East Siberian Sea: Description, Resources and Problems
Already from the name of this natural reservoir it is clear that it is located on the northern coast of Eastern Siberia. The boundaries of the sea are mainly represented by conventional lines. Only in some parts it is limited to land. Earlier, before the beginning of the 20th century, the sea had several names, including the Indigirskoye and Kolymskoye. Now it is called East Siberian.
After reading the article, you can find out more detailed information about this reservoir: characteristics, climatic conditions. It also describes the resources of the East Siberian Sea and the problems existing today.
All the sea is beyond the Arctic Circle. Its southernmost point is located on the shore of the Chaun Bay. All its shores belong to the territory of Russia. The sea is located in the region of the Arctic Ocean. This is a place where the influence of the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean is almost not felt, and the Pacific is not yet reached.
The East Siberian Sea is marginal. The Novosibirsk Islands (border with the Laptev Sea), Aion, Bear and Shalaurova are located in it. The sea itself is located between the islands of Novosibirsk and Wrangel Island. Straits it connects with the Chukchi and the Laptev Sea.
Description and characteristics
In the central and western part of the coast there are slopes, and there are two lowlands adjacent to the coast: the Lower Kolyma and Yano-Indigirka. The spurs of the Chukotka Highlands approach the coast of the eastern part (east of the Kolyma estuary). Rocky cliffs were formed here and there. On Wrangel Island, on its west coast, they reach up to 400 meters in height. In the area of the New Siberian Islands, the coastline is monotonous and low. The sea bed is formed by a shelf whose topography is mostly flat and tilted slightly in the northeast direction.
Deeper places are characteristic of the eastern region. The sea here has a depth of up to 54 meters, in the central and western parts - up to 20 meters, and in the northern regions - up to 200 meters (isobath is the border of the sea). The largest depth of the East Siberian Sea is about 915 meters, and the average is 54 meters.In other words, this body of water is completely within the continental shelf.
The surface area is 944,600 square meters. km The waters of the sea are connected with the waters of the Arctic Ocean, in connection with this the reservoir belongs to the type of marginal continental seas. The volume is about 49 thousand cubic meters. km Almost all year round, the air temperature is below zero, so the sea is always covered with drifting large ice floes several meters thick.
The East Siberian Sea in the eastern and western parts has different salinity values. Due to the river flow in the eastern part there is a decrease in salt concentration. This figure is about 10-15 ppm. At the confluence of large rivers with the sea, salinity almost disappears. Closer to the ice fields, the concentration increases to 30 units. There is also an increase in salinity with depth, where it can reach 32 ppm.
The coastline has large bends. In connection with this, the sea in some places moves the boundaries of the land deep into the mainland, and in some places, on the contrary, the land runs far into the sea. There are areas with an almost flat line of shore.Small convolutions are mainly observed at river mouths.
The east and west coasts have very different terrain. The coast, washed by the sea from the mouth of the Kolyma to the New Siberian Islands, has a practically monotonous landscape. The pond in these places is bordered by marshy tundra. The shores are flat and low.
A more diverse landscape is observed on the coast formed east of the Kalyma River, but mountains here predominate. The sea to the island of Aion is bordered by small hills, some of which have fairly steep slopes. For the area of the Chaun Bay is characterized by low steep banks.
A large portion of the seabed is covered with a small sedimentary cover. Islands in the East Siberian Sea are few. Most of them are formed by the foundation. According to the results of research (aeromagnetic surveys), it is determined that the composition of the sediments of the shelf mainly includes silt sand, pebbles and boulders fragmented. There are suggestions that some of them are fragments of islands. They are spread throughout the ice. To a greater extent, due to the predominance of flat terrain, the depth of the East Siberian Sea is only 20-25 meters.
Almost all year the reservoir is covered with ice. In the eastern parts even in summer you can see perennial floating ice. From the coast, they are driven away by continental winds to the north. Ice is drifting in a northwesterly direction due to the circulation of water, which is affected by anticyclones at the North Pole.
The region of cyclonic circulation increases, and perennial ice floes from the polar latitudes enter the sea after the anticyclone is weakened. To date, the current system in this reservoir has not been fully studied. But it can be stated with confidence that the cyclonic character is characteristic of the water circulation of these places.
This water body is characterized, in comparison with other representatives of the Arctic Ocean basin, by a not very high river flow. Rivers of the East Siberian Sea are few. The largest river flowing into the sea is the Kolyma. Its stock is approximately 132 cubic meters. km per year. The second in terms of this characteristic is the Indigirka River, which in the same period brings twice the volume of water. All this affects the general hydrological situation only slightly.
The average annual rainfall is from 100 to 200 mm.Due to the lack of troughs in the sea with great depths and due to the fact that a considerable area is represented by shallow water, surface waters occupy huge spaces.
In winter, the East-Siberian Sea is influenced by southerly and southwesterly winds. Their speed is about 7 meters per second. Also in winter, the Siberian maximum has a great influence on the sea climate. Pacific cyclones prevailing in the southeastern parts of the sea bring snowstorms, strong winds and rather cloudy weather with constantly drizzling rain or sleet.
Flora and fauna
The fauna and flora of the East Siberian Sea are similar to the fauna and flora of the neighboring Laptev Sea, since both of them are typically Arctic. The same mammals and birds, the same fish as in many other northern seas. They are inhabited by seals, narwhals, sea hares and walruses. Polar bears inhabited the island. These places were chosen by a great number of nesting birds. Here you can meet geese: white-fronted and bean goose. Also inhabited by eider comb and a rather rare black goose. Large bird markets gather: moevki, gulls, murres.
Only local residents are engaged in catching sea animals and fishing in coastal waters. It should be noted that in the areas of river estuaries here you can find large shoals of white fish. Phytoplankton of the sea is represented by blue-green and diatom algae. Sometimes pteropods and tunicates appear. The soil is replete with polychaetes, amphipod crustaceans and isopods. The mammals are beluga whales, seals, walruses and cetaceans (especially whales).
The resources of the East Siberian Sea in terms of flora and fauna are relatively poor. This is due primarily to the rather harsh climate conditions. Only the most frost-resistant representatives took root in these places.
In conclusion about the problems
The problems of the East Siberian Sea are similar to the problems of most northern seas. For several years, the biological resources of the region, especially whales, were destroyed. To date, this has led to a significant reduction in the number of these mammals, as well as the extinction of some species.
A global problem is the melting of glaciers, which adversely affects the local fauna.Mention should also be made of the results of human activity (the development of hydrocarbon deposits), which adversely affected the state of the reservoir.