Charcot Island

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Charcot Island
Charcot Island, Antarctica.png
Greyscale image of the Charcot Island area. Dark grey indicates relatively warm temperatures and white indicates relatively cold temperatures.
Ant-pen map.png
Charcot Island, shown on the central left
Location Antarctica
Coordinates 69°45′S 75°15′W / 69.750°S 75.250°W / -69.750; -75.250
Length 30 mi (50 km)
Width 25 mi (40 km)
Additional information
Administered under the Antarctic Treaty System
Not to be confused with the area of eastern Greenland called Charcot Land.[1]

Charcot Island or Charcot Land is an island administered under the Antarctic Treaty System, 30 miles (48 km) long and 25 miles (40 km) wide, which is ice covered except for prominent mountains overlooking the north coast. Charcot Island lies within the Bellingshausen Sea, 55 miles (89 km) west of Alexander Island, and about 31 miles (50 km) north of Latady Island. A notable landmark of the island is its northernmost point, Cape Byrd.


Charcot Island was discovered on January 11, 1910, by the French Antarctic Expedition under Jean-Baptiste Charcot, who, at the insistence of his crew and the recommendation of Edwin S. Balch and others, named it Charcot Land. He did so with the stated intention of honoring his father, Jean-Martin Charcot, a famous French physician.[2] The insularity of Charcot Land was proved by Sir Hubert Wilkins, who flew around it on December 29, 1929.

2009 Collapse of ice bridge[edit]

The ice bridge holding the Wilkins Ice Shelf to the Antarctic coastline and Charcot Island was 25 miles (40 km) long but only 500 metres (1,640 ft) wide at its narrowest point – in 1950 it was 62 miles (100 km) It shattered in April 2009 over an area measuring 12.5 by 1.5 miles (20.1 by 2.4 km). The ice bridge collapsed rapidly, turning into hundreds of icebergs.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ See, for example, the gazetteer [1] retrieved 16/10/2012
  2. ^ Smith, Lewis (April 6, 2009). "Breakaway ice shelf will reshape map of Antarctica". London: Times Online. Retrieved April 6, 2009. 

Coordinates: 69°45′S 75°15′W / 69.750°S 75.250°W / -69.750; -75.250