Skip to main content

EarthWatch: Icy Elephant Island

Elephant island is part of the Scotia Plate, which formed from continental fragments that once formed a land bridge between South America and Antarctica. 
Credits

Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute‚Äôs Office of Public Outreach in collaboration with the NASA Earth Observatory: https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/  
  • NASA Earth Observatory image by Joshua Stevens, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey 
  • Image of the Day story by Kasha Patel: https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/147696/elephant-island
  • Adaptation to ViewSpace by Claire Blome, Margaret W. Carruthers, and Dani Player
  • Music from Music for Nonprofits 
Transcript

(SPEECH)
[GENTLE MUSIC]
 
(DESCRIPTION)
Text, Earth Watch, Exploring the blue planet by satellite. Earth Observatory. Earth Observatory dot nasa dot gov. Operational Land Imager, Landsat 8 satellite. Icy Elephant Island.
 
December 13, 2020. This is a rare, cloud-free view of Elephant Island, a mountainous, ice-covered landform about 250 kilometers (150 miles) northeast of the Antarctic Peninsula. The Drake passage is north of the Island and Weddell Sea is south. 

Text, The highest points, Mount Pendragon and Mount Elder, are located on the southern side.  
Both points are labeled. Endurance Glacier runs across the island to the north of the mountain peaks. Text, In the center, Endurance Glacier collects most of the ice flowing in the southeast direction.
 
Elephant Island is part of the Scotia Plate, which formed from continental fragments that once formed a land bridge between South America and Antarctica.
 
Although it is in a prime location for observing whales, the island has few visitors due to its remote location and difficult terrain.
 
It has few animals and almost no vegetation, but hosts some seals, and gentoo and chinstrap penguins as they travel along their migration routes.
 
Today, Elephant Island features small research shelters, which are occupied intermittently.
 
To learn more, go to earth observatory dot nasa dot gov.