Hopen (Svalbard)

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Hopen map.svg
Hopen in the southeast.
Location Arctic Ocean
Coordinates 76°33′N 25°7′E / 76.550°N 25.117°E / 76.550; 25.117Coordinates: 76°33′N 25°7′E / 76.550°N 25.117°E / 76.550; 25.117
Archipelago Svalbard
Area 47 km2 (18 sq mi)
Length 33 km (20.5 mi)
Width 2 km (1.2 mi)
Highest elevation 370 m (1,210 ft)
Highest point Iversenfjellet
Population 4

Hopen is an island in the southeastern part of the Svalbard archipelago (Norway). Hopen was discovered in 1613, probably by Thomas Marmaduke of Hull, who named it after his former command, the Hopewell.

The Norwegian Meteorological Institute operates a manned weather station on the island with a staff of four persons. For the welfare of the crew, there are three cabins available on the island for their use.

During World War II, the Luftwaffe placed a meteorological team there under cover of Operation Zitronella.

On August 28, 1978 an early model Tupolev Tu-16 of the Soviet Air Force crashed on the island. All seven crew were killed in the accident. It was discovered two days later by the four-man Norwegian weather forecasting team. The USSR refused to admit the loss of an aircraft until the bodies of the crew were given to them. Norway transcribed the contents of the flight recorder over the objections of the Soviet government.[1][2][3]


A significant number of polar bears are found at Hopen in the winter;[4] moreover, the sub-population of Ursus maritimus found here is a genetically distinct taxon of polar bears associated with the Barents Sea region.[5]

Important Bird Area[edit]

The island has been identified as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International. It supports breeding populations of black-legged kittiwakes (40,000 pairs), thick-billed guillemots (150,000 individuals) and black guillemots (1000 pairs).[6]



  1. ^ [http://web.stanford.edu/group/tomzgroup/pmwiki/uploads/3606-1978-10-27-FoF-a-PWJ.pdf Soviet Union Military Plane Crashes in Norway October 27, 1978] Retrieved August 15, 2017
  2. ^ Svalbard Arctic out post at strategic crossroads September 9, 1980 Christian Science Monitor Retrieved August 15, 2017
  3. ^ Umbreit, Andreas Bradt Svalbard: Spitzbergen with Frank Josef Land & Jan Mayen page 132 Retrieved August 15, 2017
  4. ^ Oysten Wiig and Kjell Isaksen
  5. ^ C. Michael Hogan, 2008
  6. ^ "Hopen Island". Important Bird Areas factsheet. BirdLife International. 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-22. 

External links[edit]