|Archipelago||South Sandwich Islands|
|Area||5.5 km2 (2.1 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||3,525 ft (1074.4 m)|
|South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands|
Thule Island, also called Morrell Island, is one of the southernmost of the South Sandwich Islands, part of the grouping known as Southern Thule. It is named, on account of its remote location, after the mythical land of Thule, said by ancient geographers to lie at the extreme end of the Earth. The alternative name Morrell Island is after Benjamin Morrell, an American explorer and whaling captain. It was espied by James Cook and his Resolution crew on 31 January 1775 during his attempt to find Terra Australis.
Thule Island is approximately triangular in shape and 14 square kilometres (5+1⁄2 sq mi) in area with a long, panhandle-like peninsula called Hewison Point, three kilometres (2 mi), extending to the southeast. Steep slopes ascend to a 1.5-by-2-kilometre (1 by 1+1⁄4 mi) summit caldera with the peak of Mount Larsen at 710 m (2,329 ft) above sea level. Mount Larsen is named after the Antarctic explorer and whaler Carl Anton Larsen. On the southwestern end lies Wasp Point. Off Hewison Point lies the small islet of Twitcher Rock, the southernmost land on Earth except for part of Cook Island, Antarctica and offshore islands considered part of Antarctica.
Thule Island is the westernmost of Southern Thule island group, which also encompasses Cook Island and Bellingshausen Island. It is thought that Thule and Cook may have been a larger single island in the past, and there is evidence for a submerged crater between the two. Steam from the summit crater lake and ash on the flank were reported in 1962. Volcanic heat keeps the crater on Thule Island free from ice. The peak elevation is 1,074 metres (3,525 ft).
Argentina, in order to assert its claim over the South Sandwich Islands, established the summer station Teniente Esquivel at Ferguson Bay on the southeastern coast on January 25, 1955. The station had to be evacuated in January 1956 because of volcanic eruption of Mount Holdgate (so named in 1964) on the neighboring Cook Island to the east. In 1976 it established a military base on Thule Island called Corbeta Uruguay (Port Faraday) in the lee (southern east coast) of the island. The British discovered the presence of the Argentine base the same year but chose to pursue a diplomatic solution to the issue until the breakout of the Falklands War in 1982. The base was occupied by British forces in the aftermath of the war and eventually destroyed later that year.
The geography of Antarctica is dominated by its south polar location and, thus, by ice. The Antarctic continent, located in the Earth's southern hemisphere, is centered asymmetrically around the South Pole and largely south of the Antarctic Circle. It is washed by the Southern Ocean or, depending on definition, the southern Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans. It has an area of more than 14 million km2.
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (SGSSI) is a British Overseas Territory in the southern Atlantic Ocean. It is a remote and inhospitable collection of islands, consisting of South Georgia and a chain of smaller islands known as the South Sandwich Islands. South Georgia is 165 kilometres (103 mi) long and 35 kilometres (22 mi) wide and is by far the largest island in the territory. The South Sandwich Islands lie about 700 kilometres (430 mi) southeast of South Georgia. The territory's total land area is 3,903 km2 (1,507 sq mi). The Falkland Islands are about 1,300 kilometres (810 mi) west from its nearest point.
Ross Island is an island formed by four volcanoes in the Ross Sea near the continent of Antarctica, off the coast of Victoria Land in McMurdo Sound. Ross Island lies within the boundaries of Ross Dependency, an area of Antarctica claimed by New Zealand.
Mount Erebus is an active volcano, the second-highest in Antarctica and the southernmost active volcano on Earth. It is the sixth-highest ultra mountain on the continent. With a summit elevation of 3,794 metres (12,448 ft), it is located in the Ross Dependency on Ross Island, which is also home to three inactive volcanoes: Mount Terror, Mount Bird, and Mount Terra Nova.
The Ring of Fire is a region around much of the rim of the Pacific Ocean where many volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur. The Ring of Fire is a horseshoe-shaped belt about 40,000 km (25,000 mi) long and up to about 500 km (310 mi) wide.
Montagu Island is the largest of the South Sandwich Islands, located in the Scotia Sea off the coast of Antarctica. It is a part of the British Overseas Territory, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. It is located 60 km (37 mi) northeast from Bristol Island and 62 km (39 mi) south from Saunders Island.
Zavodovski Island is an uninhabited volcanic island in the Traversay Islands subgroup of the South Sandwich Islands. It lies 350 kilometres (217 mi) southeast of South Georgia Island. It is the northernmost of the South Sandwich Islands and the nearest to South Georgia.
