Spitsbergen is the largest and only permanently populated island of the Svalbard archipelago in northern Norway. Constituting the westernmost bulk of the archipelago, it borders the Arctic Ocean, the Norwegian Sea, and the Greenland Sea. Spitsbergen covers an area of 39,044 km2 (15,075 sq mi), making it the largest island in Norway and the 36th-largest in the world. The administrative centre is Longyearbyen. Other settlements, in addition to research outposts, are the Russian mining community of Barentsburg, the research community of Ny-Ålesund, and the mining outpost of Sveagruva.


Archipelago – one of the northern lands of the planet. From its most northerly point – about. Ross to the North Pole 1020 km.

Relief Spitsbergen – mountainous. Stately, covered with eternal snows sharp peaks, towering against the background of rather low domed tops, often interspersed here with vast mountain plateau and coastal plain. And everywhere the vast field of white and blue glaciers. Glaciers are an integral part of the landscape and give it a unique look, they covered about 60 percent of the area. In the waters of the archipelago frequent icebergs – floating icebergs, they give rise to many Svalbard glaciers.


The island has an Arctic climate, although with significantly higher temperatures than other places at the same latitude. The flora benefits from the long period of midnight sun, which compensates for the polar night. Svalbard is a breeding ground for many seabirds, and also supports polar bears, reindeer and marine mammals. Six national parks protect the largely untouched, yet fragile environment. The island has many glaciers, mountains and fjords.

The pyramid is located on the shore of the bay and Petunia Mimer and is located about 120 km from Barentsburg. Mine got its name from the eponymous mountain names submitted under this configuration of geometric shapes.

Until 1998, the mine was the most northern coal producing company in the world. It is interesting to know that the mouth of the tunnel that provides access to coal deposits located at an altitude of 400 m above sea level and is produced by surface coal delivered to the apex internavigational warehouse from which made ​​its loading onto ships.

After the cessation of coal mining has been saved infrastructure to conduct research, receive tourists.

The area near the Pyramids extraordinarily beautiful – and it’s the mountains surrounding the village, valley glaciers. Opposite Pyramid is a large glacier Nordenskjold, huge boulders which, hovering over the water, occasionally break off with a bang, reaches the village to begin their journey in the form of icebergs.

In the summer, when resumed livelihood of individual objects, the village is visited by tourists. These services guide-interpreter, hotel, meals.

In winter, the Pyramid and empties is as if in anticipation of spring, because the spring will come from Barentsburg professionals, workers, and breathe life into the cooled during the long polar night houses and buildings.


In addition to humans, four primarily terrestrial mammalian species inhabit the island: the Arctic Fox, the Svalbard reindeer, polar bears, and accidentally introduced Southern Vole, which are only found in Grumant. Attempts to introduce the Arctic Hare and the muskox have both failed. There are fifteen to twenty types of marine mammals, including whales, dolphins, seals and walruses.

Polar bears are the iconic symbol of Spitsbergen, and one of the main tourist attractions. While they are protected, persons going outside settlements are required to carry a rifle to kill polar bears in self-defence, as a last resort should they attack. Spitsbergen shares a common polar bear population with the rest of Svalbard and Franz Joseph Land. The Svalbard reindeer (R. tarandus platyrhynchus) is a distinct sub-species. While it was previously almost extinct, hunting is permitted for both it and the Arctic Fox. There are a limited number of domesticated animals in Russian settlements.

Despite the apparent scarcity and really harsh natural conditions, the flora is quite rich, just near Longyearbyen observed more than 100 species of plants, and all for their near Spitsbergen 170. All this variety takes a maximum layer of a few tens of centimeters above the ground, no trees and no bushes . That is rare in polar birch, but it does not exceed herbaceous plants. Quite often there are white and yellow polar poppies (Papaver polare) and dryad (Dryas octopetala), it is unclear why blooming in mid-August, that is already almost before zimoy.Zdes also grow – campion (Silene acaulus), forming a bright purple cushions on the bare gray earth. Generally sites with vegetation look very catchy, as they favorably shades surrounding desert. Besides flowering, bright spots stand out moss cushions and throws stones lichens. On snow grow conventional high latitudes of the colony of red algae, staining the snow in the appropriate color. On talus slopes in abundance can find various fossilized plant parts – leaves, stems, bark side. Such an abundance of plant residues explains how the existence of coal deposits, the former location of the equatorial islands. In Longire even there is a tourist attraction – find fossils, it is not clear just what they do with the found, as they like to export prohibited. Flora and fauna of Spitsbergen, as well as any of the polar region is extremely fragile and vulnerable, so the islands have a special environmental inspection rights police structure, and do the locals take a lot of effort to protect their environment. Visit protected areas can after obtaining a special permit, and for registration thereof, a written application addressed to the governor should be sent well before the planned trip.

About thirty types of bird are found on Spitsbergen, most of which are migratory. The Barents Sea is among the areas in the world with most seabirds, with about 20 million counted during late summer. The most common are Little Auk, Northern Fulmar, Thick-billed Murre and Black-legged Kittiwake. Sixteen species are on the IUCN Red List. Particularly Storfjorden and Nordvest-Spitsbergen are important breeding ground for seabirds. The Arctic Tern has the furthest migration, all the way to Antarctica. Only two songbirds migrate to Spitsbergen to breed: the Snow Bunting and the Wheatear. Rock Ptarmigan is the only bird to overwinter.

Comments are closed.