as follows:


On the West. The Eastern limit of East Siberian Sea
East Siberian Sea
The East Siberian Sea is a marginal sea in the Arctic Ocean. It is located between the Arctic Cape to the north, the coast of Siberia to the south, the New Siberian Islands to the west and Cape Billings, close to Chukotka, and Wrangel Island to the east...

 [From the Northernmost point of Wrangel Island
Wrangel Island
Wrangel Island is an island in the Arctic Ocean, between the Chukchi Sea and East Siberian Sea. Wrangel Island lies astride the 180° meridian. The International Date Line is displaced eastwards at this latitude to avoid the island as well as the Chukchi Peninsula on the Russian mainland...

 through this island to Cape Blossom
Cape Blossom, Alaska
Cape Blossom is a cape located on the Baldwin Peninsula in Alaska which occupies a point that extends southwestwards into Kotzebue Sound, 18 km south of Kotzebue....

 thence to Cape Yakan on the main land (176°40'E)].

On the North. A line from Point Barrow

Point Barrow
Point Barrow or Nuvuk is a headland on the Arctic coast in the U.S. state of Alaska, northeast of Barrow. It is the northernmost point of all the territory of the United States, at...

, Alaska
Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

 (71°20′N 156°20′W) to the Northernmost point of Wrangel Island (179°30'W).

On the South. The Arctic Circle

Arctic Circle
The Arctic Circle is one of the five major circles of latitude that mark maps of the Earth. For Epoch 2011, it is the parallel of latitude that runs north of the Equator....

 [66°33'39"N] between Siberia
Siberia
Siberia is an extensive region constituting almost all of Northern Asia. Comprising the central and eastern portion of the Russian Federation, it was part of the Soviet Union from its beginning, as its predecessor states, the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire, conquered it during the 16th...

 and Alaska. [The northern limit of the Bering Sea
Bering Sea
The Bering Sea is a marginal sea of the Pacific Ocean. It comprises a deep water basin, which then rises through a narrow slope into the shallower water above the continental shelves....

.]


Common usage is that the southern extent is further south at the narrowest part of the Bering Strait
Bering Strait
The Bering Strait , known to natives as Imakpik, is a sea strait between Cape Dezhnev, Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, Russia, the easternmost point of the Asian continent and Cape Prince of Wales, Alaska, USA, the westernmost point of the North American continent, with latitude of about 65°40'N,...

which is on the 66th parallel north
66th parallel north
The 66th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 66 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane, about 61km south of the Arctic Circle. It crosses the Atlantic Ocean, Europe, Asia and North America....

.

History


In 1648 Semyon Dezhnyov sailed from the Kolyma River on the Arctic to the Anadyr River on the Pacific, but his route was not practical and was not used for the next 200 years. In 1728 Vitus Bering
Vitus Bering
Vitus Jonassen Bering Vitus Jonassen Bering Vitus Jonassen Bering (also, less correNavy]], a captain-komandor known among the Russian sailors as Ivan Ivanovich. He is noted for being the first European to discover Alaska and its Aleutian Islands...

 and in 1779 Captain James Cook
James Cook
Captain James Cook, FRS, RN was a British explorer, navigator and cartographer who ultimately rose to the rank of captain in the Royal Navy...

 entered the sea from the Pacific.

On 28 September 1878, during Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld
Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld
Freiherr Nils Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld , also known as A. E. Nordenskioeld was a Finnish baron, geologist, mineralogist and arctic explorer of Finnish-Swedish origin. He was a member of the prominent Finland-Swedish Nordenskiöld family of scientists...

's expedition that made the whole length of the Northeast passage for the first time in history, the steamship Vega got stuck in fast ice in the Chukchi Sea. Since further progress for that year was impossible, the ship was secured in winter quarters. Even so, members of the expedition and the crew were aware only a few miles of ice-blocked sea lay between them and the open waters. The following year, two days after Vega was released, she passed the Bering Strait
Bering Strait
The Bering Strait , known to natives as Imakpik, is a sea strait between Cape Dezhnev, Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, Russia, the easternmost point of the Asian continent and Cape Prince of Wales, Alaska, USA, the westernmost point of the North American continent, with latitude of about 65°40'N,...

 and steamed towards the Pacific Ocean.

