Barents Sea

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 are ice-free all year in the Barents Sea, although they are far to the north. In September, the Barents Sea is completely free of ice. Due to the relatively high water temperature, the biomass production is much higher than in other oceans of similar latitude. In the spring algal bloom begins with the production of phytoplankton, followed the zooplankton, which in turn is food base of fish, seabirds 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, fresh coastal water ( temperature> 3 ° C, salt concentration < 34.7 ‰). The separation between the water masses of the Atlantic current and the polar water is referred to as the polar front, which caused quite constant and sharply defined crosses the west at Bear Island by the bottom topography in the east near Novaya Zemlya, however, is diffuse and large fluctuations.


The Barents Sea is between the archipelagos of Svalbard ( " Svalbard ", Norway ) in the northwest, Franz Josef Land (Russia ) in the north, Novaya Zemlya on the east and the mainland north-west of Russia and Scandinavia to the south. Adjacent marginal seas of the Barents Sea are the Norwegian Sea, the White Sea in the south and the east, the Kara Sea, which adjoins the other side of Novaya Zemlya in the west. During the Cold War and beyond the border in the Barents Sea between the Soviet Union and later Russia and Norway was controversial. Thus, Russia was recently on a demarcation approximately 32 ° East. In April 2010, Russia and Norway have contractually agreed to a compromise and a centerline defined by the approximately 175,000 square kilometers disputed territory as a common border in the Barents Sea.

Economic and natural resources

The largest city on the Barents Sea Murmansk, which, like the former Finnish Pechenga houses a base of the Russian Northern Fleet. In the Barents Sea is also the largest junkyard for nuclear submarines is the world, such as the K -141 Kursk in 2000 has sunk here.

The flat eastern part of the Barents Sea contains rich oil reserves and is named after the river Pechora Pechora opening out there. Also in the southwest there are rich oil and gas resources, in addition to the central area suspected further occurrences. Currently, disputes over the ownership of mineral resources violently between Russia and Norway by virtue of the claimed 200-mile zone around Svalbard and the international legal special status of the island. Since the seventies, crude oil is produced in the Barents Sea.

Currently, natural gas or LPG first conveyor is built in the Barents Sea by Statoil Europe, the Snøhvit project (ie Snow White ). In the Snøhvit and Goliat gas field to be used by Statoil and Norsk Hydro, a new submarine delivery technique that is currently being evaluated in the Norwegian Sea, the Ormen Lange gas field. A significant natural gas liquefaction plant is being built near Hammerfest in Northern Norway.

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