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Encyclopedia > Geography of Svalbard
MODIS satellite photo of Svalbard, courtesy NASA

Location: Northern Europe, islands between the Arctic Ocean, Barents Sea, Greenland Sea, and Norwegian Sea, north of Norway

Geographic coordinates: 78° 00 N, 20° 00 E

Map references: Arctic Region

total: 62,049 km²
land: 62,049 km²
water: 0 km²
note: includes Spitsbergen and Bjørnøya (Bear Island)

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 3,587 km

Maritime claims:
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm unilaterally claimed by Norway but not recognized by Russia
territorial sea: 4 nm

Climate: arctic, tempered by warm North Atlantic Current; cool summers, cold winters; North Atlantic Current flows along west and north coasts of Spitsbergen, keeping water open and navigable most of the year

Terrain: wild, rugged mountains; much of high land ice covered; west coast clear of ice about one-half of the year; fjords along west and north coasts

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Arctic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Newtontoppen 1,717 m

Natural resources: coal, copper, iron ore, phosphate, zinc, wildlife, fish

Land use:
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 0%
forests and woodland: 0%
other: 100% (no trees and the only bushes are crowberry and cloudberry)

Irrigated land: NA sq km

Natural hazards: ice floes often block up the entrance to Bellsund (a transit point for coal export) on the west coast and occasionally make parts of the northeastern coast inaccessible to maritime traffic

Environment - current issues: NA

Geography - note: northernmost part of the Kingdom of Norway; consists of nine main islands; glaciers and snowfields cover 60% of the total area

See also: Svalbard

External links

  • Geology of Svalbard (http://maps.unomaha.edu/Maher/svalbard/default.html)

  Results from FactBites:
Geography of Norway: Information from Answers.com (5263 words)
On the eastern coast of the Svalbard archipelago, the sea used to be frozen during most of the year, but the last years warming (graph) have seen open waters noticeably longer.
Svalbard and Jan Mayen have tundra vegetation except for areas covered by glaciers, and some areas, like the cliffs at southern Bjørnøya, are fertilized by sea bird colonies.
The permafrost on Svalbard and in Norway is thawing
Svalbard - World Tourism Info (1702 words)
Svalbard is the northernmost tip of Europe and its settlements are the northernmost permanently inhabited spots on the planet.
Svalbard is a popular staging point (at least in relative terms) for launching expeditions to the North Pole.
Svalbard is by most measures horribly expensive: Norway is an expensive country to begin with, and Svalbard slaps on a steep surcharge for the distance.
  More results at FactBites »



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