LaRonciere Island - Franz Josef Land


Opens internal link in current windowOverview Franz Josef Land


General, landscape: LaRonciere Island on the east side of northern Austria Channel covers an area of 478 km², has a rounded shape and is mostly covered by its central ice cap, out of which only Cape Frick (now: Cape Pogatyi, to the west) and Cape Hitt (to northeast) protrude as the only relevant ice-free land parts. Otherwise, the central ice cap covers the hidden land under it completely, partly descending gently to the sea, partly terminating in higher ice fronts which rise right from the sea, while the highest elevation in the middle is about 430 m above sea level.
The low, hilly icefree zones of the two capes (maximal heights here up to about 60 m) carry a local sparse tundra vegetation in some places. Some clear polygone permafrost structures.

History, name: Payer mistook the island as a peninsula of neighbouring  Opens internal link in current windowWilczek Land on the sledge tour from the TEGETTHOFF to the North in spring 1874 and called it after the french officer La Ronciere Le Noury, who had both good relations to the austro-hungarian emperor´s court and who was engaged in geographic research.
It was Baldwin (then as second-in-command of the Wellman North Pole Expedition of 1898/99), who on the return from a sledge voyage to the East (discovering  Opens internal link in current windowGraham Bell Island) realised that LaRonciere is a separate island, which he named Whitney Island. This name is also still found on the map of Fiala in 1905, but was later replaced again in favour of the original name LaRonciere given by Payer.
The island is hardly ever visited.


LaRonciere from west. The icecap, covering most of the island, extends almost over the full width of the picture and disappears in the thin cloud layer, which is frequently caused by the cooling of the air by large ice areas. In front of it, as thin dark lines above the sea, the ice-free low areas of Cape Frick are discernable.

Last Modification: 14.11.2012