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BARENTS SEA, July 12. /TASS/. The route of the Arctic floating university on board the Professor Molchanov scientific vessel was changed due to the complicated ice situation in the Barents Sea. The vessel, passing Novaya Zemlya, will head for the western part of the Franz-Joseph Land, TASS correspondent said on Tuesday.
"We had to change the route because of the complicated ice situation between the Zhelaniya Cape, north of Novaya Zemlya, and the Franz-Joseph Land, which threatened the planned works on taking water tests at certain designated points," the expedition's head Konstantin Zaikov told TASS. "Tomorrow we shall get to the Russkaya Bay of Novaya Zemlya, from where we shall head for the Salma Island."
In three days, the vessel will reach Alexandra Land - the westernmost island of Franz-Joseph Land. Thus, the route would continue in the reverse: from the western and south-western parts of the archipelago to its northern and eastern parts. All the hydrology research from Franz-Joseph Land to the Zhelaniye Cape will be made on the way back, like the work on the Oran Islands and Novaya Zemlya.
The expedition members will make research in meteorology, hydrochemistry, geology, and will study flora and fauna of the sea and shore, as well as will take soil tests. The expedition features 58 people, where 30 are students of Russian and foreign universities.
The floating university left the mainland on Saturday, July 8.