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Map of Jan Mayen
Introduction Jan Mayen
This desolate, 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 Haakon VII Toppen/Beerenberg volcano resumed activity in 1970; 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:
Arctic Region
total: 373 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 373 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly more than twice the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
0 km
124.1 km
Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 10 NM
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
territorial sea: 4 NM
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
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/Beerenberg 2,277 m
Natural resources:
Land use:
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
0 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
dominated by the volcano Haakon VII Toppen/Beerenberg; volcanic activity resumed in 1970
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 (July 2002 est.)
Government Jan Mayen
Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Jan Mayen
Dependency status:
territory of Norway; administered from Oslo through a governor (sysselmann) resident in Longyearbyen (Svalbard); 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. Economic activity is limited to providing services for employees of Norway's radio and meteorological stations located on the island.
Communications Jan Mayen
Radio broadcast stations:
AM NA, FM NA, shortwave NA
note: there is one radio and meteorological station (1998)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
13 (Jan Mayen and Svalbard) (2000)
Transportation Jan Mayen
Ports and harbors:
none; offshore anchorage only
1 (2001)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2002)
Military Jan Mayen
Military - note:
defense is the responsibility of Norway
Transnational Issues Jan Mayen
Disputes - international:

This page was last updated on 19 March 2003