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Svalbard Geography Profile 2017

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LocationNorthern Europe, islands between the Arctic Ocean, Barents Sea, Greenland Sea, and Norwegian Sea, north of Norway
Geographic coordinates78 00 N, 20 00 E
Map referencesArctic Region
Areatotal: 62,045 sq km
land: 62,045 sq km
water: 0 sq km
note: includes Spitsbergen and Bjornoya (Bear Island)
Area - comparativeslightly smaller than West Virginia
Land boundaries0 km
Coastline3,587 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 4 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm unilaterally claimed by Norway but not recognized by Russia
Climatearctic, 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
Terrainrugged mountains; much of the upland areas are ice covered; west coast clear of ice about half the year; fjords along west and north coasts
Elevation extremesmean elevation: NA
elevation extremes: lowest point: Arctic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Newtontoppen 1,717 m
Natural resourcescoal, iron ore, copper, zinc, phosphate, wildlife, fish
Land useagricultural land: 0%
arable land 0%; permanent crops 0%; permanent pasture 0%
forest: 0%
other: 100% (2011 est.)
Population distributionthe small population is primarily concentrated on the island of Spitsbergen in a handful of settlements on the south side of the Isfjorden, with Longyearbyen being the largest
Natural hazardsice floes often block 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 issuesNA
Geography - notenorthernmost part of the Kingdom of Norway; consists of nine main islands; glaciers and snowfields cover 60% of the total area; Spitsbergen Island is the site of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a seed repository established by the Global Crop Diversity Trust and the Norwegian Government

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on July 9, 2017