Storfjorden, Edgeøya & Barentsøya

Jun 13, 2019 - National Geographic Explorer


Today National Geographic Explorer sailed through Storfjorden, “the big fjord,” which is actually a channel between the islands of Spitsbergen and Edgeøya. The word fjord, which usually defines a closed body of water, was initially used because a small opening to the north of the channel was covered by ice all year round. This blocked passageway made early explorers think that Barentsøya was effectively attached to Spitsbergen.

Our bridge and naturalist team were expecting thick sea ice, indicated on the ice charts from the previous day—but we found hardly any ice at all. Sadly, Arctic sea ice is thinning and melting quickly, unable to last for multiple years. When we ventured deep into the channel, however, our diligence and determination paid off. We found lots of beautiful ice and the many marine mammals whose livelihood it.

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About the Author

Paolo Marra-Biggs

Naturalist/Expedition Diver

Paolo grew up just five miles from the ocean and for as long as he can remember, he’s always spent his free time in and around the water. As a high school student, he volunteered during the summer at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and he was an active Junior Lifeguard. 

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