East Siberian Sea

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Satellite photo of the New Siberian Islands, with the Laptev Sea on the left and part of the East Siberian Sea shown on the right.

The East Siberian Sea is a marginal sea in the Arctic Ocean. It is 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. This sea borders on the Laptev Sea to the west and the Chukchi Sea to the east.

This sea is one of the least studied in the Arctic area. It has severe climate, low water salinity, and little flora, fauna and human population. The depths are shallow (mostly less than 50 meters). There are slow sea currents, low tides (below 25 cm) and frequent fogs, especially in summer. The ice fields only fully melt in August–September. The sea shores were lived on for thousands of years by tribes of Yukaghirs, Chukchi and then Evens and Evenks.

The largest city and port[1] is Pevek, the northernmost city of mainland Russia.[2][3][4][5]

The most important of the rivers flowing into the East Siberian Sea are the Indigirka, the Alazeya, The Ujandina, the Chukochya River, the Kolyma, the Rauchua, the Chaun, and the Pegtymel. Only a few rivers are able to be travelled on.[6] The coastline of the sea is 3,016 km long.[7]

Flora and fauna[change | edit source]

There are few flora and fauna due to the harsh climate. The summer plankton bloom is short. It makes 5 million tonnes of plankton in August and September. The yearly amount is 7 million tonnes.

The sea shores and icefields have ringed seals, bearded seals and walruses along polar bears. Birds include seagulls, uria and cormorants. Sea waters are often visited by bowhead whale, gray whale, beluga and narwhal. Major fish species are grayling and Coregonus (whitefishes), such as muksun, broad whitefish and omul. Also common are polar smelt, saffron cod, polar cod, flounder and arctic char.[8][9]

References[change | edit source]

  1. William Elliott Butler Northeast arctic passage (1978) ISBN 90-286-0498-7, p. 60
  2. Forsaken in Russia's Arctic: 9 Million Stranded Workers, NYTimes, January 6, 1999
  3. From Vancouver to Moscow Expedition, Yakutia Today
  4. History of Pevek, Pevek web portal (in Russian)
  5. Polar bear strays onto Chukotka runway, Valdivistok News, Issue 338 November 22, 2002.
  6. National Geospatial-intelligence Agency Prostar Sailing Directions 2005 North Coast of Russia Enroute ISBN 1-57785-756-9, pp. 137-143
  7. Allan R. Robinson, Kenneth H. Brink The Global Coastal Ocean: Regional Studies and Syntheses, Harvard University Press, 2005 ISBN 0-674-01741-2 pp.775–783
  8. East Siberian Sea, Great Soviet Encyclopedia (in Russian)
  9. Mammals of the East Siberian Sea (in Russian)

Other websites[change | edit source]

Media related to East Siberian Sea at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 72°N 163°E / 72°N 163°E / 72; 163