Henry Páll Wulff
Expedition Guide, Naturalist
Photographer, Author, Podcaster, Traveler, Educator
» Donate here! - The Coronavirus crisis has had (and continues to have) a significant impact on our income. To help us keep the lights on, we're asking you to support us, if you can. THANKS to Katie for the support and thanks to everyone else who supports us in these tough times.
Today's episode takes us on a small tour to what is probably the most exciting geological feature on the edge of the South Shetland Islands offshore the Antarctic Peninsula and one of the most incredible islands on the planet - the active volcano Deception Island. Named by American sealer Nathaniel Palmer on account of its outward deceptive appearance as a normal island, Deception Island reveals itself rather to be a ring around a flooded caldera once, the narrow entrance of Neptune's Bellows is passed. Being a focal point of the early sealing and whaling industry in the Southern Ocean, Deception Island served also as the basis for Robert Wilkins' first Antarctic flight in 1928. But first and foremost, Deception Island is an active volcano, the flooded caldera of which enables us today to sail into the most protected natural harbour in the Antarctic. Deception Island is one of the most active volcanoes in Antarctica, with more than 20 explosive eruptive events registered over the past two centuries. Recent eruptions (1967, 1969, and 1970) and the volcanic unrest episodes that happened in 1992, 1999, and 2014–2015 demonstrate that the occurrence of future volcanic activity is still valid. The ring-shaped island is the exposed portion of an active shield volcano 30 km (17 miles) in diameter, produced more than 10,000 years ago by an explosive eruption, that is responsible for the largest known eruption in the Antarctic area. The active volcano is home to a wide variety of wildlife, the density of it in some parts being literally staggering. Deception Island on the map