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Livingston Island
Island
(historical Russian name Smolensk, 62°36′S 60°30′W / 62.600°S 60.500°W / -62.600; -60.500) is an Antarctic
Antarctic
island in the South Shetland Islands, Western Antarctica lying between Greenwich Island
Island
and Snow Islands. This island was the first land discovered south of 60° south latitude in 1819, and the name Livingston, although of unknown derivation, has been well established in international usage since the early 1820s.

Contents

1 Geography 2 History 3 Toponymy 4 Scientific bases 5 Protected areas and sites 6 Tourism 7 Honours 8 See also 9 Maps 10 Notes 11 Bibliography 12 External links

Geography[edit]

Renier Point

Tangra Mountains

Livingston is situated in the Southern Ocean
Southern Ocean
110 km (68 mi) to the northwest of Cape Roquemaurel on the Antarctic
Antarctic
mainland, 809 km (503 mi) to the south-southeast of Cape Horn
Cape Horn
in South America, 796 km (495 mi) to the southeast of the Diego Ramirez Islands (the southernmost land of South America), 1,063 km (661 mi) due south of the Falkland Islands, 1,571 km (976 mi) to the southwest of South Georgia Islands, and 3,040 km (1,889 mi) from the South Pole.[1] The island is part of the South Shetlands
South Shetlands
archipelago, an islands chain extending 510 km (317 mi) in east-northeast to west-southwest direction, and separated from the nearby Antarctic Peninsula by Bransfield Strait, and from South America
South America
by the Drake Passage. The South Shetlands
South Shetlands
cover a total land area of 3,687 km2 (1,424 sq mi) comprising (from east to west) Clarence Island, Elephant Island, King George Island, Nelson Island, Robert Island, Greenwich Island, Livingston Island, Deception Island, Snow Island, Low Island
Island
and Smith Island, as well as numerous smaller islets and rocks.

Bransfield Strait
Bransfield Strait
from Livingston Island

Livingston is separated from the neighbouring Greenwich Island
Island
to the east, Deception Island
Island
to the south and Snow Island
Island
to the west-southwest by McFarlane Strait, Smolensk Strait
Smolensk Strait
and Morton Strait respectively. Deception Island, located barely 18 km (11.2 mi) southwest of Livingston’s Barnard Point
Barnard Point
in the Bransfield Strait, is a volcano whose caldera forms the sheltered harbour of Port Foster
Port Foster
entered by a single 540 metres (1,770 feet) wide passage known as Neptune's Bellows.[1] The island extends 73 km (45 mi) from Start Point in the west to Renier Point
Renier Point
in the east, its width varying from 5 km (3.1 mi) at the neck between South Bay and Hero Bay
Hero Bay
to 36 km (22 mi) between Botev Point
Botev Point
to the south and Williams Point
Williams Point
to the north, with surface area of 798 square kilometres (308 sq mi).[2][3] There are many islets and rocks in the surrounding waters, particularly off the north coast. More sizable among the adjacent smaller islands are Rugged Island
Island
off Byers Peninsula (which also contain a small freshwater lake named Basalt Lake), Half Moon Island
Island
in Moon Bay, Desolation Island
Island
in Hero Bay
Hero Bay
and Zed Islands
Zed Islands
to the north.

