Eva-Liv (Yeva-Liv) Island (Hvidtenland) - Franz-Josef-Land


Öffnet einen internen Link im aktuellen Fenster Overview Franz Josef Land, map

General, landscape: The double Island in the northeast of the archipelago, measuring maximally (east-west) ca. 28 km with an area of ca. 290 km², is covered almost completely by two ice caps (Vostok 3 and Vostok 4). Maximal elevation about 300 m. On the northern side, the retreat of the glaciers has resulted in the separation of the small Metsyateva Island and it can be assumed that a further melting of the ice caps will show that Eva and Liv are in reality two islands, curently united only by an ice bridge of the joining two ice caps.
The only somewhat larger ice-free area is a pointed flat cape on the west side, almost free of vegetation, and some rocks off the shore in the sea.
Geologically, Eva-Liv (together with Öffnet einen internen Link im aktuellen FensterHoffmann Island and Öffnet einen internen Link im aktuellen FensterRainer Island) is one of the few places of the archipelago (restricted to the northeast), where rocks of middle and early Trias are at the surface.



The only ice-free area worth mentioning, is a pointed flat cape on the west side.

History: Nansen and Johansen, on their way back to civilisation after their futile attempt to reach the North Pole from the drifting FRAM, sighted the double island in August 1895 as their first view of Franz-Josef-Land. Compared to today, the ice cap of the double island was probably even more extensive, thus covering at that time most of the little pieces of land visible nowadays. Having no clock for defining their longitude and as the only maps of that area at that time were those of Payer, which showed a lot of non-existing land in this region, they had no idea, where this unknown ice-covered double island was, which they named Hvidtenland (White Land) in its totality, and Eva-Liv - the names of Nansens wife Eva and their first daughter, Liv. They passed it on its northern side, continueing further into the archipelago, finally wintering on Öffnet einen internen Link im aktuellen FensterJackson Island.
Apart from this episode, the island has no further special relevance in the history of the archipelago and was rarely visited by expeditions, as in 2006 by some Russian scientists.

Tourism: Eva-Liv plays no role in tourism - for two reasons: first, the island offers neither any historic sites, nor particularly spectacular scenery on land. And second, the sea around it is shallow and poorly charted, which requires a careful and time-absorbing slow approach even under good ice conditions (which are rare in this region). Apart from its connection to the Nansen and Johansen episode (which left no visible traces on the island and the ice on which they may have stepped has changed since then), there is little to see due to the almost complete coverage by the smooth ice caps with very little solid ground peeking out from under it. From the only ice-free small peninsula in the west - flat and partly boggy - the icecap rises smoothly and unspectacular. 
The last visitors were probably the two professional adventurers Børge Oustland and Thomas Ulrich, who in 2007 re-enacted the tour of Nansen and Johansen, reaching also Eva-Liv on their course as the first land after about 1000 km across the North Pole ice and spending one night on a small patch of land at the shore.

Last Modification: 24.04.2011