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 and Norway's only active volcano.
|The white peak on the northeast section of the island is Beerenberg, the most northern active volcano. Beerenberg last erupted in 1985. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image on August 30, 2004. Source: NASA|
This barren volcanic island has some moss and grass.
Jan Mayen has no known 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.
Location: Northern Europe, island between the Greenland Sea and the Norwegian Sea, northeast of Iceland
Geographic Coordinates: 71 00 N, 8 00 W
Area: 377 sq km
Coastline: 124.1 km
Natural Hazards: dominated by the volcano Beerenberg
Terrain: volcanic island, partly covered by glaciers The highest point is Haakon VII Toppen on Beerenberg (2,277 m). 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.
Climate: arctic maritime with frequent storms and persistent fog
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
Population: There are no indigenous inhabitants but personnel operate the Long Range Navigation (Loran-C) base and the weather and coastal services radio station.