South Shetland Islands

South Shetland Islands 
61° 00′ to 63° 37’S, 53° 83′ to 62°

  • A 540 km chain of four main island
    groups, some are volcanic, including eleven major islands (Elephant
    and Clarence Islands; King George and Nelson Islands; Robert, Greenwich,
    Livingston, Snow, and Deception Islands; Smith and Low Islands)
    and several minor ones with many islets and rocks. Located about
    120 km north of the Antarctic Peninsula in the Southern Ocean.
  • Area: 3687 km². 
  • Highest elevation: 2105 m (Mount
    Foster, Smith Island). 
  • About 80 % glaciated.
  • Sighted and first landing 1819,
    sealers arrived 1820. 
  • Permanent occupation (scientific
    station) from 1944 (previously sealers and a scientific expedition
    wintered unintentionally, and a garrison was deployed briefly).
    Whaling station operated at Deception Island 1912-31.
  • British territory, part of British
    Antarctic Territory; also claimed by Argentina, part of ‘Antartida
    Argentina’; and Chile, part of ‘Territorio Chileno Antartico’ (under
    the aegis of the Antarctic Treaty).

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