Jan Mayen is located 71°N 8°W 600km Northeast of Iceland and 500 km East of
Greenland in the Arctic Sea. The island is about 54 km long and 15 km wide and
its area is 373 square km. Highest elevation is the volcano Beerenberg (Haakon
VII Toppen) with 2277m a.s.l. The first known eruption was in 1732 and five more
until 1985. Jan Mayen is the northernmost island with active volcano(es). There
is a constant threat of earthquakes, the intersection of the North American
Plate und the Eurasian Plate is only 170km away. There are no indigenous
inhabitants linving there only the personnel who operates the weather station.
The climate is not nice at all, clear days are rare, foggy days or storms are
occuring more often. Temperatures range from -32°C in December to +10°C in July.
Some arctic foxes are living on the islands, polar beers are usually not found
and there are no other plants than moss and grass.
The island was first sighted in 1607 by Henry Hudson, who called it Hudson's
Tutches. Other sources say the first discoverer was the Dutch Jan Mayen also in
1607. The Dutch set up a whaling base, but in 1642 the whales had been
exterminated in this part of the world. During the first International Polar
Year (1882-83) an Austrian weather station was build. In 1921 Norway built a
meterological observatory and annexed Jan Mayen on May 8. An airfield was built
by the NATO in 1958/59.
Amateur radio: Prefix JX, DXCC entity, WAZ zone 40, ITU zone 18, UTC -1h,
IOTA EU-022. From time to time some radio amateurs are on duty with the weather
station e.g. JX7DFA.
<DX-NL 1237 - March 26, 2001>