Severnaya Zemlya in August 2020


Last week there were a few days of exceptionally good weather in parts of the Russian arctic and this allowed me to assemble a cloud free satellite image mosaic of Severnaya Zemlya – an archipelago i have featured here on the blog in the past – including a map which to this date remains the most accurate one of the islands available.

Severnaya Zemlya in August 2020

Clear views of the islands in summer are rare so the mid August window in this year has been the best opportunity for clear images for at least the last five years. The situation is also unusual in a different way. As you can see the Laptev Sea to the east of the islands is almost free of ice while there remains a significant amount of drift ice to the west on the Kara Sea. Historically in most years this is the other way round – the eastern coast of Severnaya Zemlya has in many years been enclosed by dense sea ice for most of the summer.

This image mosaic can be used to supplement the timeline of images of the Matusevich Ice Shelf and the Vavilov Ice Cap i have shown here before.

Matusevich Ice Shelf 2020

Vavilov Ice Cap 2020

Some more detail crops from the mosaic – which you can as usual find on

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