In 1913, Karluk
Karluk (ship)
The last voyage of HMCS Karluk, flagship of the Canadian Arctic Expedition,ended with the loss of the ship and the subsequent deaths of nearly half her complement. On her outward voyage in August 1913 Karluk, a brigantine formerly used as a whaler, became trapped in the Arctic ice while sailing to...

, abandoned by expedition leader Vilhjalmur Stefansson
Vilhjalmur Stefansson
Vilhjalmur Stefansson was a Canadian Arctic explorer and ethnologist.-Early life:Stefansson, born William Stephenson, was born at Gimli, Manitoba, Canada, in 1879. His parents had emigrated from Iceland to Manitoba two years earlier...

, drifted in the ice along the northern expanses of the Chukchi Sea and sank, crushed by ice near Herald Island
Herald Island (Arctic)
Herald Island or Gerald Island is a small, isolated Russian island in the Chukchi Sea, to the east of Wrangel Island. It rises in sheer cliffs, making it quite inaccessible, either by ship or by plane. The only sliver of shoreline is at its northwestern point, where the cliffs have crumbled into...

. The survivors made it to Wrangel Island, where they found themselves in a hopeless situation. Then Captain Robert Bartlett walked hundreds of kilometers with Kataktovik, an Inuit
Inuit
The Inuit are a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples inhabiting the Arctic regions of Canada , Denmark , Russia and the United States . Inuit means “the people” in the Inuktitut language...

 man, on the ice of the Chukchi Sea in order to look for help. They reached Cape Vankarem
Cape Vankarem
Cape Vankarem is a cape in the Chukchi Sea on the northern coast of Chukotka between Cape Schmidt to the west and Kolyuchinskaya Bay to the east...

 on the Chukotka coast, on April 15, 1914. Twelve survivors of the ill-fated expedition were found on Wrangel island nine months later by the King & Winge
King & Winge (fishing schooner)
The King & Winge was one of the most famous ships ever built in Seattle, Washington, United States. Built in 1914, in the next 80 years she had participated in a famous Arctic rescue, been present at a great maritime tragedy, and been employed as a halibut schooner, a rum runner, a pilot boat, a...

, a newly-built Arctic fishing schooner.

In 1933, the steamer Chelyuskin
Chelyuskin steamship
SS Chelyuskin was a Soviet steamship reinforced to navigate through polar ice that became ice-bound in Arctic waters during navigation along the Northern Maritime Route from Murmansk to Vladivostok...

 sailed from Murmansk
Murmansk
Murmansk is a city and the administrative center of Murmansk Oblast, Russia. It serves as a seaport and is located in the extreme northwest part of Russia, on the Kola Bay, from the Barents Sea on the northern shore of the Kola Peninsula, not far from Russia's borders with Norway and Finland...

, east bound to attempt a transit of the Northern Sea Route
Northern Sea Route
The Northern Sea Route is a shipping lane officially defined by Russian legislation from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean specifically running along the Russian Arctic coast from Murmansk on the Barents Sea, along Siberia, to the Bering Strait and Far East. The entire route lies in Arctic...

 to the Pacific, in order to demonstrate such a transit could be achieved in one season. The vessel became beset in heavy ice in the Chukchi Sea, and after drifting with the ice for over two months, was crushed and sank on 13 February 1934 near Kolyuchin Island
Kolyuchin Island
Kolyuchin Island or Koliuchin Island is a small island in the Chukchi Sea. It is not far from the coast, being only from the northern shore of the Chukotka Peninsula. Its latitude is 67° 28' N and its longitude 174° 37' E....

