For the first time, as part of the Arctic-2014 high-latitude expedition, nuclear icebreakers 'Akademik Fedorov' and 'Yamal' have conducted an entire complex of geophysical research at the North Pole, according to official Russian news agency Arctic-info.
Yamal and Akademik Fedorov icebreakers passed the area of the North Pole, where multipath depth sounding, gravity, magnetometric and seismic surveys were carried out. The vessels are now traveling to the West, and then they will come go down a little and will move to a different profile.
The main purpose of the expedition is assessment of the hydrocarbon potential of the Russian shelf outside the 200-mile zone. Also, the objective remains to collect data to establish the continental nature of the Mendeleev and Lomonosov Ridges, which will form the basis of Russia's claims to the UN Commission about the borders of the continental shelf.
"The fact that we have undertaken geophysical work at the North Pole that we never managed to do with such equipment is already a success," said Gennady Kazanin, Director General of OJSC Morskaya Arkticheskaya geologicheskaya Ekspeditsiya. "Sailing the research ship with that amount of scientific equipment was an almost impossible task. And now we have succeeded."
Under international law, the North Pole and the adjoining region of the Arctic Ocean do not belong to any one country. Canada, Denmark, Norway, Russia and the United States have a 200 mile exclusive economic zone off their coasts.
If Russia proves that Mendeleev and Lomonosov ridges are a geological extension of the Russian continental shelf, then it will be able to obtain the right to explore for hydrocarbons in the triangle of the Chukotka-Murmansk-North Pole region with an area of 1.2 million km².