The Siberian Shelf

The Siberian continental shelf

The continental shelf off of the coast of Siberia is the widest continental shelf in the world, extending 1,200 kilometres offshore. This shelf is very shallow, with an average depth of only 100 metres, and from it arises many islands including Wrangel Island, Novaya Zemlya, and the New Siberian Islands. The Siberian shelf is characterized by near-shore sand bars and ice gouges. Despite its shallowness, little is known about the topology of most of this vast shelf, but the floor of its encompassing seas; the Kara, Laptev and East Siberian Seas, are marked by deep canyons and ridges, likely formed by current erosion.