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Where is the volcanic island of Jan Mayen?
- Our destination was Jan Mayen, a volcanic island situated on the mid-Atlantic ridge just north of 71° (about 550 kilometers north of Iceland and 450 kilometers east of Greenland ). Jan Mayen is reputedly shrouded in mist the vast majority of the time so it was a very pleasant surprise to see the conical crater appearing over the horizon.
Jan Mayen (Urban East Norwegian: [jɑn ˈmɑ̀ɪən]) is a Norwegian volcanic island in the Arctic Ocean, with no permanent population.It is 55 km (34 mi) long (southwest-northeast) and 373 km 2 (144 sq mi) in area, partly covered by glaciers (an area of 114.2 km 2 (44.1 sq mi) around the Beerenberg volcano).
- 377 km² (146 sq mi)
- 2,277 m (7470 ft)
- 124,100 m (407200 ft)
- Arctic Ocean
Oct 11, 2018 · Jan Mayen is a volcanic Island in the North Arctic Ocean. It is 55 km long (southwest-northeast) and 373 km2 in area and part covered by gla ciers; 114.2 km2 and receding. Jan Mayen may well be the world’s smallest continent, as it has it’s own tectonic plate.
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Where is the volcanic island of Jan Mayen?
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Jan Mayen is a tiny volcanic island in the North Atlantic Ocean, 600 miles west of Norway and 350 miles north of Iceland. It is dominated by the 7,470-foot-high Mt. Beerenberg, the northernmost active volcano in the world, which last erupted in 1985.
Find Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands Jan Mayen (N 71° 1' 16.8744", W 8° 31' 20.3268") on a map.
- A Visit to The Fascinating Island of Jan Mayen
- Brief History of Jan Mayen
- Landing Båtvika, at The Southern Part of Jan Mayen
- Volcanic Landscape
- Sailing North
After exploring the remote island of Fair Isle, our Atlantic Odyssey voyage once more turned its attentions northwards and left the outer extremities of the UK behind. Our destination was Jan Mayen, a volcanic island situated on the mid-Atlantic ridge just north of 71° (about 550 kilometers north of Iceland and 450 kilometers east of Greenland). Jan Mayen is reputedly shrouded in mist the vast majority of the time so it was a very pleasant surprise to see the conical crater appearing over the horizon. Over eighty nautical miles away and completely cloud free. © Karen Mulders - Jan Mayen landing beach
Jan Mayen was recorded in early manuscripts from Norse and Irish travellers but was first occupied in the 17th century by English and Dutch whalers. It was visited infrequently till the 1900’s and then in 1906 Norwegian trappers and hunters inhabited the island seeking the blue arctic fox for its fur. In 1921 a meteorological station was established and since then, the island has been continually occupied. It was officially annexed to Norway in 1930 and shortly after was the only part of Norwaynot under German occupation, despite a number of attempts. Now, it is run by the Norwegian military and supports meteorological science year round.
The Zodiacs left the ship and headed towards Båtvika (The Boat Cove), a bay lying on the eastern coast close to the Norwegian base. Even setting off in reasonably calm seas was no guarantee of getting ashore as even a small swell out at seas can dump large waves on the steeply sloping shoreline making for a tricky landing. We need not have worried. An idyllic cove fringed with ash black sand little troubled by the gently lapping water greeted us. Also there to greet us was an assembly of Norwegian base staff eager to welcome us onto and show off their island in the sun.
A steady stream of passengers followed our initial Zodiac disembarking with ease and steadily made their way northwards along the islands only road. Many stopped for some retail therapy at the base shop and nearly all explored the landscape beyond the base. The volcanic history of the island is evident all around and reminded me of islands in the South Shetlands. Jan Mayen can be approximated into two halves. The northern half of the island, Nørd Jan, is where Beerenburg the northernmost active volcano in the world lies. It has a classic ’Mount Fuji’ shape to it and sports a nice caldera when viewed from the satellite imagery. The southern end is no less volcanic but is a confusion of lava flows, striated hillsides and cinder cones. © Oceanwide Expeditions - Beautiful Jan Mayen Panorama The two sections are separated by a narrow isthmus of land sometimes less than 3 kilometres wide. One of the more magical experiences was when one paused and took in the volume of the kittiwake’s cal...
After an uneventful departure, we weighed anchor and departed Jan Mayen under darkening skies with poor weather encroaching from the south. The Planciusworked its way along the spectacular coast of Nørd Jan. Stratified volcanic cliffs could be scoured through binoculars for a myriad of seabirds until our attention was diverted to a pair of humpbacks. Lovely evening light on the summit of Beerenburg dispatched us north in search of the ice.