The Sphinx

Huron Glacier
Huron Glacier
and McFarlane Strait

Mount Friesland

Ice cliffs, often withdrawing during recent decades to uncover new coves, beaches and points, form most of the coastline. Except for isolated patches, the land surface is covered by an ice cap, highly crevassed in certain segments, with ice domes and plateaus in the central and western areas, and a number of valley glaciers formed by the more mountainous relief of eastern Livingston. Typical of the island’s glaciology are the conspicuous ash layers originating from volcanic activity on the neighbouring Deception Island.[4] Apart from the extensive Byers Peninsula
Byers Peninsula
(61 km2 or 24 sq mi) forming the west extremity of Livingston, the ice-free part of the island includes certain coastal areas at Cape Shirreff, Siddins Point, Hannah Point, Williams Point, Hurd Peninsula and Rozhen Peninsula, as well as slopes in the mountain ranges, and ridges and heights in eastern Livingston that are too precipitous to keep snow. The principal mountain formations include Tangra Mountains (30 km or 19 mi long, with Mt Friesland rising to 1,700 m or 5,577 ft), Bowles Ridge
Bowles Ridge
(6.5 km or 4 mi, elevation 822 m or 2,697 ft), Vidin
Vidin
Heights (8 km or 5 mi, 604 m or 1,982 ft), Burdick Ridge (773 m or 2,536 ft), Melnik Ridge
Melnik Ridge
(696 m or 2,283 ft) and Pliska Ridge
Pliska Ridge
(667 m or 2,188 ft) in the eastern part of the island, and Oryahovo Heights
Oryahovo Heights
(6 km or 4 mi, 340 m or 1,115 ft), and Dospey Heights
Dospey Heights
(6 km or 4 mi, 265 m or 869 ft).[1] The coastline of the island is irregular, with the more significant indentations of South Bay, False Bay, Moon Bay, Hero, Barclay, New Plymouth, Osogovo and Walker, and the peninsulas of Hurd (extension 10 km or 6.2 mi), Rozhen (9 km or 5.6 mi), Burgas (10.5 km or 6.5 mi), Varna (13 km or 8.1 mi), Ioannes Paulus II (12.8 km or 8.0 mi) and Byers (15 km or 9.3 mi).[1] The local variety of the Antarctic
Antarctic
Peninsula weather is particularly changeable, windy, humid and sunless. Says Australian mountaineer Damien Gildea: ‘Livingston got just about the worst weather in the world’. A US seasonal field camp on Byers Peninsula
Byers Peninsula
was wrecked by storm and emergency evacuated in February 2009.[5] Whiteouts are common, and blizzards can occur at any time of the year. Temperatures are rather constant, rarely exceeding 3 °C (37.4 °F) in summer or falling below −11 °C (12.2 °F) in winter, with wind chill temperatures up to 5 to 10 °C (9 to 18 °F) lower. Below are the average temperatures of the warmest month, coldest month, yearly average, and the average annual rainfall of Livingston Island.[6]

Place Average: Warmest month Average: Coldest month Annual average Average annual rainfall mostly in snow

°C °F °C °F °C °F mm in

Livingston Island
Island
(coastal areas) 2.6 36.7 −4.6 23.7 −1 30.2 377 14.8

History[edit] Main article: History of Antarctica

Old whaling boat on Half Moon Island

It was only during the nineteenth century that any land was discovered in what are now the ‘political’ territories of Antarctica, and that land happened to be Livingston Island. Captain William Smith in the English merchant brig Williams, while sailing to Valparaíso during 1819 deviated from his route south of Cape Horn, and on 19 February sighted the northeast extremity of Livingston, Williams Point. That was the first land ever discovered south of 60° south latitude, in the present Antarctic
Antarctic
Treaty area.[7]

Catalunyan Saddle

A few months later Smith revisited the South Shetlands
South Shetlands
to land on King George Island
Island
on 16 October 1819 and claim possession for Britain. In the meantime, a Spanish vessel had been damaged by severe weather in the Drake Passage
Drake Passage
and sunk off the north coast of Livingston in September 1819. The 74-gun ship San Telmo commanded by Captain Rosendo Porlier was the flagship of a Spanish naval squadron. The more than 600 persons killed when the San Telmo sank were the first recorded people to die in Antarctica. While no one survived, parts of her wreckage were found subsequently by sealers on Half Moon Beach, Cape Shirreff.[1] During December 1819 William Smith returned with his ship to the South Shetlands. This time he was chartered by Captain William Shirreff, British commanding officer in the Pacific
Pacific
stationed in Chile, and accompanied by Lieutenant Edward Bransfield
Edward Bransfield
who was tasked to survey and map the new lands. On 30 January 1820 they sighted the mountains of the Antarctic
Antarctic
Peninsula, unaware that three days earlier the continent had already been discovered by the Russian Antarctic expedition of Fabian Gottlieb Thaddeus von Bellingshausen and Mihail Lazarev. One year later, Bellingshausen and Lazarev had circumnavigated Antarctica
Antarctica
and arrived in the South Shetlands
South Shetlands
region during January 1821 to find over 50 American and English sealing vessels and 1000 men taking hundreds of thousands of fur seal skins. While sailing between Deception Island
Island
and Livingston (named Smolensk
Smolensk
by the Russians) Bellingshausen met the American Captain Nathaniel Palmer, yet another pioneer of Antarctic
Antarctic
exploration who is alleged to have sighted the mainland himself during the previous November. Toponymy[edit]

