Harley (Остров Харли, Kharly) and Levanevskiy (Остров Леваневского, Neale) Islands, Franz Josef Land

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General, scenery: Two long, slim and low rocky islands with locally sparse tundra vegetation, situated in the northern part of the Britannia Channel, about 25 km west of Jackson Island.
Harley Island is about 11 km long and maximally ca. 2 km wide, covered in its mid-part by a small ice cap, which reaches up to 75 m above sea level, whereas the ice-free parts are only up to about 35 m high.
South of Harley, the much smaller, also low but ice-Levanevsky Island (Levanevskogo Island) is situated, only about 2 km long and maximally ca. half a kilometer wide, highest point about 20 m above sea level.

History and names: In spring 1895, the british Jackson-Harmsworth expedition reached by sledge as its northernmost point of that year the west of Jackson Island, from where it could see and subsequently name the two islands in the distance as Geo Harley Island and William Neale Island.
Dr. George Harley, british doctor and scientist, was acquainted with Jackson and Jackson noted in his reports that he named the island after him. Therefore, the occasionally found explanation, that the name goes back to the polar researcher Daniel W. Harley, is hard to accept, especially as also Jackson´s map shows "Geo Harley" and not "Dan Harley". Due to double transscription to russian cyrillic letters and back to latin alphabet without knowing the original name, also the spelling "Kharly Island" appears.
Dr. William Neale was participant of the 1880 Leigh-Smith Expedition to Franz Josef Land. The island was renamed in soviet times after the russian aviator Sigizmund Levanevsky, who disappeared on a North Pole flight attempt in 1937.
In the history of Franz Josef Land, both islands play no special role.


Mid-part of Harley Island with its low icecap, seen from east.
Much smaller Levanevsky Island, also depicted from east.

Last Modification: 22.11.2011