Nenets 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 Nenets Autonomous Okrug roughly comprises the tundra areas from the Kanin Peninsula in the West and the Ural Mountains and the Yugorskiy Peninsula (northern extension of the Urals) in the East. It is bound by the Arkhangelsk Region (with which it is administratively associated) and the Komi Republic to the south, and by the Yamal-Nenets Aut. Okrug to the east. The landscape is mostly flat, mostly below 200 m.a.s.l., with numerous swamps and lakes all over. Hilly areas occur in the Timan and Pay Khoy ridges (up to 460 m). The vast tundra area between this ridges is known by the name “Bolshezemelskaya Tundra”. The major drainage channel is the Pechora River, which runs into the sea near the okrug capital Naryan-Mar. The Bolshezemelskaya Tundra and the adjacent offshore areas are one of the richest oil and gas provinces of the Russian North, the Timan-Pechora Province. The arctic islands Kolguyev and Vaygach belong to the okrug.

The vegetation zone is mainly barren tundra, reaching into the forest tundra belt (open birch and spruce vegetation). The okrug has a subarctic-maritime climate and is entirely situated within the permafrost zone, except for the transitional Kanin-Timan area with temporary permafrost (see Map 1.4). The frost-free period is 2-3 months, decreasing from west to east. Winter ice covers the entire coast (ca. January-June), and periodically much of the open sea between the Kanin Peninsula and southern Novaya Zemlya. Average temperatures are -10° (west) to -20°C (east) in January, and +8° (north) to +14°C (south) in July.