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.
Charcot Island is located in Antarctica
Charcot Island
Charcot Island
Charcot Island, shown on the central left
Location Antarctica
Coordinates 69°45′S 75°15′W / 69.750°S 75.250°W / -69.750; -75.250Coordinates: 69°45′S 75°15′W / 69.750°S 75.250°W / -69.750; -75.250
Area 2,576 km2 (995 sq mi)
Length 56 km (34.8 mi)
Width 46 km (28.6 mi)
Administered under the Antarctic Treaty System
Population Uninhabited

Charcot Island or Charcot Land is an island administered under the Antarctic Treaty System, 56 kilometres (30 nmi) long and 46 kilometres (25 nmi) wide, which is ice covered except for prominent mountains overlooking the north coast. Charcot Island lies within the Bellingshausen Sea, 102 kilometres (55 nmi) west of Alexander Island, and about 57 kilometres (31 nmi) north of Latady Island. A notable landmark of the island is its northernmost point, Cape Byrd.


Charcot Island was discovered on 11 January 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 29 December 1929.

2009 Collapse of ice bridge[edit]

The ice bridge holding the Wilkins Ice Shelf to the Antarctic coastline and Charcot Island was 40 kilometres (25 mi) long but only 500 metres (1,640 ft) wide at its narrowest point – in 1950 it was 100 kilometres (62 mi) It shattered in April 2009 over an area measuring 20.1 by 2.4 kilometres (12.5 by 1.5 mi). 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. 

 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Geological Survey document "Charcot Island" (content from the Geographic Names Information System).