Barents Sea

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Barents Sea
Location of the Barents Sea
Location of the Barents Sea
Art Side sea
ocean Northern ocean
location Between Spitsbergen , Franz-Josef-Land , Novaya Zemlya and the northern coast of Europe
Tributaries Iokanga , Kola , Paatsjoki , Sapadnaja Liza , Tanaelva , Tuloma , Titowka , Teriberka , Voronja
Important islands Kolgujew , Bear Island , Hopen
Cities on the shore Murmansk
surface 1,405,000 km²  ( Encyclopedia Britannica )
volume 322,000 km³
Maximum depth 600 m  (Encyclopedia Britannica)
Middle deep 229 m  (Encyclopedia Britannica)
Northern European Sea with Borders.png
Border to the European Arctic Ocean

Coordinates: 75 °  N , 40 °  E

The Barents Sea is a marginal sea of the Arctic Ocean ( Arctic Ocean ) north of Norway and the European part of Russia . It was named after the Dutch navigator Willem Barents . With an average depth of 230 m, it is one of the deeper shelf seas . The North Atlantic Current , an extension of the Gulf Stream , ensures that many ports on the Barents Sea are ice-free all year round, even though they are far to the north. In September the Barents Sea is completely free of ice. Due to the comparatively high water temperature, biomass production is significantly higher than in other seas of comparable geographic latitude. In spring, the algal bloom begins with the production of phytoplankton , followed by zooplankton , which in turn is the food source of fish, sea birds and marine mammals.


There are three different water masses in the Barents Sea: warm and salty surface water from the North Atlantic Current (temperature> 3 ° C, salinity > 35 ‰), cold polar water (temperature <0 ° C, salinity <35 ‰) and warm, low-salt coastal water ( Temperature> 3 ° C, salinity <34.7 ‰). The separation between the water masses of the Atlantic Current and the polar water is known as the polar front, which is fairly constant and sharply delimited in the west near Bear Island due to the soil topography, but in the east near Novaya Zemlya is diffuse and subject to large fluctuations.


Arctic coast in winter at the Varangerfjord in the Barents Sea

The Barents Sea lies between the archipelago of Spitsbergen (Norway) in the north-west, Franz-Josef-Land (Russia) in the north, Novaya Zemlya in the east and the mainland of north-west Russia and Scandinavia in the south. The boundary of the Barents Sea to the neighboring European North Sea to the west is a line from the island of Svalbard via Bear Island to the North Cape of Scandinavia . The connection between the Swjatoi Nos headlands on the Murman Coast and Cape Kanin in the north of the Kanin peninsula of the same name is defined as the border to the White Sea in the south . In the east, the Novaya Zemlya archipelago separates the Barents Sea from the Kara Sea .

During the Cold War and thereafter, the border of the territories in the Barents Sea between the Soviet Union and later Russia and Norway was disputed. So Russia recently insisted on drawing a border at around 32 ° East. In April 2010, Russia and Norway reached a contractual agreement on a compromise. Norway and Russia received roughly equal parts of the disputed marine area. It was divided by a center line that is now considered to be the common border in the Barents Sea.

Economy and ecology

The largest city on the Barents Sea is Murmansk , which, like the former Finnish Pechenga, houses a base for the Russian Northern Fleet .

The flat eastern part of the Barents contains rich petroleum resources and, after opening out there flow Petschora Pechora mentioned. There are also rich oil and natural gas deposits in the southwest, and further deposits are suspected in the central area. Oil has been produced in the Barents Sea since the 1970s.

Currently is in the Barents Sea by the company Statoil first European earth - or liquefied built -Förderanlage, the project Snøhvit (ie Snow White..). In the Snøhvit and Goliat gas fields , Statoil and Norsk Hydro are to use a new subsea conveyor technology that is currently being tested in the European Arctic Ocean, the Ormen-Lange gas field . A major natural gas liquefaction plant is being built at Hammerfest in Northern Norway.

Another important branch of the economy is the fishing industry, especially for Norway and Russia. Above all, the cod is caught here.

With a large number of often military ship cemeteries, the Barents Sea is probably the world's largest scrap yard for nuclear submarines . There were also a number of accidents and accidents, for example K-159 sank here on the way to being scrapped in 2003. The Kursk catastrophe occurred three years earlier .


Web links

Commons : Barents Sea  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Barents Sea  - explanations of meanings, origins of words, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Norway and Russia end dispute over the Barents Sea . NZZ , April 27, 2010