Zograf Peak

Remains of huts and sealer artefacts are still found on Livingston, which possesses the second greatest concentration of historical sites in Antarctica
Antarctica
(after South Georgia). The names of many geographical features on the island also refer to its early history. Among the commemorated are ship captains such as the Americans Christopher Burdick, Charles Barnard, Robert Johnson, Donald MacKay, Robert Inott, David Leslie, Benjamin Brunow, Robert Macy, Prince Moores and William Napier, the Britons William Shirreff, M’Kean, John Walker, Ralph Bond, Christopher MacGregor, T. Binn and William Bowles, the Australian Richard Siddins, people like the New York shipowner James Byers, the American whaling merchants William and Francis Rotch, British Admiralty hydrographer Thomas Hurd, and John Miers, publisher of the first chart of the South Shetland Islands
South Shetland Islands
based on the work of William Smith, or sealing vessels like Huron, Williams, Samuel, Gleaner, Huntress, Charity, Hannah, Henry, John, Hero and others. Some of the place names given by the nineteenth century sealers are descriptive, such as Devils Point, Hell Gates
Hell Gates
and Neck or Nothing Passage, hazardous places where ships and people were lost; Inept Cove, Needle Peak, or the Robbery Beaches
Robbery Beaches
where American sealers were robbed of their sealskins by the British. However, names like Livingston, Mount Friesland
Mount Friesland
and Renier Point
Renier Point
also became established during the first few seasons after the discovery of the islands, yet their particular origins remain unknown. Livingston was the third name of the island, introduced in a 1821 publication by sealer Robert Fildes,[8] following the popular early name Friesland Island
Island
(in a variety of spellings) and the name Smolensk
Smolensk
given by Bellingshausen in commemoration of one of the great battles of the Napoleonic Wars. The toponyms Friesland and Smolensk are now preserved as Mount Friesland
Mount Friesland
and Smolensk
Smolensk
Strait respectively.[1] The name Livingston has nothing to do with the Scotsman David Livingstone
David Livingstone
though, who was an 8-year-old boy in 1821, yet to become a cotton mill worker and still later a missionary and famous explorer of Africa.[3] Scientific bases[edit]

Juan Carlos I Base
Juan Carlos I Base
(Spain)

The first modern, 'post-sealer' habitation facility on Livingston Island
Island
was the British base camp Station P
Station P
that operated in Hannah Point area during the 1957/58 summer season. The permanent scientific bases of Juan Carlos I (Spain) and St. Kliment Ohridski (Bulgaria) were established in 1988 at South Bay. Other base facilities are the small Shirreff Base
Shirreff Base
(or Guillermo Mann, Chile
Chile
and the U.S.) on Cape Shirreff since 1991, and the summer base Cámara (Argentina) on nearby Half Moon Island
Island
since 1953.

St. Kliment Ohridski (Bulgaria)

Occasional field camps support research in remote areas of the island. Camp Byers
Camp Byers
(Spain) operates regularly near Nikopol Point
Nikopol Point
on Byers Peninsula, the seasonal Camp Livingston (Argentina) is also situated on Byers Peninsula, and the Camp Academia
Camp Academia
site situated at elevation 541 m (1,775 ft) in upper Huron Glacier, Wörner Gap
Wörner Gap
area served as a base camp of the Tangra 2004/05
Tangra 2004/05
topographic survey. Camp Academia is accessible by 11–12.5 km (6.8–7.8 mi) routes from St. Kliment Ohridski and Juan Carlos I respectively, and offers convenient overland access to Tangra Mountains
Tangra Mountains
to the south; Bowles Ridge, Vidin
Vidin
Heights, Kaliakra Glacier
Kaliakra Glacier
and Saedinenie Snowfield
Saedinenie Snowfield
areas to the north; Huron Glacier
Huron Glacier
to the east; and Perunika Glacier
Perunika Glacier
and Huntress Glacier
Huntress Glacier
to the west. Camp Academia
Camp Academia
was named for the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
in appreciation of Academy’s contribution to the Antarctic
Antarctic
exploration, and has been designated as the summer post office Tangra 1091 of the Bulgarian Posts
Bulgarian Posts
since 2004. Field work done out of Camp Academia
Camp Academia
during the 2004/05 season has been noted by Discovery Channel as a timeline event in Antarctic exploration.[9] Protected areas and sites[edit]

