Being tasked to substantiate outer limit of Russian continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean, the high-latitude expedition Arktika-2012 has successfully finished, said director general of JSC SevMorGeo Mikhail Y. Shkatov on Oct 31 summarizing the expedition results at press conference in the ITAR-TASS press center.
According to Shkatov, two civil vessels, icebreakers Kapitan Dranitsyn and Dickson, and two Russian Navy's special-purpose research submarines took part in the expedition started on Aug 10 and finished on Oct 11, 2012.
Numerous seismic and geologic works were held during the expedition; as a result, it was proved that the Lomonosov Ridge and the Mendeleev Rise belong to Russia's continental shelf.
"Legal confirmation of Russia's rights for continental shelf is a long and multi-step process", said Mikhail Shkatov at the press conference. "We consider the first stage, collection of geologic information, has been successfully accomplished. Then goes consideration of legal issues. Take note, this matter has a political background", he added.
Many organizational and technological solutions, as well as methods of geological and geophysical works in Arctic conditions were applied for the first time. For one, over 21 800 seabed soil samples were taken. Some new equipment was used for the first time as well, e.g. drilling machines, seabed seismic recording systems, deep-sea drilling rigs, etc. For the first time in Russia, digital data was transmitted from one ship to another at a 8-km distance. All works were done at depths of 2,000-3,000 meters. Among important achievements was supply of electricity to the depth exceeding 2,000 meters. According to Mikhail Shkatov, several foreign experts took part in the expedition; they helped researchers to handle advanced imported equipment.
As a result of the expedition, Russia obtained unique data that will eliminate skepticism of the UN continental shelf commission and prepare renewed Russia's application in 2013.