Chukotkan Autonomous Okrug

Physical geography and climate
Population, economic development and infrastructure
Indigenous land use and dependence on the environment
Environmental threats
Map (1997)
Article collection

Physical geography and climate

The Chukotkan Autonomous Okrug, since 1993 directly placed under administration of the Russian Federation (i.e. excluded from the Magadan Region), consists of the north-eastern corner of Siberia, or the extreme north of the Russian Far East, including the Chukotka Peninsula. It is bordered by the East Siberian and Chukchi seas to the north and the Bering Sea to the west. It is only 80 km across the shallow Bering Strait from Alaska , or 75 km from St. Lawrence Island (Alaskan). The okrug is bound by the Sakha Republic to the west and by the Koryak Autonomous Okrug and the Magadan Region to the south. Most of the landscape is mountainous and rises to elevations between 1000 and 2000 m. Flat lowland areas occur around the lower and middle parts of the Anadyr River and around Chaunskaya Guba. The arctic Wrangel Island is part of the okrug.

Most of the area is barren tundra, except for some spots of forest tundra and taiga in the east ( Kolyma , Bolsh. and Mal. Anyuy rivers) with larch, and in the south ( Anadyr Basin ) with cedar scrub vegetation. The okrug has an arctic- to subarctic-maritime climate and is almost entirely situated with­in the zone of continuous permafrost. The frost-free period is ca. 1-1.5 months in the northern and central areas, but up to over 3 months in the Anadyr Basin and along the eastern coast south of the Bering Strait. Winter ice covers the entire coast (October-June in the north), and the open sea to the north has sea ice during most of the year. Average temperatures are -12° (south-west­ern coast) to -36°C (central eastern interior) in January, and +4° ( Chukotka Range , northern coast) to +12° ( Anadyr Basin ) in July. The minimum temperature measured in Anadyr in January is -51°C.