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The Results of the Research Expeditions

Biology of the Ocean

Biological research made up a major part of the expeditions on the Vityaz. It was carried out along with research in other scientific fields and fell into the three main categories:

- Far Eastern sea exploration;

- Work in open ocean: in the central areas of the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean;

- Exploration of trenches (18 trenches of the 28 were explored by the Vityaz).

Large zoological collections were compiled during 30 of the expeditions of the Vityaz. As a result, more than 1 100 previously unknown species were documented, including a completely new type - the siboglinidae.

As a result of long-term exploration, the concept of how flora and fauna, ecology and distribution of mass species and economic usage opportunities of marketable resources was significantly supplemented and changed.

The Vityaz’s contribution to the study of life, particularly in the deep-water areas, received international recognition. This scientific pioneer is immortalized in the name of the genus Vitiaziella Rass and eight fish species. It will always remain a part of the history of marine biology.

Physics, chemistry and geology of the Ocean

Hydrologists, hydrophysicists and hydrochemists used to work in the fore part of the ship, where they exploredt the subject of water mass. Geologists’ cabins were at the starboard, where they studied the bottom of the sea. New equipment for deep sea research was invented and tested by engineers on board the Vityaz.

Results of Water Mass Exploration:

- water mass was studied;

- maps of water circulation were made;

- the water cycle between the Sea of Japan, Okhotsk and the Bering Sea with the Pacific Ocean was charted;

- materials on water mass of the Pacific Ocean were summarized for the first time, etc;

Results of the Ocean Bottom Exploration:

- The Kurile-Kamchatka Trench, one of the deepest trenches on the Earth, was discovered. Its length is approximately 3 000 km and depth is up to 10 km;

- Geological mapping of the Far Eastern seas was completed. It created an opportunity to discover phosphorite deposits in the Sea of Japan, copper and zinc sulphide deposits in the Bering Sea and to prove the Sea of Okhotsk to be oil-and-gas bearing.

- The mid-ocean ridges, seamounts, reef areas and deepest trenches of the Pacific and the Indian Oceans were discovered.

- The Mariana Trench was measured by the Vityaz (11 022 m) — the maximum depth of the World Ocean;

- Unique collections of rocks and minerals were compiled. Their study proved that the granitic layer does not exist in the ocean and that it is rich in basalts and peridotites. Moreover, it has been discovered that the sea bottom is a large volcanic province.

Meteorology

Meteorology is a science about atmosphere and atmospheric phenomena. It was a compulsory element of the expeditions. Meteorological research was aimed at exploration of the interaction between the ocean and the atmosphere. For the first time, meteorologists of the Vityaz got an opportunity to study atmospheric phenomena at all latitudes, from the Equator to the polar ice caps, and conduct comprehensive research. The experience of the 65 expeditions of the Vityaz developed into sea meteorology, a science about atmospheric processes above the ocean. The theory of interaction between the ocean and atmosphere was significantly advanced as well.

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