Saunders Island, South Sandwich Islands

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Saunders Island
South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands.png
Saunders Island location
Location of Saunders Island
Coordinates57°47′S 026°27′W / 57.783°S 26.450°W / -57.783; -26.450
ArchipelagoSouth Sandwich Islands
Length8.8 km (5.47 mi)
Highest elevation990 m (3,250 ft)
Highest pointMount Michael
United Kingdom

Saunders Island is a crescent-shaped island 8.8 km (5.5 mi) long, lying between Candlemas Island and Montagu Island in the South Sandwich Islands, a British Overseas Territory in the southern Atlantic Ocean. It is a volcanic island composed of an active stratovolcano, 990-metre (3,248 ft) Mount Michael.


Saunders Island was discovered in 1775 by Captain James Cook, who named it for Sir Charles Saunders, First Lord of the Admiralty.[1] It was charted in greater detail by Bellingshausen in 1819,[2] and in 1930 by DI personnel on the Discovery II. The island was surveyed in 1964 by HMS Protector after whose captain, Captain Martin S. Ollivant, the westernmost point, Ollivant Point, is named. Shackleton sometimes misspells the island's name as "Sanders Island" in his book South.


Mount Michael is known to have erupted explosively in 1819, and has erupted repeatedly since 2000, most recently in 2005. The 700 m (2,297 ft) diameter summit crater contains a persistent lava lake, one of only eight in the world.[3][4]

See also[edit]


  • "Michael". Global Volcanism Program. Smithsonian Institution.
  • LeMasurier, W. E.; Thomson, J. W., eds. (1990). Volcanoes of the Antarctic Plate and Southern Oceans. American Geophysical Union. p. 512 pp. ISBN 0-87590-172-7.
  • Volcano World: Mount Michael
  1. ^ Beaglehole, J. C. (2015). The Journals of Captain James Cook on his Voyages of Discovery : Volume II: The Voyage of the Resolution and Adventure 1772-1775. London: Taylor and Francis. ISBN 9781351543255. OCLC 994714606.
  2. ^ Amos, Jonathan (2019-07-03). "Remote British territory hosts persistent lava lake". Retrieved 2019-07-05.
  3. ^ "Remote Mount Michael volcano hosts persistent lava lake". BBC News. BBC News. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  4. ^ Metcalfe, Tom; July 5, Live Science Contributor |; ET, 2019 08:16am. "Rare Lake of Bubbling Lava Discovered on Remote Antarctic Island". Live Science. Retrieved 2019-07-05.