Franz Josef Land - Geography

Geography

The archipelago is volcanic, composed of Tertiary and Jurassic basalts, and though covered mostly by ice it does have outcrops covered with moss. The northeastern part of the archipelago is locked in pack ice most of the year round; however the ice sometimes retreats north past the islands in summer (September). The northernmost point in the archipelago, and in the entirety of Europe, is Mys Fligely (Fligely Point), on Ostrov Rudol'fa (Rudolf Island), which reaches as far north as 81°52'N. The largest island is Zemlya Georga (George Land) which measures 110 km (68 mi) from end to end. The highest point in the archipelago is on Ostrov Viner-Neyshtadt (Wiener Neustadt Island) which reaches 620 m (2,034 ft) above sea level. The basalts of the Franz Josef Islands are part of the High Arctic Large Igneous Province. The central cluster of large islands in the midst of the archipelago forms a compact whole, known as Zichy Land, where islands are separated from each other by very narrow sounds that are frozen most of the year.

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