Jan Mayen

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This desolate, arctic, mountainous island was named after a Dutch whaling captain who indisputably discovered it in 1614 (earlier claims are inconclusive). Visited only occasionally by seal hunters and trappers over the following centuries, the island came under Norwegian sovereignty in 1929. The long dormant Beerenberg volcano, the northernmost active volcano on earth, resumed activity in 1970 and the most recent eruption occurred in 1985.

Geography

Location

Northern Europe, island between the Greenland Sea and the Norwegian Sea, northeast of Iceland

Geographic coordinates

71.00° N, 8.00° W

Area 205/257

total: 377 sq km

land: 377 sq km

water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative

slightly more than twice the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries

0 km

Coastline

124.1 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 4 nm

contiguous zone: 10 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation

Climate

arctic maritime with frequent storms and persistent fog

Terrain

volcanic island, partly covered by glaciers

Elevation

mean elevation:

elevation extremes:

lowest point: Norwegian Sea 0 m

highest point: Haakon VII Toppen on Beerenberg 2,277 m

note: Beerenberg volcano has numerous peaks; the highest point on the volcano rim is named Haakon VII Toppen, after Norway's first king following the reestablishment of Norwegian independence in 1905

Natural resources

none

Land use

agricultural land: 0%

arable land 0%; permanent crops 0%; permanent pasture 0%

forest: 0%

other: 100% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

0 sq km (2012)

Natural hazards

dominated by the volcano Beerenberg

volcanism: Beerenberg (elev. 2,227 m) is Norway's only active volcano; volcanic activity resumed in 1970; the most recent eruption occurred in 1985

Environment - current issues

NA

Geography - note

barren volcanic island with some moss and grass

People and Society

Population

no indigenous inhabitants

note: personnel operate the Long Range Navigation (Loran-C) base and the weather and coastal services radio station

Government

Country name

conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Jan Mayen

etymology: named after Dutch Captain Jan Jacobszoon MAY, one of the first explorers to reach the island in 1614

Legal system

the laws of Norway, where applicable, apply

Flag description

the flag of Norway is used

Economy

Economy - overview

Jan Mayen is a volcanic island with no exploitable natural resources, although surrounding waters contain substantial fish stocks and potential untapped petroleum resources. Economic activity is limited to providing services for employees of Norway's radio and meteorological stations on the island.

Communications

Broadcast media

a coastal radio station has been remotely operated since 1994 (2008)

Radio broadcast stations

NA; note - there is one radio and meteorological station (1998)

Transportation

Airports 222/236

1 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)

Ports and terminals

none; offshore anchorage only

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

none