- The Island
- The Volcano
- The Case of The Missing Hotspot
- Further Reading
Jan Mayen is 54 km long and has an area of 380 square km. The climate is cold maritime, and the weather is mostly fog, wind and drizzle. The island consists of two parts. The larger northern part is dominated by the volcano called Beerenberg, 25 km wide and over 2200 meters tall. Beerenberg may be the tallest mountain in the world with a Dutch name! Towards the southwest is a narrow peninsula, 6 km wide and 600 meter high, connected to the northern part by a 2km wide, low isthmus. The inhabited (if not fully habitable) part of the island is the peninsula. The main town is called, somewhat optimistically, Olonkin City, with a population of 15 men and 3 women. People are allowed to live on the island for a maximum of one year. Jan Mayen may already have been known to the Vikings. Even so, its official discovery was only in 1614. One of the co-discovers was captain Jan May; the island was later named after him. Whaling depleted the natural resources quicker than you can say ‘economic b...
Whilst all of Jan Mayen has a volcanic origin, the main volcano is the beautiful Beerenberg. It is the northernmost active volcano in the world (discounting any beneath sea level) and the 5th highest volcano in Europe. Beerenberg is covered in impressive glaciers, which until recently reached the sea. They are now retreating and only one calving glacier, Weyprecht, remains. The central crater is 1 km wide, is covered in snow, and is the source of the Weyprecht glacier which flows through a breach in the crater wall. Beerenberg volcano is in fact fairly active. There were eruptions in 1732, 1818, and possibly 1851, and in the 20th century in September 1970 and January 1985. (Wikipedia and other sites mention an eruption in 1973 but this appears to be incorrect.) Ancient eruptions are recorded in the Greenland ice. Earthquakes occur occasionally, including a magnitude 4.8 earlier this year. Fumarole activity in the crater is common, but the central crater is probably blocked by a cold...
(1. Extracted from Google maps. 2. Lars Tveito, 2013: Geological Development of the Jan Mayen Micro Continent and its Continental Margins. Click for a larger map) Jan Mayen is one of the few places where the mid-ocean spreading ridge breaches the surface. Jan Mayen is located near the termination of the Mohns mid-ocean ridge, where it reaches a transform fault called the Jan Mayen Fault Zone. Places where the mid-ocean ridges reach the surface are commonly associated with transform faults. Jan Mayen Island is the tip of an ice berg. Under water, there is a much larger elevated area, distinct from the spreading ridge. The area extends 300 kilometers towards the south; Jan Mayen island is located near its northern end. To the south it eventually becomes obliterated by the more recent Iceland shelf. This elevated area is called the Jan Mayen microcontinent, Jan Mayen Ridge or Jan Mayen shelf – pick your choice.
The region was at one time located at the heart of the supercontinent Pangea, which formed 300 million years ago. Africa and America started to separate about 175 million years ago, but in the north the crust stretched by some 60 kilometers and subsided, but did not yet break. The subsidence formed a shallow sea, source of the later oil and gas deposits. A brief phase of volcanic activity finally heralded the separation of Greenland and Europe, around 50-55 million years ago, completing the demise of Pangea. There was an extensive but short-lived flood basalt event on Greenland around this time. After the separation, Jan Mayen found itself part of Greenland. The original break-up in this region is often attributed to the Iceland plume popping up underneath an already weakened crust. The spreading centre at the time was the Aegir Ridge. Aegir spreading slowed down dramatically around 43 million years ago, when a new rift inside Greenland/Jan Mayen developed. The Jan Mayen microcontin...
From Storey et al. 2003, Geology, Volume 32 page 173. ‘EG’ stands for East Greenland. The composition of the Jan Mayen lavas (shown as yellow) are intermediate between Iceland (pink) and Greenland (blue/green) lavas. Lava fields formed on East Greenland episodically over the next 40 million years, until about 13 million years ago. This was long after the plume had moved away (to Iceland, to be precise): the later volcanism had a different origin. The isotopic compositions of these lavas shows a mix of Icelandic magma and melted ancient crust. The Icelandic magma could date from the Pangea break-up, stored and solidified in the lower crust. The East Greenland lavas come from a later partial melt of this lower crust. The melt could have been caused by new heat from below, or a decrease in pressure from above. The decrease in pressure is considered more likely: it can be caused by erosion, crustal extension, or by the transform fault. Jan Mayen Island is only 700,000 years old, and is...
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