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Map of Ross Island
|Area||2,460 km2 (950 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||3,794 m (12,448 ft)|
|Administered under the Antarctic Treaty System|
Because of the persistent presence of the ice sheet, the island is sometimes taken to be part of Antarctica. Its area is 2,460 km2 (950 sq mi); only a small portion of the island is free of ice and snow. The planet's southernmost active volcano, Erebus (3,794 m or 12,448 ft), as well as the dormant volcano Terror (3,230 m or 10,597 ft), are situated on the island. They were named by Ross after his ships HMS Erebus and HMS Terror. The third highest elevation is Mount Bird, with Shell Glacier and Endeavour Piedmont Glacier on its slopes. Abbott Peak stands between Mount Erebus and Mount Bird. Gamble Cone stands in the east of the island.
Despite its relatively small size, Ross Island is the world's 6th highest island and has the highest average elevation of any island.
Ross Island was the base for many of the early expeditions to Antarctica. It was and still is the southernmost island reachable by sea. Huts built by Scott's and Shackleton's expeditions are still standing on the island, preserved as historical sites.
Today Ross Island is home to New Zealand's Scott Base, and the largest Antarctic settlement, the U.S. Antarctic Program's McMurdo Station. Greenpeace established World Park Base on the island and ran it for five years, from 1987 to 1992.
Ross Island lies within the boundaries of Ross Dependency.
Ross Island supports a colony of approximately half a million Adélie Penguins.
- LeMasurier, W. E.; Thomson, J. W. (eds.) (1990). Volcanoes of the Antarctic Plate and Southern Oceans. American Geophysical Union. pp. 512 pp. ISBN 0-87590-172-7.
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