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Deception Island, Whaler's Bay, South Shetland Islands by geomindy

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About This Gigapan

Taken by
geomindy geomindy
Explore score
0.10 Gigapixels
Date added
Aug 15, 2013
Date taken
Jan 13, 2013
geology, landscape, travel

This 360-degree panorama was taken by Mindy Kimball on Jan 13, 2013, amongst the ruins of a whaling station and the British base (Base B) at Port Foster. Deception Island is part of the South Shetland Islands, off the coast of the Antarctic Peninsula. The island is an active volcano, and the caldera forms a bay with a black sand beach that is steaming from the thermal activity of the volcano.
The photo was taken during an expedition to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Geological Society of America (GSA), and the trip was led by Cheeseman's Ecology Safari and organized by GSA leadership and the Jackson School of Geosciences at University of Texas, Austin. We sailed on a former russian research vessel, the Akademik Ioffe.
The Akademik Ioffe is seen in the bay, and members of our expedition can be seen walking along the black sand beach (where many of us swam later in the day). The air temperature that day was 3 degrees C (with a 20-25 knot wind), and the water temperature (from the ship) was 1.5 degrees C. If you dug your hands into the sand on the steaming parts of the black sand beach, the water/sand was between 32-37 degrees C.
The geographic coordinates of this photo are 62°58'38" S 60°33'48" W
Deception Island has been visited and occupied by humans since 1911 when a whaling station was established by Norway. When whale oil prices dropped, the whaling station closed in 1931. In 1944, the British established Base B, and then handed it over to the Falkland Islands in 1945. The Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey (FIDS) eventually became the British Antarctic Survey, and the station at Base B was primarily for scientific research. In 1946 the main accommodation building burned down. The base was occupied by the British Antarctic Survey through 1967, when it had to be evacuated due to a volcanic eruption. It re-opened a year later, but then had to be shut down again from a subsequent eruption in 1969. The mudflow from 1969 covered most of the whaler's graveyard, which you can see in this panorama.
In the early 1990s, the British Antarctic Survey did a cleanup operation to remove much of the hazardous waste in Whaler's Bay, and there may still be more cleanup to come. But, the intent is to leave the buildings to preserve the geologic importance of the mudflow and because the whaling station is recognized as a historic site under the Antarctic Treaty.
Across the bay are the remains of a Chilean station that was completely destroyed in the 1969 eruption.
Most of the historic information described here was taken from a plaque (placed by the British Antarctic Survey) on the building you see in this photo.

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Stitcher Notes


GigaPan Stitch.Efx version 2.2.0375 (Windows)
Panorama size: 103 megapixels (29784 x 3488 pixels)
Input images: 15 (15 columns by 1 rows)
Field of view: 192.2 degrees wide by 22.5 degrees high (top=15.6, bottom=-6.9)
Vignette correction off
Original image properties:
Camera make: Canon
Camera model: Canon EOS REBEL T4i
Image size: 5184x3456 (17.9 megapixels)
Capture time: 2013-01-13 15:54:43 - 2013-01-13 15:55:09
Aperture: f/10 - f/14
Exposure time: 0.005 - 0.008
ISO: 100
Focal length (35mm equiv.): unknown
White balance: Automatic
Exposure mode: Automatic
Horizontal overlap: 47.8 to 75.1 percent
Computer stats: 16261.7 MB RAM, 8 CPUs
Total time 1:11 (4.7 seconds per picture)
Alignment: 11 seconds, Projection: 15 seconds, Blending: 44 seconds
(Preview finished in 39 seconds)

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