|Russian: Земля Александры|
Location of Alexandra Land in the Franz Josef Archipelago.
|Archipelago||Franz Josef Archipelago|
|Highest elevation||382 m (1,253 ft)|
Alexandra Land (Russian: Земля Александры, Zemlya Aleksandry) is a large island located in Franz Josef Land, Russian Federation. Not counting detached and far-lying Victoria Island, it is the westernmost island of the Franz Josef Archipelago.
The highest point of the island is 382 m (1,253 ft). A sound known as Cambridge Channel (Proliv Kambritch) is located between Alexandra Land and Zemlya Georga.
This island has two capes pointing southwestwards in its southern coast: Cape Lofley and Cape Ludlow. Another cape pointing westwards is called Cape Mary Harmsworth, the westernmost point of the Franz Josef Archipelago proper.
History and ecology
Alexandra Land is named in honor of Grand Duchess Alexandra Pavlovna of Russia (1783-1801), who became Archduchess of Austria upon her marriage to Archduke Joseph of Austria, Palatine of Hungary. Alexandra Land is also home to Nagurskoye military base, Russia's northernmost military base.
Russian navigator Valerian Albanov of the Svyataya Anna reached Cape Mary Harmsworth in Alexandra Land in 1914 after his ordeal on the polar ice. Cape Mary Harmsworth was named after Alfred Harmsworth's wife Mary. Alfred Harmsworth, fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, was the main sponsor of the 1894 Jackson-Harmsworth Polar Expedition to Franz Josef Land.
The polar bear, Ursus maritimus, is found on Alexandra Land. The polar bear population in this region, as the case with other Arctic sub-regions, is genetically distinct from other polar bear sub-populations in differing Arctic sub-regions.
During World War II the Germans established an ill-fated meteorological station on the island, called Schatzgrüber. Most of the members were stricken with trichinosis after eating raw polar bear meat. The survivors were removed and the project abandoned.
Nagurskoye is a Russian base located on the island at , on the site of the former meteorological station. It was named after pioneer pilot Jan Nagórski and has served as one of the most important meteorological stations in the archipelago during the Cold War. This base has a 1,500 m (4,921 ft) snow runway. An Antonov An-72 cargo aircraft crashed while landing at Nagurskoye on 23 December 1996.
- C. Michael Hogan (2008) Polar Bear: Ursus maritimus, Globaltwitcher.com, ed. Nicklas Stromberg
- Dege, Wilhelm (2003). War North of 80: The Last German Arctic Weather Station of World War II. Translated by William Barr. University of Calgary Press. ISBN 1-55238-110-2.
- Valerian Albanov, In the Land of White Death ISBN 9780679783619