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Ushakov Island

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Location of Ushakov island beyond the northernmost limits of the Kara Sea
Ushakov island is practically covered with ice and snow the whole year round

Ushakov Island (Russian: Остров Ушакова, or Ostrov Ushakova) is an isolated island located in the Arctic Ocean, midway between Franz Josef Land and Severnaya Zemlya, at the northern limit of the Kara Sea. Its latitude is 80° 48' N and its longitude 79° 29' E.

This island is desolate and subject to severe Arctic storms. It is close to the limit of permanent ice. Its total area is 328 square kilometres (127 square miles). Forty-five percent of its surface is covered by glaciers and its highest altitude is 294 metres (965 feet). The closest land is lonely Vize Island 140 kilometres (87 miles) further south.

Owing to its extreme northerly location the sea surrounding Ushakov Island is covered with pack ice in the winter and it is full of ice floes even in the short summer.

Ushakov Island is the only place at sea level in the whole Northern Hemisphere where temperature has never reached 10 °C (50 °F).


This island was the last piece of undiscovered territory in the Soviet Arctic. It was finally discovered in 1935 when the few remaining unexplored areas in the northern Kara Sea were examined by Soviet icebreaker operations to study the sea and ice. The expedition was led by Georgiy Alekseevich Ushakov aboard Icebreaker Sadko. The elusive island was subsequently named after this polar explorer, cartographer and oceanographer.

The first wintering in Ushakov Island was undertaken in 1954–55 and a polar station was established in 1954.

Ushakov Island belongs to the Krasnoyarsk Krai administrative division of the Russian Federation.

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Coordinates: 80°48′N 79°29′E / 80.800°N 79.483°E / 80.800; 79.483