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Bristol Island volcano

Updated: Mar 5, 2024 00:13 GMT -
Stratovolcano 1100 m / 3,609 ft
United Kingdom, South Sandwich Is, -59.03°S / -26.58°W
Current status: normal or dormant (1 out of 5)
Last update: 20 Dec 2021
NASA Earth Observatory image of Bristol Island on 24 April 2016 by Jesse Allen, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey.
NASA Earth Observatory image of Bristol Island on 24 April 2016 by Jesse Allen, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey.

Bristol volcano forms an ice-capped, roughly rectangular island 12x14 km wide and is one of the largest of the South Sandwich Islands chain. Its highest peak is 1100 meters (3,609 feet) above sea level.
Although very active, it is one of the least studied and least known volcanoes in the world due to the remote location. Prior to its most recent eruption in 2016, detected on satellite imagery, the only other known eruption of Bristol Island occurred in 1956.

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Typical eruption style: unspecified
Bristol Island volcano eruptions: 2016, 1956

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Background

The 9 x 10 km Bristol Island near the southern end of the South Sandwich arc lies across Fortser's Passage from the Southern Thule Islands and forms one of the largest islands of the chain. Largely glacier-covered, it contains a horseshoe-shaped ridge at the interior extending northward from the highest peak, 1100-m-high Mount Darnley. A steep-sided flank cone or lava dome, Havfruen Peak, is located on the east side, and a young crater and fissure are on the west flank.
Three large sea stacks lying off Turmoil Point at the western tip of the island may be remnants of an older now-eroded volcanic center. Both summit and flank vents on Bristol Island have been active during historical time. The latest eruption, during 1956, originated from the west-flank crater, and deposited cinder over the icecap. The extensive icecap on Bristol Island and the difficulty of landing make it the least explored of the South Sandwich Islands.
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Smithsonian / GVP volcano information


See also: Sentinel hub | Landsat 8 | NASA FIRMS
Wed, 14 Sep 2016, 12:05

Bristol Island volcano (UK): details of lava flows emplaced during the April-July 2016 eruption

Lava flow field on Bristol Island on 22 Sep 2016 (image: Landsat 8 / annotated by Culture Volcan)
The latest eruption of the volcano during April - late July 2016 could only be observed from space. An analysis of images taken before, during and after the eruption allows to see a vast field of fresh lava flows. ... Read all
Mon, 8 Aug 2016, 16:21

Bristol volcano (South Sandwich Islands, UK): activity seems to have stopped

Satellite image of Bristol Island volcano yesterday
The eruption on the remote island seems to have come to and end or paused. Read all