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The Thule Islands, at the southern end of the South Sandwich island arc bordering the Scotia Sea, consist of three stratovolcanoes constructed along an E-W-trending line. An ice-filled 1.5-2 km wide caldera truncates the summit of andesitic-dacitic Thule, the westernmost island, and a 4.3 x 4.8 km submarine caldera forms Douglas Strait between Thule and basaltic-to-dacitic Cook Island. Another possible submarine caldera lies east of Cook Island and south of basaltic-andesite Bellingshausen, the easternmost island. The age of Cook Island is uncertain, but steam was observed at the summit crater of Thule Island in 1962, and ash was seen on the surface of the ice there and on Bellingshausen Island, indicating possible 20th-century eruptions (Baker, 1968). Bellingshausen Island has a youthful, relatively ice-free profile and an extensive well-preserved lava field on its southern flank. A small explosion crater formed on the southern flank of Bellinghausen Island sometime between 1964 and 1986.
Summary of Holocene eruption dates and Volcanic Explosivity Indices (VEI).
|Start Date||Stop Date||Eruption Certainty||VEI||Evidence||Activity Area or Unit|
|1975 ± 12 years||Unknown||Confirmed||1||Historical Observations||South flank of Bellinghausen Island|
This compilation of synonyms and subsidiary features may not be comprehensive. Features are organized into four major categories: Cones, Craters, Domes, and Thermal Features. Synonyms of features appear indented below the primary name. In some cases additional feature type, elevation, or location details are provided.
|Grupo Tule del Sur|
|Feature Name||Feature Type||Elevation||Latitude||Longitude|
|Bellingshausen Island||Submarine cone||253 m||59° 26' 0" S||27° 5' 0" W|
|Cook Island||Submarine cone||1075 m||59° 28' 0" S||27° 12' 0" W|
|Thule Island||Submarine cone||725 m||59° 27' 0" S||27° 22' 0" W|
|Thule (left) and Cook (right) islands are seen surrounded by ice floes in this ASTER satellite image. Douglas Strait, the ice-free area in the center of the image, is underlain by a 4.3 x 4.8 km wide caldera between the two volcanic islands. A third stratovolcano forms Bellingshausen Island, just out of view to the right. The Thule Islands lie at the southern end of the South Sandwich island arc bordering the Scotia Sea and consist of three stratovolcanoes constructed along an E-W-trending line.
ASTER satellite image, 2003 (National Aeronautical and Space Administration, courtesy of ASTER science team).
The following references have all been used during the compilation of data for this volcano, it is not a comprehensive bibliography. Discussion of another volcano or eruption (sometimes far from the one that is the subject of the manuscript) may produce a citation that is not at all apparent from the title.
Baker P E, 1968. Comparative volcanology and petrology of the Atlantic island arcs. Bull Volc, 32: 189-206.
Berninghausen W H, Neumann van Padang M, 1960. Antarctica. Catalog of Active Volcanoes of the World and Solfatara Fields, Rome: IAVCEI, 10: 1-32.
IAVCEI, 1973-80. Post-Miocene Volcanoes of the World. IAVCEI Data Sheets, Rome: Internatl Assoc Volc Chemistry Earth's Interior..
Katsui Y (ed), 1971. List of the World Active Volcanoes. Volc Soc Japan draft ms, (limited circulation), 160 p.
LeMasurier W E, Thomson J W (eds), 1990. Volcanoes of the Antarctic Plate and Southern Oceans. Washington, D C: Amer Geophys Union, 487 p.
Smellie J L, Morris P, Leat P T, Turner D B, Houghton D, 1998. Submarine caldera and other volcanic observations in Southern Thule, South Sandwich Islands. Antarctic Sci, 10: 171-172.