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Jan Mayen (Europe)
Introduction ::Jan Mayen
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 resumed activity in 1970; the most recent eruption occurred in 1985. It is the northernmost active volcano on earth.
Geography ::Jan Mayen
Northern Europe, island between the Greenland Sea and the Norwegian
Sea, northeast of Iceland
Geographic coordinates:
71 00 N, 8 00 W
Map references:
total: 377 sq km country comparison to the world: 203 land: 377 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly more than twice the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
0 km
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
arctic maritime with frequent storms and persistent fog
volcanic island, partly covered by glaciers
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:
Land use:
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (2005)
Irrigated land:
0 sq km
Natural hazards:
dominated by the volcano Beerenberg
volcanism: Beerenberg (elev. 2,227 m, 7,306 ft) is Norway's only active volcano; volcanic activity resumed in 1970; the most recent eruption occurred in 1985
Environment - current issues:
Geography - note:
barren volcanic island with some moss and grass
People ::Jan Mayen
no indigenous inhabitants
note: personnel operate the Long Range Navigation (Loran-C) base and the weather and coastal services radio station
Government ::Jan Mayen
Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Jan Mayen
Dependency status:
territory of Norway; since August 1994, administered from Oslo through the county governor (fylkesmann) of Nordland; however, authority has been delegated to a station commander of the Norwegian Defense Communication Service
Legal system:
the laws of Norway where applicable apply
Flag description:
the flag of Norway is used
Economy ::Jan Mayen
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 ::Jan Mayen
Broadcast media:
a coastal radio station has been remotely operated since 1994 (2008)
Transportation ::Jan Mayen
1 (2010) country comparison to the world: 220
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2010)
Ports and terminals:
none; offshore anchorage only
Military ::Jan Mayen
Military - note:
defense is the responsibility of Norway
Transnational Issues ::Jan Mayen
Disputes - international:


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