Svalbard, Arctic Ocean

Svalbard, Arctic Ocean
  • Credit:

    Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

On May 22, 2002, Svalbard, Norway, tucked inside the Arctic Circle, was showing no signs of spring on land, while in the Barents Sea, ice had begun retreating from the western coastline. This series of images shows the thawing of the sea ice around Svalbard, and also shows snow retreating from the landscape. Patches of brown are showing through, especially along fjords and inlets. Some images show blooms of marine plants called phytoplankton, which create colorful blue and green patterns on the ocean surface.

Images & Animations


File Dimensions

  • 500x650
  • JPEG 92 KB
  • 1000x1300
  • JPEG 320 KB
  • 2000x2600
  • JPEG 879 KB

Note: Often times, due to the size, browsers have a difficult time opening and displaying images. If you experiece an error when clicking on an image link, please try directly downloading the image (using a right click, save as method) to view it locally.


  • Data Date:

    June 12, 2002
  • Visualization Date:

    June 20, 2002
  • Sensor(s):

    Terra - MODIS
NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration