Bulletin of Volcanology

, 80:11 | Cite as

Historic hydrovolcanism at Deception Island (Antarctica): implications for eruption hazards

  • Dario PedrazziEmail author
  • Károly Németh
  • Adelina Geyer
  • Antonio M. Álvarez-Valero
  • Gerardo Aguirre-Díaz
  • Stefania Bartolini
Research Article


Deception Island (Antarctica) is the southernmost island of the South Shetland Archipelago in the South Atlantic. Volcanic activity since the eighteenth century, along with the latest volcanic unrest episodes in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, demonstrates that the volcanic system is still active and that future eruptions are likely. Despite its remote location, the South Shetland Islands are an important touristic destination during the austral summer. In addition, they host several research stations and three summer field camps. Deception Island is characterised by a Quaternary caldera system with a post-caldera succession and is considered to be part of an active, dispersed (monogenetic), volcanic field. Historical post-caldera volcanism on Deception Island involves monogenetic small-volume (VEI 2–3) eruptions such forming cones and various types of hydrovolcanic edifices. The scientific stations on the island were destroyed, or severely damaged, during the eruptions in 1967, 1969, and 1970 mainly due to explosive activity triggered by the interaction of rising (or erupting) magma with surface water, shallow groundwater, and ice. We conducted a detailed revision (field petrology and geochemistry) of the historical hydrovolcanic post-caldera eruptions of Deception Island with the aim to understand the dynamics of magma-water interaction, as well as characterise the most likely eruptive scenarios from future eruptions. We specifically focused on the Crimson Hill (estimated age between 1825 and 1829), and Kroner Lake (estimated age between 1829 and 1912) eruptions and 1967, 1969, and 1970 events by describing the eruption mechanisms related to the island’s hydrovolcanic activity. Data suggest that the main hazards posed by volcanism on the island are due to fallout, ballistic blocks and bombs, and subordinate, dilute PDCs. In addition, Deception Island can be divided into five areas of expected activity due to magma-water interaction, providing additional data for correct hazard assessment on the island.


Crimson Hill Kroner Lake Monogenetic volcanism South Shetland Islands Historical activity Hydrovolcanism 



A.G. is grateful for her Ramón y Cajal contract (RYC-2012-11024). D.P. is grateful for his Beatriu de Pinós contract (2016 BP 00086). We thank the Associated Editor Jacopo Taddeucci, the Executive Editor Andrew Harris, and two anonymous reviewers for their constructive and supportive comments that significantly helped us to improve the manuscript. We thank all the military staff of the Spanish Antarctic Base Gabriel de Castilla for their constant help and for the logistic support, without which this research would not have been possible. We also thank the Laboratorio de Astronomía, Geodesia y Cartografía (Universidad de Cádiz) for providing the orthophotomap of Deception Island as well as the digital elevation model and the shape files of the geological map. English text was corrected by Dr. Grant George Buffett of Terranova Scientific.


This research was supported by the MICINN grant CTM2011-13578-E and was partially funded by the POSVOLDEC project (CTM2016-79617-P) (AEI/FEDER-UE). Analyses of stable isotopes were funded by the grant Programa Propio I (Usal-2014) through A.M.A-V.

Supplementary material

445_2017_1186_MOESM1_ESM.docx (16 kb)
Supplementary Material 1 UTM coordinates (Zone 20 S) of stratigraphic logs of Figs. 2, 3, 5. (DOCX 16 kb)
445_2017_1186_MOESM2_ESM.jpg (977 kb)
Supplementary Material 2 Grain Size analysis of Kroner Lake pyroclastic deposits. (JPEG 977 kb)
445_2017_1186_MOESM3_ESM.jpg (988 kb)
(JPEG 987 kb)
445_2017_1186_MOESM4_ESM.xlsx (24 kb)
Supplementary Material 3 Selected representative rock samples of this study and geochemical data from previous papers. (XLSX 23 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ICTJA, CSIC, Group of Volcanology, SIMGEO UB-CSICInstitute of Earth Sciences Jaume AlmeraBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Volcanic Risk Solutions, CS-INRMassey UniversityPalmerston NorthNew Zealand
  3. 3.Departamento de GeologíaUniversidad de SalamancaSalamancaSpain
  4. 4.Centro de GeocienciasUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoQuerétaroMexico

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