Geography of Svalbard


Geography of Svalbard

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

Geographic coordinates:

Map references:
Arctic Region

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

Land boundaries:0 km

Coastline:3,587 km

Maritime claims:
"fishery protection 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 km²

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:Although now banned, the issues surrounding past exploitation of animal resourses in the Svalbard area remain a problem. With the whale, Seal and Walrus population are still far, far lower than they were even two centuries ago (the average age of a Greenland whale). The polarbear population, although not as damaged as the marine life (due to their size and ferosity) are still recovering from the major culls of the '60s and '70s that came about due to the availability of Snow Scooters. The reindeer and fox populations are not damaged by the trapping trade to an irrepairable level.

Geography - note:northernmost part of the Kingdom of Norway; consists of nine main islands; glaciers (Austfonna) and snowfields cover 60% of the total area; population of 2600 people concentrated in the three main settlements of "Longyearbyen" (Norway), "Barantsberg" (Russia) and "Ny-Alysund" (Norway).

"See also:" Svalbard

External links

* [http://maps.unomaha.edu/Maher/svalbard/default.html Geology of Svalbard]

The cylindrical map projections of MapQuest and Multimap do not show the location with respect to Canada and Russia etc. very well, the MSN maps are more suitable for that.


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