Deception Island is an active volcano in the South Shetland Islands, near the Antarctic Peninsula. It is one of the most intriguing islands in the world with a unique landscape comprised of mysterious steaming beaches, magnificent glaciers and barren volcanic slopes. The island is horse-shoe shaped, with a flooded caldera. This volcanic depression connects to the sea via a narrow channel at Neptune’s Bellows, forming a natural harbour. This makes the island one of the few places in the world where ships can sail into the centre of a volcano. The island has an area of 98.5 square kilometres and over half of this area is covered by permanent glaciers. It is classed as an active caldera with a significant risk of volcanic activity. A volcanic alert scheme is used to indicate whether a volcanic eruption is expected or not. Green indicates that the volcano is dormant while red indicates that a major eruption is in progress or expected within the next 24 hours. The island has been claimed by Britain, Chile and Argentina and each of these countries has operated a research station on the island.
The climate of Deception Island is polar maritime with a mean annual air temperature of -3 degrees Centigrade. Temperatures range from +11 degrees centigrade to -28 degrees Centigrade. However, around the fumaroles and geothermal waters the temperature can reach 70 degrees Centigrade.