Zavodovski Island

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Zavodovski is located in Atlantic Ocean
Location of Zavodovski Island
Zavodovski Island ISS016.jpg
Highest point
Elevation 551 m (1,808 ft)
Location South Sandwich Islands, United Kingdom
Mountain type Stratovolcano
Last eruption 2014

Zavodovski Island is an uninhabited volcanic island in the Traversay Islands group of the South Sandwich Islands. It lies 350 kilometres (217 mi) southeast of South Georgia Island. It is the northernmost of the South Sandwich Islands and the nearest to South Georgia.


Zavodovski Island was discovered and named by the Russian Antarctic explorer Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen on Christmas Eve, 1819. Bellingshausen named it after Lieutenant Ivan Zavodovski, who was captain of his ship, the Vostok.[1]


South Sandwich Islands

The island is approximately 5 kilometres (3.1 miles) across with a peak elevation of 551 metres (1,808 feet) above sea level. The stratovolcano Mount Asphyxia dominates the western side of the island while the eastern half is a low-lying lava plain. Mount Asphyxia is believed to be active, with fresh lava reported in 1830 and numerous indications of activity since. Approximately 50% of the island is composed of tephra. A volcanic eruption was identified on the island on 2 May 2012, although the size of the eruptions is unknown.[2]

Mount Asphyxia erupted in March 2016, by July, between one third and one half of the island was covered in ash, putting the penguin colonies at risk. A scientific expedition later in the year will determine how affected the penguin colonies have been.[3]

The island is home to around a million pairs of breeding chinstrap penguins, making it one of the world's largest penguin colonies.

In popular culture[edit]

The island was the inspiration for the track '(Something's going down on) Zavodovski Island' by London Jazz ensemble, the Portico Quartet.

See also[edit]