Coordinates: 78°45′N 16°00′E / 78.750°N 16.000°E / 78.750; 16.000
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Map of the Svalbard archipelago, with Spitsbergen emphasized in solid red. Inset shows the islands' place in Northern Europe.
LocationArctic Ocean
Coordinates78°45′N 16°00′E / 78.750°N 16.000°E / 78.750; 16.000
Area37,673 km2 (14,546 sq mi)
Area rank36th
Highest elevation1,717 m (5633 ft)[1]
Highest pointNewtontoppen
Largest settlementLongyearbyen
Population2,642 (2012)

Spitsbergen (which is also spelled Spitzbergen) is the largest island of the archipelago Svalbard. It was called West Spitsbergen until 1965. The name East Spitsbergen was proposed for the third-largest island of the group, Edgeøya.

Today, it is the only island on Svalvard which is settled permanently. The island has a size of about 380 kilometres (240 mi) by 220 kilometres (140 mi)

There are only few active settlements on Spitsbergen, among them

There are several abandoned ones:

  • Grumant, mining town, abandoned in 1965
  • Colesbukta, shipping terminal for Grumant, about half-way between Grumant and Barentsburg.
  • Ny-London, mining town, abandoned in the 1920s. Near Ny-Alesund
  • Pyramiden, mining town, mostly abandoned in the 1990s

References[change | change source]

  1. Scheffel, Richard L.; Wernet, Susan J., eds. (1980). Natural Wonders of the World. United States of America: Reader's Digest Association, Inc. p. 355. ISBN 0-89577-087-3.