Deception Island Volcano | John Seach


South Shetland Islands, Antarctica

62.97 S, 60.65 W
summit elevation 576 m

Deception Island is located at the south-western end of the South Shetland Islands, north-west of the Antarctic Peninsula.

Deception Island has a diameter of 13-15 km and encloses a submarine caldera 6-8 km in diameter. Entry to the caldera is through a narrow passage on SE side of the island.

Evidence of eruptive activity is preserved on the slopes of Mt Pond where a glacier has alternating layers of snow and ash.

Eruptions at the volcano typically occur at multiple vents and may be aligned along fissures.

1970 Eruption
An eruption occurred at Deception Island on 12th or 13th August 1970. The eruption began with a large phreatomarine explosion, which was the most violent recent volcanic activity on Deception Island.

Tephra was spread over the northern half of the island from 5 marine craters and 7 land vents. One land crater was developed in glacial ice. Volcanic ash reached Bellinsgauzen Soviet Station 110 km to the northeast of King George Island. O'Higgins Antarctic base (Argentina), located 170 km from Deception Island, recorded a significant earthquake on 12th August, and an ash fall at a later time. The 1970 eruptions occurred in the same general area as the marine and land eruptions of 1967.

At the end of 1970 eruption the following statement was made by a scientist "Predicting the time of the next eruption at Deception Island is difficult, but it is reasonable to expect further episodes as part of this cycle of activity." However there has not been an eruption for 39 years since then.

1969 Eruption
In February 1969 a series of rifts opened beneath glacial ice over a distance of 4 km along the east interior side of the caldera. This activity produced catastrophic lahars, and produced several small cinder cones.

1967 Eruption
Earthquakes were detected at Deception Island in April 1967. An eruption began on 4th December 1967. Activity was located in the northern part of the caldera where a new island formed on the western side of Telefon Bay. There were no lava flows during the eruption.

Deception Island Volcano Eruptions

1987?, 1972?, 1970, 1969, 1967, 1912, 1842, 1839?, 1827, 1800.