Continental shelf of Russia

Continental shelf of Russia


The continental shelf of Russia (also called the Russian continental shelf or the Arctic shelf in the Arctic region) is a continental shelf adjacent to Russia. Geologically, the extent of the shelf is defined as the entirety of the continental shelves adjacent to Russia's coast. In international law, however, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea more narrowly defines the extent of the shelf as the seabed and subsoil of the submarine areas over which a state exercises sovereign rights.

The Siberian Shelf in the Arctic Ocean is the largest (and least explored) of the Russian shelves, a region of strategic importance because of its oil and natural gas reserves.[1] Other parts of the Russian shelf are typically named after the corresponding seas: Barents Shelf (Barents Sea Shelf), Chukchi Shelf (Chukchi Sea Shelf), etc. With the exception of internal Russian seas, these geological shelves are shared with other countries which share the corresponding seas. For example, the Chukchi Shelf is shared between Russia and the United States according to the 1990 USA-USSR maritime boundary.

2001 extension claim

On December 20, 2001, Russia made an official submission into the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (article 76, paragraph 8). In the document it is proposed to establish new outer limits of the continental shelf of Russia beyond the previous 200 mile zone (370 km), but within the Russian Arctic sector.[2] The territory claimed by Russia in the submission is a large portion of the Arctic within Russia's sector and extending to the North Pole.[3] One of the arguments was a statement that eastern portion of the Lomonosov Ridge, an underwater mountain ridge extending across the polar basin, and the Mendeleev Ridge are extensions of the Eurasian continent. In 2002, the UN Commission requested that Russia submit additional scientific evidence in support of its claim.

Additional research

Additional research for the Russian claim is planned over 2007–2008 as part of the Russian program for the International Polar Year. The program will investigate the structure and evolution of the Earth's crust in the Arctic regions neighbouring Eurasia, such as the regions of Mendeleev Ridge, Alpha Ridge, and Lomonosov Ridge, to discover whether they are linked with the Siberian shelf. Major means of research are the Akademik Fedorov research ship, the Russia nuclear icebreaker with two helicopters and geological probe devices, and Il-18 aircraft with gravimetric devices.[4][5]

In June 2007, a group of 50 Russian scientists returned from a six-week expedition on the Russia with the news that the Lomonosov Ridge was linked to Russian Federation territory, supporting Russia's claim over the oil-and-gas rich triangle.[6] The territory contained 10 billion tonnes of gas and oil deposits, the scientists said.[7] Former Russian President Vladimir Putin then used this information to restate the 2001 Russian claim.[8]

On August 2, 2007, Russian explorers in a submersible planted the national flag on the seabed below the North Pole in symbolic support of the 2001 claim. A mechanical arm dropped a specially made rust-proof titanium flag onto the Arctic seabed at a depth of 4,261 metres (13,980 ft).[9]

International response

In response to Russia's planting the national flag on the seabed over the North Pole, Canadian Foreign Minister Peter MacKay stated, "This isn't the 15th century. You can't go around the world and just plant flags and say 'We're claiming this territory'". In response to these words the Foreign Minister of Russia Sergei Lavrov said: "I was amazed by my Canadian counterpart's statement that we are planting flags around. We’re not throwing flags around. We just do what other discoverers did. The purpose of the expedition is not to stake whatever rights of Russia, but to prove that our shelf extends to the North Pole".[10]

Research results

In mid-September 2007, Russia's Natural Resources Ministry issued a statement:

Preliminary results of an analysis of the earth crust model examined by the Arktika 2007 expedition, obtained on September 20, have confirmed that the crust structure of the Lomonosov Ridge corresponds to the world analogues of the continental crust, and it is therefore part of the Russian Federation's adjacent continental shelf.[11]

See also


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Continental - получить на Академике действующий промокод Евродиски или выгодно continental купить со скидкой на распродаже в Евродиски

  • Continental shelf — Marine habitats Anatomy of a continental shelf off the south eastern coast of the United States Littoral zone Intertidal zone …   Wikipedia

  • Russia — This article is about the current country. For other uses, see Russia (disambiguation). Russian Federation Российская Федерация Rossiyskaya Federatsiya …   Wikipedia

  • Russia — /rush euh/, n. 1. Also called Russian Empire. Russian, Rossiya. a former empire in E Europe and N and W Asia: overthrown by the Russian Revolution 1917. Cap.: St. Petersburg (1703 1917). 2. See Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. 3. See Russian… …   Universalium

  • Russia — <p></p> <p></p> Introduction ::Russia <p></p> Background: <p></p> Founded in the 12th century, the Principality of Muscovy, was able to emerge from over 200 years of Mongol domination (13th 15th… …   The World Factbook

  • Chukchi Sea Shelf — The Chukchi Sea Shelf or Chukchi Shelf is the easternmost part of the Continental shelf of Russia and the westernmost part of the Continental shelf of the United States. Geologically, it includes parts of the continental shelves adjacent to… …   Wikipedia

  • Siberian Shelf — The Siberian Shelf, one of the Arctic shelves, is the largest continental shelf of the Earth, a part of the continental shelf of Russia. It extends from the continent of Eurasia in the general area of North Siberia (hence the name) into the… …   Wikipedia

  • Economy of Russia — Russia is a unique emerging market, in the sense that being the nucleus of a former superpower shows more anomalies. On one hand, its exports are primarily resource based, and on the other, it has a pool of technical talent in aerospace, nuclear… …   Wikipedia

  • Energy policy of Russia — The Energy policy of Russia is contained in an Energy Strategy document, which sets out policy for the period up to 2020. In 2000, the Russian government approved the main provisions of the Russian energy strategy to 2020, and in 2003 the new… …   Wikipedia

  • Geography of Russia — The Russian Federation stretches across much of the north of the super continent of Eurasia. Because of its size, Russia displays both monotony and diversity. As with its topography, its climates, vegetation, and soils span vast distances.cite… …   Wikipedia

  • List of ecoregions in Russia — The following is a list of ecoregions in Russia, according to the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF):TerrestrialTemperate broadleaf and mixed forests*Caucasus mixed forests (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Russia, Turkey) *Crimean Submediterranean… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”