Scott Island

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Scott Island
Scott Island and Haggits Pillar between icebergs
Scott Island and Haggits Pillar between icebergs
Waters Southern ocean
Geographical location 67 ° 22 '42 "  S , 179 ° 54' 42"  W Coordinates: 67 ° 22 '42 "  S , 179 ° 54' 42"  W
Scott Island (Antarctica)
Scott Island
length 370 m
width 180 m
surface 4 ha
Highest elevation 50  m
Residents uninhabited
Map of the island (north is below), Haggits Pillar (right), cliffs are shown in red
Map of the island (north is below),
Haggits Pillar (right),
cliffs are shown in red

The Scott Island ( Engl. Scott Iceland ) is a four hectare large island just north of the Ross Sea in the Pacific sector of the Southern Ocean .


Scott Island (formerly called Markham Island ), which is of volcanic origin, is located about 580 km northeast of Cape Adare on Antarctic Victoria Land and about 650 km east of Cape Smyth (southeasternmost point of Sturge Island in the Balleny archipelago ).

Scott Island is about 370 m long and 180 m wide. Scott Island is 50 m high and is covered by a glacier . There are narrow stretches of beach and anchorages in the northwest and southeast .

170 meters west of the island is Haggits Pillar , a 65  m high surf pillar with a diameter of 50 meters and an area of ​​0.22  hectares . It is connected to the main island by the submarine Scott Reef and has a small stretch of beach in the south.

The islands rise steeply from a depth of over 3,600 m and are part of a volcano that exploded thousands of years ago . A few kilometers southwest of Scott is an active underwater volcano. It is believed to have been created after the Scott Island explosion. The volcano had its greatest activity to date in 1947, when it grew to about 100 meters above the water surface, but later collapsed again.


Be found on the narrow rocky beaches earless seals , elephant seals and Adelie penguins . In addition, were silver petrels , Antarktiksturmvögel , cape petrels , snow petrels , pigeons petrels and Wilson's storm petrels spotted near the island that are likely to breed here in small numbers. Life in the surrounding sea is much richer. In addition to whales , various types of ice fish live here , especially the very nutritious krill . On the seabed there are dense communities from brittle stars , sea pens , sea stars , sea urchins , sea cucumbers and sea anemones .


The flora on Scott Island is very sparse. Mosses and lichens only grow in a few places in the rock, and there are no other classes of plants near warm springs. During a Russian expedition to Scott Island, two species of fungus were found that are believed to be endemic .


From December 1987 to March 1999 there was an automatic weather station on the island . The evaluation of the data shows an average summer temperature of a few degrees below zero and a winter temperature of down to −40 ° C.


Scott Island was discovered in 1902 by Lieutenant William Colbeck on the Morning ship , which was on a rescue voyage on Robert Falcon Scott's Discovery Expedition . The name of the neighboring Haggits Pillar comes from a midshipman who lost his life on the first attempt to land. Colbeck was able to land in both the northwest and the southeast and take valuable soil samples.

Colbeck's geographical information on the island's location was so imprecise that it was not found again until 26 years later. The American Richard Evelyn Byrd sighted them on board the City of New York in December 1928 , but did not go ashore.

In 1934, Lincoln Ellsworth tried to find the island again with the motor ship Wyatt Earp . Although oceanographic measurements were carried out in the immediate vicinity - the Scott Reef was discovered here - the island could not be seen. In 1943 the island was bypassed several times by an Australian expedition, but this time it did not land, but many valuable photos were taken. The most successful expedition was an American-British expedition that stayed on the island for several weeks and built a food depot in the north and several huts in the southeast. In addition to geological investigations, magnetic field measurements that are still valid today were carried out.

After Colbeck, another landing was not possible until January 13, 1960. An expedition launched by the icebreaker USCGC Eastwind landed on the island by helicopter.

Since July 30, 1923, Scott Island has been part of New Zealand's Antarctic Territory . However, according to the Antarctic Treaty , such claims are frozen in Antarctica until at least 2041.

A mapping expedition of the Ross Sea carried out in 2006 found the island 2.3 km north of the location shown in previous maps.

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d The changing map of Antarctica. National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research , Coasts & Oceans Update, No. 17, 2007, accessed December 22, 2009 .
  2. Kerry-Jayne Wilson, Peter C. Harper: Birds observed at Scott Island, Ross Sea, Antarctica (PDF; 40kB). In: Marine Ornithology . Volume 24, 1996, pp. 51-52 (English).
  3. Malcolm R. Clark, David A. Bowden: Seamount biodiversity: high variability both within and between seamounts in the Ross Sea region of Antarctica . In: Hydrobiologia . Volume 761, No. 1, 2015, pp. 161-180 (English). doi : 10.1007 / s10750-015-2327-9
  4. a b Automatic Weather Stations - Scott Island Site ( Memento from August 28, 2006 in the Internet Archive )
  5. ^ A b William J. Mills: Exploring Polar Frontiers: A Historical Encyclopedia. ABC-Clio, Santa Barbara 2003, p. 583, ISBN 978-1-57607-422-0 .

Web links

Commons : Scott Island  - Collection of Images, Videos, and Audio Files