Nordaustlandet labelled.png
Austfonna on the island Nordaustlandet. Sørfonna is part of Austfonna, while Vestfonna is a separate glacier.
LocationSvalbard, Arctic Ocean, Norway
Coordinates79°47.0′N 24°39.8′E / 79.7833°N 24.6633°E / 79.7833; 24.6633Coordinates: 79°47.0′N 24°39.8′E / 79.7833°N 24.6633°E / 79.7833; 24.6633
Area7,800 km2 (1,927,000 acres) (including Vegafonna)
Austfonna glacier seen from Hinlopen strait

Austfonna is an ice cap located on Nordaustlandet in the Svalbard archipelago in Norway. Covering an area of 7,800 km2,[1] it is Europe's third-largest glacier by area and volume, after the Severny Island ice cap of Novaya Zemlya, Russia, and Vatnajökull in Iceland.[2] The combined area of Austfonna and the Vegafonna ice cap is 8,492 km2.[3]

Austfonna has a thickness of up to 560 metres (235 meters average thickness), and is 200 km in circumference. The ice dome reaches an elevation of 783 meters above sea level.[citation needed]

The southern third of Austfonna is sometimes called Sørfonna, which is a separate ice cap, separated from the main part of Austfonna by a long, ice-filled depression, and forming a separate crestal dome.[4]

Vegafonna ice cap in the southwest is also connected to Austfonna proper, specifically to Sørfonna, and is separated from it by Erica Valley.[4] Vegafonna also forms a separate dome. Immediately west of Vegafonna is Glittne ice cap,[4] which is considered part of the former.[citation needed]

Vestfonna in the northwest of the island is a totally separate ice cap (the third largest of Svalbard and Norway).[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ Moholdt, G. & Kääb, A. A new DEM of the Austfonna ice cap by combining differential SAR interferometry with ICESat laser altimetry. Polar Res 31, 18460, (2012).
  2. ^ "Hver er stærsti jökull í Evrópu?". Vísindavefurinn (in Icelandic). 5 February 2016.
  3. ^ "Austfonna". Norwegian Polar Data Centre.
  4. ^ a b c Sharp, Robert. "Glaciers in the Arctic" (PDF).

External links

  • Spatial and temporal variability in snow accumulation on Austfonna, Svalbard.
  •[permanent dead link]
  • Map of Nordaustlandet
  • Livescience page

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