Exploring the Science and Beauty of Sand
Whalers Bay, Deception Island, Anarctica
Deception Island is part of the South Shetland Island Archipelago located off the point of the Antarctic Peninsula. Tucked inside the ring-shaped island (an old volcanic caldera), Whalers Bay is a sheltered harbor first used by British and American fur sealers from the mid-1800s to early 1900s. After them, the whalers began arriving in the early 1900s and used the bay as a safe place to process the massive carcasses. The station closed and was abandoned in 1931. Today, the bay is a popular stop for polar eco-tourists who visit penguin colonies and other sites.
An explosive volcanic eruption of basaltic andesite in 1969 dropped tephra—the angular and highly vesicular, dark gray, red and yellow grains seen in this sample.