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South Shetland Islands

Photo © Taffski

Travel Guide Antarctica British Antarctic Territory South Shetland Islands



The South Shetland Islands are a group of islands and part of the British Antarctic Territory near Antarctica.




The South Shetlands Islands extend about 450 kilometres from Smith Island and Snow Island in the southwest to Elephant Island and Clarence Island in the northeast. They are located about 940 kilometres south of the Falkland Islands. The nearest part other islands are Deception Island and further afield Clarence Island. Graham Land is the nearest part of Antarctica's mainland. There are 11 major islands and several minor ones, totalling 3,687 square kilometres. Between 80 and 90% of the land area is permanently glaciated and the highest point is Mount Irving on Clarence Island at 2,300 metres above sea level.



Islands and Research Stations


  • Cornwallis Island
  • Elephant Island
  • Clarence Island
  • Rowett Island
  • Gibbs Island
  • Eadie Island
  • King George Island
  • Bridgeman Island
  • Penguin Island
  • Nelson Island
  • Robert Island
  • Aitcho Islands
  • Greenwich Island
  • Half Moon Island
  • Desolation Island
  • Livingston Island
  • Rugged Island
  • Snow Island
  • Smith Island
  • Deception Island
  • Low Island
  • Seal Island

Research Stations

  • Argentina - Jubany (since 1953, Year-round)
  • Argentina - Base Decepción (since 1948, Summer only)
  • Bulgaria - St. Kliment Ohridski (since 1988, Summer only)
  • Brazil - Comandante Ferraz Base (since 1984, Year-round)
  • Chile - Presidente Eduardo Frei Base (since 1969, Year-round)
  • Chile - Professor Julio Escudero Base (since 1994, Year-round)
  • Chile - Captain Arturo Prat Base (since 1947, Year-round)
  • Chile/USA - Shirreff Base (since 1990, Summer only)
  • China - Chang Cheng / Great Wall (since 1985, Year-round)
  • Ecuador - Pedro Vicente Maldonado Base (since 1990, Summer only))
  • Spain - Juan Carlos I Base (since 1988, Summer only)
  • Spain - Gabriel de Castilla Base (since 1989, Summer only)
  • South Korea - King Sejong Station (since 1988, Year-round))
  • Peru - Machu Picchu Research Station (since 1989, Summer only)
  • Poland - Henryk Arctowski Polish Antarctic Station (since 1977, Year-round)
  • Russia - Bellingshausen Station (since 1968, Year-round)
  • Uruguay - Artigas Base (since 1984, Year-round)




The islands are cold year round, with temperatures only above zero on average from December to March, albeit just (1.5 °C). Winters are long and last from April to November when temperatures are below zero and snow is common.


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This is version 2. Last edited at 13:58 on Oct 3, 11 by Utrecht. 2 articles link to this page.

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