Northern Fleet exploring Arctic seabed

Russian Navy vessels, among them the "Vizir", engage in studies of the Arctic shelf.

Two military research vessels are taking a closer look at Russia’s northernmost underwater geology.

The ”Vizir”, a Northern Fleet vessel, is currently conducting research operations around the far northern islands of Vize, Uzhakov, Shmit and the archipelago of Northern Island (Severnaya Zemlya), Navy representative Vadim Serga says to RIA Novosti.

”The expedition is conducting a task of vital national importance – the determination of the geographical lines of extension of the territorial waters, the economic zone and the continental shelf in the area”, Serga underlines.

The expedition is the first ever of its kind conducted by the Russian Navy. It will last until mid-October.

Among the key operations to be done are studies of the sea bottom with advanced technology, including multibeam acoustic measurement, RIA Novosti writes.

The ”Vizir” headed out at sea at the same time as the ”Senezh”, another Navy vessel, is conducting similar studies in the areas of the Franz Josef Land and the Novaya Zemlya. Only in the Franz Josef Land waters, the ship personnel has takes up to 3000 pictures of the sea bottom in the area, the Russian Navy informs in a press release.

The “Senezh” is collecting underwater data from the Novaya Zemlya and Franz Josef Land areas. Photo:

The studies will be used primarily to improve navigation maps in the area, but also for purposes of geodetic, hydrographic and magnetometic importance, the Navy says.

An expedition in 2013 revealed that a number of ”white spots”, areas without navigation data, around the archipelago.

As previously reported, Russia on 3rd August this year submitted its claims for additional territories in the Arctic. The claim includes both the Mendeleev and Lomonosov Ridges, two major structures beneath the Arctic Ocean.