Camp Academia

In order to protect Antarctica, the Antarctic
Antarctic
Treaty system enforces a strict general regime regulating human presence and activities on the continent, and designates certain protected territories where access is allowed only for scientific purposes, and with special permission. There have been two such nature reserves on Livingston Island
Island
since 1966, comprising respectively the extensive Byers Peninsula, and the small peninsula of Cape Shirreff
Cape Shirreff
together with San Telmo Island
Island
and adjacent waters. Subject of protection are the fossils demonstrating the link between Antarctica
Antarctica
and other austral continents, a variety of abundant flora and fauna including colonies of seals and penguins that are the subject of scientific study and monitoring, as well as numerous historical monuments dating from the nineteenth century. There are two Historic Sites or Monuments of Antarctica
Antarctica
on the island. San Telmo Cairn (HSM 59) at Cape Shirreff
Cape Shirreff
commemorates the 644 officers, soldiers and seamen lost when the Spanish warship San Telmo sank nearby in September 1819. The Lame Dog Hut
Lame Dog Hut
(HSM 91) at St. Kliment Ohridski base is the oldest preserved building on Livingston Island
Island
considered, together with its associated artefacts, as part of the cultural and historic heritage of the island and Antarctica. The hut hosts the Livingston Island
Island
Museum, a branch of the National Museum of History in Sofia. Tourism[edit]

Hannah Point

Antarctic
Antarctic
shipborne tourism on the South Shetland Islands
South Shetland Islands
was initiated in 1958. Since then the number of tourists visiting Antarctica
Antarctica
has grown to tens of thousands annually. Over 95% tour the South Shetlands
South Shetlands
and the nearby Antarctic
Antarctic
Peninsula, Hannah Point
Hannah Point
on the south coast of Livingston. Half Moon Island
Island
off the east coast as well as the nearby Deception Island
Island
and the Aitcho Islands
Aitcho Islands
near Greenwich Island
Island
are among the most popular destinations frequented by cruise ships, offering walks amidst spectacular scenery and wildlife. The northeasternmost slopes of Tangra Mountains
Tangra Mountains
between Elena Peak
Elena Peak
and Renier Point
Renier Point
together with the adjacent portion of Sopot Ice Piedmont are a popular site for backcountry skiing and climbing, with skiers landed by Zodiac rigid inflatable boats from cruise ships visiting the Half Moon Island
Island
area.[10][11] Honours[edit] Several squares and streets in Bulgarian towns and cities are named after Livingston Island, such as Livingston Island
Island
Square in Samuil and Kula, and Livingston Island
Island
Street in Gotse Delchev, Yambol, Petrich, Sofia, Lovech
Lovech
and Vidin.[12][13][14][15] See also[edit]

Antarctic
Antarctic
Place-names Commission Bulgarian toponyms in Antarctica Camp Academia Camp Byers Composite Antarctic
Antarctic
Gazetteer Juan Carlos I Base List of Antarctic
Antarctic
and sub- Antarctic
Antarctic
islands List of Antarctic
Antarctic
islands south of 60° S SCAR South Shetland Islands St. Kliment Ohridski Base Tangra Mountains Tangra 2004/05
Tangra 2004/05
Survey Territorial claims in Antarctica

Maps[edit]

