Ross Island

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For other places with the same name, see Ross Island (disambiguation).
Ross Island
Ross Island, Antarctica. Topographical map, scaled one to two hundred and fifty thousand. Sourced from the United States Geological Survey
Map of Ross Island
Ross Island is located in Antarctica
Ross Island
Ross Island
Location Antarctica
Coordinates 77°30′S 168°00′E / 77.500°S 168.000°E / -77.500; 168.000Coordinates: 77°30′S 168°00′E / 77.500°S 168.000°E / -77.500; 168.000
Archipelago Ross Archipelago
Area 2,460 km2 (950 sq mi)
Highest elevation 3,794 m (12,448 ft)
Highest point Mount Erebus
Population 100
Additional information
Administered under the Antarctic Treaty System

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.


Because of the persistent presence of the ice sheet, the island is sometimes taken to be part of the Antarctic mainland. Its area is 2,460 square kilometres (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.



Sir James Clark Ross discovered it in 1841, and it was later named in honour of him by Robert F. Scott.

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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Name Details: Alcorta Rocks (New Zealand Gazetteer) AADC

External links[edit]