IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


13th October, 2023 Geography

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NASA Earth took to Instagram to share a satellite image of 'Deception Island'.


  • Deception Island is a fascinating and geologically active location situated in the South Shetland Islands archipelago, off the Antarctic Peninsula.

Geographic Features and Unique Accessibility

  • Deception Island, depicted as horseshoe-shaped in the NASA satellite image, surrounds the partially flooded caldera of an active volcano, creating the remarkable Port Foster, where ships can navigate directly into the volcanic center.
  • Its distinctive geography and accessibility have made it a popular tourist destination, drawing over 15,000 visitors annually.

Volcanic Activity and Historical Significance

  • Identified as one of the two active volcanoes in the Antarctic region, Deception Island has witnessed numerous eruptions since the 19th century, leaving a significant geological imprint on the island's landscape.
  • Historically, the island served various purposes, including as a whaling and seal-hunting station during the early 20th century and as a British military base in World War II, adding to its rich historical significance.

Ecotourism and Research

  • Despite its isolated location, Deception Island has emerged as a prominent hub for both scientific research and ecotourism. Tourists have the opportunity to explore the island's unique offerings, such as geothermal baths, penguin rookeries, and treks, as it is not completely covered in ice.
  • Scientific research stations on the island contribute to a deeper understanding of the Antarctic ecosystem and its response to volcanic activity and climate change.
  • Its black volcanic beaches and the contrast with the surrounding icy landscape make it an intriguing location for geological and environmental studies.

Conservation and Governance

  • With multiple nations historically staking claims to Deception Island, it currently falls under the governance of the Antarctic Treaty System, highlighting the significance of its conservation and protection as a unique ecological and geological site.
  • Today, Deception Island is designated as an Antarctic Specially Managed Area, emphasizing the need for the preservation and protection of its unique geological, ecological, and historical value.


Deception Island stands as a testament to the delicate balance between human exploration, scientific inquiry, and the conservation of unique natural environments, serving as a reminder of the need to protect and study our planet's most extraordinary and fragile ecosystems.


Q.   Which of the following statements is true about Deception Island?

a) It is located in the Arctic Ocean.

b) It is a dormant volcano in the South Pacific.

 c) It is known for its horseshoe shape and active volcano, allowing ships to enter its center.

d) It is a heavily populated island known for its diverse flora and fauna.

Answer: c)