. Apart from one fatality, her entire complement of 104 was able to establish a camp on the sea ice. The Soviet government organised an impressive aerial evacuation, under which all were rescued. Captain Vladimir Voronin and expedition leader Otto Schmidt
Otto Schmidt
Otto Yulyevich Schmidt was a Soviet scientist, mathematician, astronomer, geophysicist, statesman, academician, Hero of the USSR , and member of the Communist Party.-Biography:He was born in Mogilev, Russian Empire...

 became heroes.

Following several unsuccessful attempts, the wreck was located on the bed of the Chukchi Sea by a Russian expedition, Chelyuskin-70, in mid-September 2006. Two small components of the ship's superstructure were recovered by divers and were sent to the ship's builders, Burmeister & Wain
MAN B&W Diesel
MAN Diesel SE was a provider of large-bore diesel engines for marine propulsion systems and power plant applications. MAN Diesel employs over 7,700 staff, primarily in Germany, Denmark, France, the Czech Republic, India and China...

 of Copenhagen
Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

, for identification.

In July 2009, a large mass
The blob (Chukchi Sea algae)
The blob is a term used to refer to a large mass of algae that was first spotted floating in the Chukchi Sea between the Alaskan cities of Wainwright and Barrow in July 2009. A notable feature of the mass is its length of at least . The algae is colored black, which is considered to be unusual....

 of organic material was found floating in the sea off the northwest Alaskan coast. Analysis by the U.S. Coast Guard has identified it as a large body of algal bloom
Algal bloom
An algal bloom is a rapid increase or accumulation in the population of algae in an aquatic system. Algal blooms may occur in freshwater as well as marine environments. Typically, only one or a small number of phytoplankton species are involved, and some blooms may be recognized by discoloration...

.

On October 15, 2010, the Russian scientists have opened a floating polar research station in the Chuckchi Sea at the margin of the Arctic Ocean. The name of the station is Severny Polyus-38 and will be home to 15 researchers for a year. They will conduct polar studies and gather scientific evidence ‘to reinforce Russia’s claims to the Arctic.

Fauna


The polar bear
Polar Bear
The polar bear is a bear native largely within the Arctic Circle encompassing the Arctic Ocean, its surrounding seas and surrounding land masses. It is the world's largest land carnivore and also the largest bear, together with the omnivorous Kodiak Bear, which is approximately the same size...

 is found on pack ice of the Chukchi Sea; in fact, the population of polar bears that is found in the sea and its pack ice is one of the five genetic
Genetics
Genetics , a discipline of biology, is the science of genes, heredity, and variation in living organisms....

ally distinct Eurasia
Eurasia
Eurasia is a continent or supercontinent comprising the traditional continents of Europe and Asia ; covering about 52,990,000 km2 or about 10.6% of the Earth's surface located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres...

n populations of this species.

Oil and gas resources


The Chukchi shelf is believed to hold oil and gas reserves as high as 30 Goilbbl. Several oil companies have competed for leases on the area, and on 6 February 2008, the U.S. government announced the successful bidders would pay US$
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

2.6 billion for extraction rights. The auction has drawn some criticism from environmentalists.

See also


  • Continental shelf of Russia
    Continental shelf of Russia
    The continental shelf of Russia is a continental shelf adjacent to Russia. Geologically, the extent of the shelf is defined as the entirety of the continental shelves adjacent to Russia's coast...

  • Seven seas
    Seven Seas
    The phrase "Seven Seas" can refer either to a particular set of seven seas or to a great expanse of water in general. Today in modern times, this also includes the four oceans, and three large seas...

  • The blob (Chukchi Sea algae)
    The blob (Chukchi Sea algae)
    The blob is a term used to refer to a large mass of algae that was first spotted floating in the Chukchi Sea between the Alaskan cities of Wainwright and Barrow in July 2009. A notable feature of the mass is its length of at least . The algae is colored black, which is considered to be unusual....


External links