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Encyclopedia > Spitsbergen
Spitsbergen
Map of Svalbard, showing Spitsbergen in the West.
Map of Svalbard, showing Spitsbergen in the West.
Geography
Location Svalbard, Arctic Ocean
Coordinates 78°54′N 18°01′E / 78.9, 18.017Coordinates: 78°54′N 18°01′E / 78.9, 18.017
Area 39,044 km²
Highest point Newtontoppen 1,717 m (5,633 ft)
Administration
Flag of Norway Norway
Largest city Longyearbyen

Spitsbergen (formerly known as West Spitsbergen) is a Norwegian island, the largest island in the Svalbard archipelago, situated in the Arctic Ocean. The island of Spitsbergen covers approximately 39,044 sq km (15,075 sq miles).[1] This name was also formerly applied to the entire archipelago of Svalbard and occasionally still is. It is around 450 km (280 miles) long and between 40 and 225 km (25 and 140 miles) wide. As Spitsbergen lies far within the arctic circle, the Sun is above the horizon for 24 hours a day from late April to late August. From 26 October to 15 February the Sun is continuosly below the horizon, whilst from 12 November to the end of January there is civil polar night, where it is so continuously dark that artificial light must be used 24 hours each day. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Map of Earth showing lines of latitude (horizontally) and longitude (vertically), Eckert VI projection; large version (pdf, 1. ... A square metre (US spelling: square meter) is by definition the area enclosed by a square with sides each 1 metre long. ... Newtontoppen (Mount Newton) is the largest mountain in Svalbard, at 1717 m. ... This article is about the unit of length. ... A foot (plural: feet or foot;[1] symbol or abbreviation: ft or, sometimes, ′ – a prime) is a unit of length, in a number of different systems, including English units, Imperial units, and United States customary units. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Norway. ... Longyearbyen Longyearbyen is the largest settlement on Svalbard, Norway and its capital. ... The Mergui Archipelago The Archipelago Sea, situated between the Gulf of Bothnia and the Gulf of Finland, the largest archipelago in the world by the number of islands. ... The Mergui Archipelago The Archipelago Sea, situated between the Gulf of Bothnia and the Gulf of Finland, the largest archipelago in the world by the number of islands. ... For the fast food restaurant chain, see Arctic Circle Restaurants. ... Sol redirects here. ... The polar night is the night lasting more than 24 hours, usually inside the polar circles. ...

Contents

History

Geography of Spitsbergen.
Geography of Spitsbergen.

The name Spitsbergen means "jagged peaks" and was given by the Dutch explorer Willem Barents, who discovered the island while searching for the Northern Sea Route in 1596. However, this archipelago may have been known to Russian Pomor hunters as early as the 14th or 15th century, though solid evidence from before the 17th century is lacking. They concluded that the land they had found was a part of Greenland and, therefore, named it Grumant (Грумант). The name Svalbard is first mentioned in Icelandic sagas of the 10th and 11th centuries, but they may also refer to the Jan Mayen island or even Greenland. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Willem Barents. ... The Northern Sea Route (Russian Северный морской путь) is a shipping lane from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean along the Siberian coast of Russia. ... Events February 5 - 26 catholics crucified in Nagasaki, Japan. ... Pomors (помо́ры) are settlers of the White Sea coasts. ... Grumant is a Soviet Russian settlement, abandoned in 1961. ... The Norse sagas or Viking sagas (Icelandic: Íslendingasögur), are stories about ancient Scandinavian and Germanic history, about early Viking voyages, about migration to Iceland, and of feuds between Icelandic families. ...


Spitsbergen is one of three inhabited islands in the archipelago, and according to the terms of the Svalbard Treaty, citizens of any of the signatory countries may settle in the archipelago. Currently, only Norway and Russia make use of this right. The largest settlement on Spitsbergen is the Norwegian town of Longyearbyen, while the second largest settlement is the Russian coal mining settlement of Barentsburg (which was sold by the Netherlands in 1932 to the Soviet company Arktikugol). Other settlements on the island include the former Russian mining communities of Grumantbyen and Pyramiden (abandoned in 1961 and 1998, respectively), a Polish research station at Hornsundet, and the remote northern settlement of Ny Alesund.[2] The Traité concernant le Spitsberg of February 1920 placed the arctic islands of Spitsbergen as an overseas part of Kingdom of Norway (article I). ... Longyearbyen Longyearbyen is the largest settlement on Svalbard, Norway and its capital. ... Surface coal mining in Wyoming. ... Barentsburg (Russian Баренцбург) is the second largest settlement on Svalbard, with about 850 inhabitants, almost entirely Russians and Ukrainians. ...


