Longyearbyen (1600 inhabitants) and
Barentsburg (1000 inhabitants) in Isfjord Bay, and Ny-Alesund (100
inhabitants) are the three principal communities of Spitzbergen and
Pyramiden (1000 inhabi-tants in 1990) was closed in 1998.
Coal mining is the major economic activity on Svalbard. The Norwegian
state-owned coal company employs nearly 60% of the Norwegian population
of Spitzbergen, runs many of the local services, and provides most
of the local infrastructure.
Some glaciers in Spitzbergen and Svalbard from time to time advance
with extraordinary high velocity, up to several kilometers during
3-6 years (surge). Tunabreen is a surging glacier calving into Tempelfjorden.
It is currently (2004) in its active surge phase. Since winter 2003
this glacier has advanced by 1,5 km.
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is a "doomsday" seedbank
under construction on Spitzbergen. The government of Norway will fund
most of the $3 000 000 construction cost, while the Global Crop Diversity
Trust will take responsibility for operating the facility.
on the arrows on the map