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Norway Geography
 
 
 

General

Norway occupies the western part of the Scandinavian peninsula in northern Europe, with almost one-third of the country situated N of the Arctic Circle. It has an area of 324,220 sq km (125,182 sq mi). Comparatively, the area occupied by Norway is slightly larger than the state of New Mexico. Extending 1,752 km (1,089 mi) north/northeast-south/southwest, Norway has the greatest length of any European country; its width is 430 km (267 mi) east/southeast-west/northwest. Bounded on the north by the Arctic Ocean, on the northeast by Finland and Russia, on the east by Sweden, on the south by the Skagerrak, on the southwest by the North Sea, and on the west by the Norwegian Sea of the Atlantic Ocean, Norway has a land boundary length of 2,544 km (1,581 mi) and a total coastline estimated at 21,925 km (13,624 mi).

Norway's capital city, Oslo, is in the southern part of the country.

Norway is formed of some of the oldest rocks in the world. It is dominated by mountain masses, with only one-fifth of its total area less than 150 m (500 ft) above sea level. The average altitude is 500 m (1,640 ft). The Glittertinden (2,472 m/8,110 ft, including a glacier at the summit) and Galdhøpiggen (2,469 m/8,100 ft), both in the Jotunheimen, are the highest points in Europe north of the Alpine-Carpathian mountain range. The principal river, the Glåma, 611 km (380 mi) long, flows through the timbered southeast. Much of Norway has been scraped by ice, and there are 1,700 glaciers totaling some 3,400 sq km (1,310 sq mi). In the Lista and Jaeren regions in the far south, extensive glacial deposits form agricultural lowlands. Excellent harbours are provided by the almost numberless fjords, deeply indented bays of scenic beauty that are never closed by ice and penetrate the mainland as far as 182 km (113 mi). Along many coastal stretches is a chain of islands known as the skjærgård.

Because of the North Atlantic Drift, Norway has a mild climate for a country so far north. With the great latitudinal range, the north is considerably cooler than the south, while the interior is cooler than the west coast, influenced by prevailing westerly winds and the Gulf Stream. Oslo's average yearly temperature ranges from a about 5°C (41°F) in January to 28°C (82°F) in July. The annual range of coastal temperatures is much less than that of the continental interior. The eastern valleys have less than 30 cm (12 in) of rain yearly, whereas at Haukeland in Masfjord the average rainfall is 330 cm (130 in).

Norway is the land of the midnight sun in the North Cape area, with 24-hr daylight from the middle of May to the end of July, during which the sun does not set. Conversely, there are long winter nights from the end of November to the end of January, during which the sun does not rise above the horizon and the northern lights, or aurora borealis, can be seen.

Overview

Location :
Northern Europe, bordering the North Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Sweden

Geographic coordinates :
62 00 N, 10 00 E

Map references :
Europe

Area :
total: 323,802 sq km
land: 307,442 sq km
water: 16,360 sq km


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