Early whaling expeditions to Svalbard tended, because of currents and fauna, to cluster around West Spitsbergen and the islands off-shore. The crew of the oceanographic research vessel Princesse Alice, of Albert Grimaldi (later Prince Albert I of Monaco) pose while flensing a catch. ...


Kvadehuksletta, on western Spitsbergen, is notable for its unique stone structures, including very circular stones and labyrinthine patterns. These structures are believed to be the result of frost heaving. Frost heaving (or frost heave) occurs when soil expands upward or outward and contracts due to freezing and thawing. ...


The island of Edgeøya lies to the southeast of Spitsbergen. This uninhabited island is the largest part of the South East Svalbard Nature Reserve, home to polar bears and reindeer. Map showing Edgeøya (Edge Island) Edgeøya, occasionally anglicised as Edge Island, is an uninhabited Norwegian island in southeast of the Svalbard archipelago. ... This article is about the animal. ... “Caribou” redirects here. ...


Soldiers were stationed on the island in 1941 to prevent German occupation of the islands. While the island had officially been ceded to Norway in the 1920s, that country fell under German occupation in 1940. The majority of inhabitants on the island were Russian (Russia had a non-aggression pact with Germany until June 22, 1941). The UK and Canada sent military forces to the island to destroy installations and prevent the Germans from occupying the island.[3] For other uses, see 1941 (disambiguation). ... Starting with the invasion of April 9, 1940, Norway was under military occupation of German forces and civil rule of a German commissioner in collaboration with a Pro-German puppet government. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... A non-aggression pact is an international treaty between two or more states, agreeing to avoid war or armed conflict between them even if they find themselves fighting third countries, or even if one is fighting allies of the other. ... For other uses, see 1941 (disambiguation). ...


Norwegian Seed Bank

By 2007, the Norwegian government is planning on building a $3 million "doomsday vault" on the island, which would house 10,000 seeds from various plants in case of nuclear war or sudden and severe ecological or environmental change. As reported by BBC News, the Norwegian government built this bank by hollowing out a cave on Spitsbergen and then putting in as many seeds as possible in the vault, with support from countries around the world. The proposed bank will have top security, blastproof doors and would have two airlocks (additional BBC article on the design of the vault). The amount of seeds deposited will depend on the number of countries participating in the project. The design of the Seed Vault as of early 2007 The Svalbard Global Seed Vault (Norwegian: Svalbard globale frøhvelv; also called the Norwegian Seed Bank and Svalbard International Seed Vault) is a doomsday seedbank under construction on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen in the remote arctic Svalbard archipelago. ... “USD” redirects here. ...


Popular Culture

  • In the fairy tale, The Snow Queen, this is the location of the Snow Queen's palace.

Cover of a modern Danish edtion of The Snow Queen (Sneedronningen) Wikisource has original text related to this article: The Snow Queen The Snow Queen (Danish: Sneedronningen) is a fairy tale written by Hans Christian Andersen and first published in 1845. ...

See also

Look up Spitsbergen in
Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wiktionary (a portmanteau of wiki and dictionary) is a multilingual, Web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in over 150 languages. ... Polish Polar Station, Hornsund (Polska Stacja Polarna, Hornsund) at Polar Bear Bay in Hornsund fjord, on West Spitsbergen island, Spitsbergen archipelago operated since 1957. ... Russenorsk or Russonorsk (Norwegian for Russo-Norwegian) was a pidgin language combining elements of Russian and Norwegian, created by traders and whalers from northern Norway and the Russian Kola peninsula. ... // For an exhaustive list ordered by name, see list of islands of Norway. ...

Sources

  • West Spitsbergen. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved July 16, 2005, from Encyclopædia Britannica Premium Service.

References and notes

  1. ^ .Areas are taken from the (1986) Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica. ISBN none.  Various references provide slight differences in values.
  2. ^ Northern Townships: Spitsbergen - article published in hidden europe magazine, 10 (September 2006), pp.2-5
  3. ^ canadiansoldiers.com article

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Spitsbergen - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (483 words)
Spitsbergen (or Spitzbergen in German; formerly known as West Spitsbergen or Vestspitsbergen) is the largest island in the Svalbard archipelago, situated in the Arctic Ocean.
Spitsbergen is one of three inhabited islands in the archipelago, and according to the terms of the Svalbard Treaty, citizens of any of the signatory countries may settle in the archipelago.
The largest settlement on Spitsbergen is the Norwegian town of Longyearbyen, while the second largest settlement is the Russian coal mining settlement of Barentsburg (which was sold by the Netherlands in 1932 to the Soviet company Arktikugol).
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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