The Ringnes Islands

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Ellef and Amund Ringnes islands are separated by Hassel Sound and lie west of Axel Heiberg Island. They are desolate, remote islands, with only a weather monitoring station at Isachson, on Ellef Ringnes Island, as the only human settlement. The Ringnes Islands both have low relief and rivers that drain their interiors, becoming braided at the low coasts.

Ellef Ringnes Island is the larger, western island. Lowlands stretch to the north and south, while a plateau rises in its center. This 240-m high plateau is formed by dark volcanic rock and is dissected by wide river valleys. In the north, the relief is about 60 metres above sea level, ending in sand flats along the northern coast. South of the plateau, the topography is similar to the north, but higher at 120 metres above sea level.

Four piercement domes – large rounded landmasses that jut out of the ground – are the main landmarks of the area. They were formed as an upward thrust of the surface by an underground mass. These domes are composed of gypsum and allied rocks, and are surrounded by concentric rings of sediment.

Amund Rignes Island consists almost entirely of lowlands. It has only two formations of raised relief in the north: a piercement dome and a series of ridges.