North country

F The Austfonna ( German Ostferner or the East Glacier ) in Svalbard, with 8120 km ² (along with Vegafonna 8492 km ² ) of the geographically largest glacier in Europe and ³ 1900 km expenditures (excluding Vegafonna ) of the glacier with the second largest volume in Europe (after the Vatnajökull, without consideration of the ice cap of the north island of Novaya Zemlya, Russia, in the extreme northeast of Europe).


The glacier is situated on the island of North Country, which is the second largest in the archipelago of Svalbard (Spitzbergen ), and thus belongs to Norway. The ice is 235 meters and a maximum of 560 meters thick on average and reaches a height of 783 meters. The extent of the ice cap is 200 km. The southern third of the Austfonna is sometimes called Sørfonna ( Südferner ). It is separated from the main part of the Austfonna by a long, ice-filled depression and has its own hilltop.

Vegafonna forms with the actual Austfonna a coherent sheet of ice, but is a separate dome in the extreme southwest, bounded by the Erica Valley. Immediately west of Vegafonna, and commonly regarded as a part thereof, is the Glittne icecap.

Vestfonna (West addition ), however, is a separate glacier just a few kilometers north-west, and with 2445 km ² is the third largest glacier in Norway.