Kane Island (Ostrov Keyna) - Franz Josef Land

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General, landscape: With a bit more than 20 km², Kane Island ranks among the smaller isles of the archipelago and only a minor part is glaciated, hghest elevation 280 m. The scenery is dominated by some plateau mountains with an erosion resisting magmatic layer on top and partly also a second magmatic layer visible further down, structuring the slopes with their hard edges. 

Biology, wildlife: Kane Island is partly covered by a sparse tundra vegetation, but mostly only mosses and lichens. A more productive plantlife is found locally under some bird cliffs. Breeding colonies are namely at Cape Hellwald, with smaller numbers also elsewhere like at Cape Easter. Mainly Alle alle and Cepphus grylle, also some Larus hyperboreus.

History: Kane Island was discovered during the advance of Payer´s sledge group from the TEGETTHOFF to the north of Franz Josef Land in spring 1874, where Cape Easter was visited and Payer climbed also Cape Hellwald for overview and mapping purposes on April 17th. The next visit of the island happened during the 1903-05 Fiala Ziegler expedition, including a more precise mapping. Since then, it played no special role in the history of the archipelago.

Names: The island itself was named by the TEGETTHOFF expedition in 1874 after the american polar pioneer Elisha Kent Kane. Due to double transsription (see  names confusion), also the spelling "Keyna" is found on some newer western maps. Also the names Cape Hellwald (easternmost promontory) and Oster Kap (Cape Easter, southernmost point) were given by the TEGETTHOFF expedition.


Aerial photo:

View from southeast onto Kane Island with Cape Easter in the foreground. Behind to the right the flatter Kuhn Island with the dark small rock island of Brosch in front of it. To the left in the upper part of the Picture: Payer Island, and in the background first the mostly glaciated east of Jackson Island and in the far distance in the middle of the horizon Karl-Alexander Island.

Last Modification: 24.04.2011