Bellingshausen Island is one of the most southerly of the South Sandwich Islands, close to Thule Island and Cook Island, and forming part of the Southern Thule group. It is named after its discoverer, Baltic German-Russian Antarctic explorer Fabian von Bellingshausen (1778–1852).
Vindication Island is a small uninhabited island in the South Sandwich Islands. It lies about 2 miles (3.2 km) from Candlemas Island, separated by the Nelson Channel. The island is mostly ice free.
Cook Island is the central and largest island of the Southern Thule island group, part of the South Sandwich Islands in the far south Atlantic Ocean. Southern Thule was discovered by a British expedition under Captain James Cook in 1775. Cook Island was named for Cook by a Russian expedition under Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen, which explored the South Sandwich Islands in 1819–1820.
Saunders Island is a crescent-shaped island 8.8 km (5.5 mi) long, lying between Candlemas Island and Montagu Island in the South Sandwich Islands, a British Overseas Territory in the southern Atlantic Ocean. It is a volcanic island composed of an active stratovolcano, 990-metre (3,248 ft) Mount Michael.
Bristol Island is an 8-kilometre-long (5 mi) island lying midway between Montagu Island and Thule Island in the South Sandwich Islands.
Mount Sidley is the highest dormant volcano in Antarctica, a member of the Volcanic Seven Summits, with a summit elevation of 4,181–4,285 metres (13,717–14,058 ft). It is a massive, mainly snow-covered stratovolcano which is the highest of the five volcanic mountains that comprise the Executive Committee Range of Marie Byrd Land. The feature is marked by a 5 km wide caldera on the southern side and stands NE of Mount Waesche in the southern part of the range.
Southern Thule is a collection of the three southernmost islands in the South Sandwich Islands: Bellingshausen, Cook, and Thule (Morrell). The island group is barren, windswept, bitterly cold, and uninhabited. It has an extensive exclusive economic zone rich in marine living resources managed as part of the SGSSI fisheries. The Admiralty's Antarctic Pilot says that Southern Thule is part of an old sunken volcano, and is covered with ash and penguin guano. There are seals, petrels, and a bank of kelp just offshore, especially around a small inlet on Morrell called Ferguson Bay.
The Traversay Islands are a group of three islands—Zavodovski, Leskov and Visokoi—at the northern end of the South Sandwich Islands.
Penguin Island is one of the smaller of the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica.
The South Sandwich Trench is a deep arcuate trench in the South Atlantic Ocean lying 100 kilometres (62 mi) to the east of the South Sandwich Islands. It is the deepest trench of the Southern Atlantic Ocean, and the second deepest of the Atlantic Ocean after the Puerto Rico Trench. Since the trench extends south of the 60th parallel south, it also contains the deepest point in the Southern Ocean.
New South Greenland, sometimes known as Morrell's Land, was an appearance of land recorded by the American captain Benjamin Morrell of the schooner Wasp in March 1823, during a sealing and exploration voyage in the Weddell Sea area of Antarctica. Morrell provided precise coordinates and a description of a coastline which he claimed to have sailed along for more than 300 miles (480 km). Because the Weddell Sea area was so little visited and hard to navigate due to ice conditions, the alleged land was never properly investigated before its existence was emphatically disproved during Antarctic expeditions in the early 20th century.
Wasp Point is a projecting point in the middle of the southwest coast of Thule Island, South Sandwich Islands. It was named by United Kingdom Antarctic Place-Names Committee (UK-APC) in 1971 after the American sealing vessel in which Captain Benjamin Morrell of Stonington, CT, visited the island in 1823. Next to Longton Point on Cook Island, it is the southernmost landmass of the South Sandwich Islands and the southernmost landmass worldwide north of the 60th parallel south and therefore the southernmost landmass outside of the Antarctic Treaty System.
Kemp Caldera and Kemp Seamount form a submarine volcano south of the South Sandwich Islands, in a region where several seamounts are located. The seamount rises to a depth of 80 metres (260 ft) below sea level; the caldera has a diameter of 8.3 by 6.5 kilometres and reaches a depth of 1,600 metres (5,200 ft). The caldera contains several Hydrothermal vents, including white smokers and diffuse venting areas, which are host to chemolithotrophic ecological communities. The seamount and caldera, which were discovered by seafloor mapping in 2009, are part of the South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands Marine Protected Area.