Zavodovski Island

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Zavodovski Island
Zavodovski Island ISS016.jpg
NASA image of Zavodovski Island
Zavodovski Island is located in Atlantic Ocean
Zavodovski Island
Zavodovski Island
Location in South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.
LocationSouthern Ocean
Coordinates56°18′S 27°34′W / 56.300°S 27.567°W / -56.300; -27.567Coordinates: 56°18′S 27°34′W / 56.300°S 27.567°W / -56.300; -27.567
Area14.7 km2 (5.7 sq mi)
Length5 km (3.1 mi)
Width5 km (3.1 mi)
Highest elevation551 m (1,808 ft)
Highest pointMount Asphyxia

Zavodovski Island is an uninhabited volcanic island in the Traversay Islands subgroup 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.

The island is home to around a million pairs of breeding chinstrap penguins, which is the largest besides Antarctica.


Zavodovski Island was discovered and named by 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 Imperial Russian Navy sloop-of-war Vostok.[1]

A volcanic eruption was identified on the island on 2 May 2012, though the size of the eruption is unknown.[2] The volcano on the island erupted again in March 2016; by July, between one third and one half of the island was covered in ash, putting the penguin colonies at risk.[3]


The island is largely unglaciated. It is approximately 5 kilometres (3.1 miles) across with a peak elevation of 551 metres (1,808 feet) above sea level. The southernmost point is Fume Point, northeast of which rises Noxious Bluff and the southwestern headland is Pacific Point. The easternmost cape is Pungent Point, the northernmost Reek Point, the northwesternmost Acrid Point and the westernmost Stench Point.[4]

Mount Asphyxia, a stratovolcano also known as Mount Curry,[5][6] dominates the western side of the island while the eastern half is a low-lying lava plain. It is an active volcano, with fresh lava reported in 1830 and numerous indications of activity since. Approximately 50% of the island is composed of tephra.[2]

In popular culture[edit]

  • The island was the inspiration for the track '(Something's going down on) Zavodovski Island' by London jazz ensemble Portico Quartet.
  • The penguin colony was featured in the "Frozen Seas" episode of the 2001 BBC nature documentary series The Blue Planet.
  • The penguin colony was also featured in the "Islands" episode of the 2016 BBC nature documentary series Planet Earth II.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Antarctic Islands - South Sandwich Archived August 20, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ a b "Satellite Spies Smoking, Hot Sandwich: Big Pic : Discovery News". Retrieved 2012-05-03.
  3. ^ "Penguin colonies at risk from erupting volcano". Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  4. ^ "Fume Point". Mapcarta. Retrieved 3 November 2016.
  5. ^ Siebert L, Simkin T (2002-). Volcanoes of the World: an Illustrated Catalog of Holocene Volcanoes and their Eruptions. Smithsonian Institution, Global Volcanism Program Digital Information Series, GVP-3.
  6. ^ National Geographic - Erupting Volcano May Have Destroyed Huge Penguin Colony
  7. ^ Planet Earth II: The natural world from a new angle, 2016-11-04, retrieved 2016-11-07