South Shetland Islands

The South Shetland Islands are a group of Antarctic islands with a total area of 3,687 km2 (1,424 sq mi). They lie about 120 km (75 mi) north of the Antarctic Peninsula,[1] and between 430 km (270 mi) to 900 km (560 mi) southwest from the nearest point of the South Orkney Islands. By the Antarctic Treaty of 1959, the islands' sovereignty is neither recognized nor disputed by the signatories [citation needed] and they are free for use by any signatory for non-military purposes.

South Shetland Islands
Map of the South Shetland Islands
Location of the South Shetlands
Geography
LocationAntarctica
Coordinates62°0′S 58°0′W
Area3,687 km2 (1,424 sq mi)
Highest elevation2,105 m (6906 ft)
Highest pointMount Foster
Administration
Administered under the Antarctic Treaty System
Demographics
Populationaround 500 [citation needed]
Ethnic groupsChileans, others
Williams Point, discovered on 19 February 1819
Fragment of George Powell's 1822 chart of the South Shetland Islands
Norwegian whaling boat, Half Moon Island
Ongal Peak, Tangra Mountains
Renier Point

The islands have been claimed by the United Kingdom since 1908 and as part of the British Antarctic Territory since 1962. They are also claimed by the governments of Chile (since 1940, as part of the Antártica Chilena province) and Argentina (since 1943, as part of Argentine Antarctica, Tierra del Fuego Province).

Several countries maintain research stations on the islands. Most of them are situated on King George Island, benefitting from the airfield of the Chilean base Eduardo Frei.

There are sixteen research stations in different parts of the islands, with Chilean stations being the greatest in number.


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