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Svalbard Geography 1996

    • Affiliation:
      (territory of Norway)

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

    • Map references:
      Arctic Region

    • Area:

        total area:
        62,049 sq km

        land area:
        62,049 sq km

        comparative area:
        slightly smaller than West Virginia

        includes Spitsbergen and Bjornoya (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

    • International disputes:
      focus of maritime boundary dispute in the Barents Sea between Norway and Russia

    • 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 half the year; fjords along west and north coasts

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

    • Land use:

        arable land:

        permanent crops:

        meadows and pastures:

        forest and woodland:

        100% (no trees and the only bushes are crowberry and cloudberry)

    • Irrigated land:
      NA sq km

    • Environment:

        current issues:

        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

        international agreements:

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

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