Deception Island

Deception Iceland is one of the South Shetland Islands, a Sub-Antarctic island group. The island is formed by the top of an active volcano; the date last eruption took place in 1970.


The island lies in the Bransfield Strait is located 16 km south of Livingston Iceland and today consists of the annular remnant of a caldera and has a diameter of 13-14 km. Called by one in the southeast of the island located less than 400 m wide strait, Neptune's Bellows, to allow ships in the flooded from the sea inner crater, Port Foster arrive. The highest peaks are Mount Kirkwood currently 452 m and Mount Pond, which is approximately 540 m high.


On January 29, 1820, the island was first sighted by William Smith and Edward Bransfield, but could not enter because of bad weather. Probably the first sailed the American sealers Hero under his captain Nathaniel Palmer in the natural harbor of Port Foster. Its namesake was later Henry Foster, who as head of the first scientific expedition to Antarctica led by 1829 geophysical measurements with the reversible pendulum in Pendulum Cove named after this event ( shuttle bay ).

1842 was discovered during an outbreak of volcanic activity on the island, which, however, neither affected by an outbreak in 1967, which ushered in a period of greater activity, the activities of whalers and sealers nor the researchers to a greater extent. At the outbreak of 1967, the British research station at Whalers Bay as well as the Chilean Pedro Aguirre Cerda research stations and Gutierrez Vargas at Pendulum Cove were severely damaged. The attempt of the British, their station in 1969 rebuild was interrupted by another outbreak on 23 February on the western side of Mount Pond, which completely destroyed the station.

From 1910 to 1931 was in Whalers Bay, the southernmost Trankocherei the world, which was operated by the Norwegian Hector Whaling Company. For the most part dates from this time a cemetery with 45 graves, which was, however, buried in the 1960s during the volcanic eruptions.

On November 16, 1928 Hubert Wilkins started with his pilot Carl Ben Eielson ( 1897-1929 ) on Deception Iceland for the first powered flight in Antarctica. On December 20, they flew with her Lockheed Vega along the Gerlache Strait and crossed the high mountains of the Antarctic Peninsula. At 71 ° 20 ' S and 64 ° 15' W they turned around with a half empty fuel tank. The land before them was the name Wilkins Hearst country, now called Hearst Island. After eleven hours and more than 2100 km flight path the plane landed back on Deception Iceland.

Research stations

In 1944 the British established the first research station on Deception Iceland ( Iceland Deception - Base B ), which was in use until the 1960s for the flights of the British Antarctic Survey ( BAS). The station was occupied on 3 February 1944 to 23 February 1969. The hangar at the north end of Whalers Bay - survived to this day - next to the wreckage of a single-engined De Havilland Canada DHC -3 Otter type that has been transported back in April 2004 to England. From Deception Iceland from the first flight over the Antarctic Peninsula by the Australian Hubert Wilkins was launched on 20 December 1928. The station B of the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey ( FIDS ) also served scientists for meteorological observations and geological investigations. The station was evacuated briefly on 5 December 1967 after volcanic eruptions. A renewed eviction took place on 21 February 1969 as further eruptions damaged the building of the station. In both cases, the evacuation by the Chilean ship Pilato Pardo was. The crew of the station returned two days later only to take their personal property.

The buildings of the British station were at the beginning such that the Norwegian Aktieselskabet had set up Hector. The old hotel building was used from 1944 under the name Bleak House as office and residential buildings, but burned down on September 8, 1946. Then we took advantage of another property of the whaling station as a living and sleeping quarters, called Biscoe House, after skipper John Biscoe, who discovered in 1832 Graham Land. The former villa of the station management was used as a storage building.

The " Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey Aereal Expedition" ( FIDASE ) the years 1955-1957 established its own accommodation for the employees of the company Hunting Aero Surveys Ltd. , Which then became the property of FIDS after completion of the survey. An airplane hangar was built in March 1962. Another building of plastic in 1985 no longer found during a visit by the research ship John Biscoe. The cemetery from the whaling has been destroyed over the years by mud and stone avalanches during volcanic eruptions, however, is marked by a plaque. The BAS cleaned up the abandoned station and removed the existing waste in the Arctic summers 1990/91 and 1991 / 92nd

The remaining parts of the Norwegian whaling station have now been to the Historic Site No. 71 explained according to the Antarctic Treaty of 1995.

Opened in 1948, Argentina 's research station base Deception, which was open throughout the year up to a volcanic eruption in 1967 and is now only operated as a summer station.

1989/90 Spain opened the research station Gabriel de Castilla, which is, however, operated only in the summer, with a crew of 14 people.

Parts of the island are now restricted, there to observe the re-introduction of plant life on the volcanic ash.

Be found on the situated on the outer edge of the island to the southeast edge Baily Head has a large breeding colony of chinstrap penguins, with an estimated 50,000 to 100,000 breeding pairs.

Deception Iceland is driven off and on cruise ships.


Geographical Names

Current Map


Wall of the caldera

Baily Head with the rock group Sewing-machine Needles ( sewing machine needles)

Wall of the caldera

Crosshill of Stancomb Cove in Bay Telephone (2008)

Norwegian whaling station under construction ( 1912)

Destroyed British research station

Remnants of the British station

Former cemetery (now buried )

Argentine summer base station Decepción

Spanish summer station Gabriel de Castilla