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Case Study 19. Deception Island – Hot Times on a Chilly Continent

ByT. Brattstrom

Introduction Located 110km north of the Antarctic Peninsula and 860km south-south-east of Cape Horn, South America, Deception Island is part of the South Shetland Islands group and one of only two active volcanoes in Antarctica (Antarctic Treaty Signatories, 2005). Deception’s drowned caldera gives the island a roughly doughnut shaped appearance. The secret kept by the forbidding coastline is what gave Deception Island its name. If a captain navigated his ship to the proper position on the south-east side of the island and braved the narrow channel known as Neptune’s Bellows, he would enter the large calm bay in the island’s centre called Port Foster, a welcome respite from the fierce weather of the Furious Fifties.