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).