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Spitsbergen
Spitsbergen.png
Map of the Svalbard archipelago, with Spitsbergen emphasized in solid red. Inset shows the islands' place in Northern Europe.
Geography
Location Arctic Ocean
Archipelago Svalbard
Area 37,673 km2 (14,546 sq mi)
Area rank 36th
Highest elevation 1,717 m (5,633 ft)
Highest point Newtontoppen
Administration
Norway
Largest settlement Longyearbyen
Demographics
Population 2,642 (2012)
Spitsbergen marine features with towns labelled copy

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

  • Barentsburg, about 500 people
  • Longyearbyen, main settlement, about 2.500 people
  • Ny-Ålesund, scientific station, about 30-35 peolple
  • Sveagruva,mining town, about 300, many commuting from Longyearbyen

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


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