Livingston Island
Island
and Greenwich Island

Chart of South Shetland including Coronation Island, &c. from the exploration of the sloop Dove in the years 1821 and 1822 by George Powell Commander of the same. Scale ca. 1:200000. London: Laurie, 1822. South Shetland Islands. Scale 1:200000 topographic map. DOS 610 Sheet W 62 60. Tolworth, UK, 1968. South Shetland Islands. Scale 1:200000 topographic map. DOS 610 Sheet W 62 58. Tolworth, UK, 1968. Isla Elefante a Isla Trinidad. Mapa hidrográfico a escala 1:500000 - 1:350000. Valparaíso: Instituto Hidrográfico de la Armada de Chile, 1971. Islas Shetland del Sur de Isla 25 de Mayo a Isla Livingston. Mapa hidrográfico a escala 1:200000. Buenos Aires: Servicio de Hidrografía Naval de la Armada, 1980. Islas Livingston y Decepción. Mapa topográfico a escala 1:100000. Madrid: Servicio Geográfico del Ejército, 1991. Isla Livingston: Península Hurd. Mapa topográfico de escala 1:25000. Madrid: Servicio Geográfico del Ejército, 1991. (Map reproduced on p. 16 of the linked work) Península Byers, Isla Livingston. Mapa topográfico a escala 1:25000. Madrid: Servicio Geográfico del Ejército, 1992. L.L. Ivanov. St. Kliment Ohridski Base, Livingston Island. Scale 1:1000 topographic map. Sofia: Antarctic
Antarctic
Place-names Commission of Bulgaria, 1996. (The first Bulgarian Antarctic
Antarctic
topographic map, in Bulgarian) L.L. Ivanov. Livingston Island: Central-Eastern Region. Scale 1:25000 topographic map. Sofia: Antarctic
Antarctic
Place-names Commission of Bulgaria, 1996. S. Soccol, D. Gildea and J. Bath. Livingston Island, Antarctica. Scale 1:100000 satellite map. The Omega Foundation, USA, 2004. L.L. Ivanov et al., Antarctica: Livingston Island
Island
and Greenwich Island, South Shetland Islands
South Shetland Islands
(from English Strait
Strait
to Morton Strait, with illustrations and ice-cover distribution), 1:100000 scale topographic map, Antarctic
Antarctic
Place-names Commission of Bulgaria, Sofia, 2005 L.L. Ivanov. Antarctica: Livingston Island
Island
and Greenwich, Robert, Snow and Smith Islands. Scale 1:120000 topographic map. Troyan: Manfred Wörner Foundation, 2010. ISBN 978-954-92032-9-5 (First edition 2009. ISBN 978-954-92032-6-4) L.L. Ivanov. Antarctica: Livingston Island
Island
and Smith Island. Scale 1:100000 topographic map. Manfred Wörner Foundation, 2017. ISBN 978-619-90008-3-0 Antarctic
Antarctic
Digital Database (ADD). Scale 1:250000 topographic map of Antarctica. Scientific Committee on Antarctic
Antarctic
Research (SCAR). Since 1993, regularly upgraded and updated.

Notes[edit]

^ a b c d e f Ivanov, L. General Geography and History of Livingston Island. In: Bulgarian Antarctic
Antarctic
Research: A Synthesis. Eds. C. Pimpirev and N. Chipev. Sofia: St. Kliment Ohridski University Press, 2015. pp. 17–28. ISBN 978-954-07-3939-7 ^ L.L. Ivanov. Antarctica: Livingston Island
Island
and Greenwich, Robert, Snow and Smith Islands. Scale 1:120000 topographic map. Troyan: Manfred Wörner Foundation, 2010. ISBN 978-954-92032-9-5 (First edition 2009. ISBN 978-954-92032-6-4) ^ a b Ivanov, L. and N. Ivanova. Livingston Island. In: Antarctic: Nature, History, Utilization, Geographic Names and Bulgarian Participation. Sofia: Manfred Wörner Foundation, 2014. pp. 16–20. (in Bulgarian) ISBN 978-619-90008-1-6 (Second revised and updated edition Archived 2016-02-10 at the Wayback Machine., 2014. 411 pp. ISBN 978-619-90008-2-3) ^ López Martínez, J., Ed. 1992. Geología de la Antártida Occidental. Simposios T3. Salamanca: III Congreso Geológico de España y VIII Congreso Latinoamericano de Geología. 358 p. ^ Antarctic
Antarctic
Sun, March 6, 2009 ^ Labajo, A. 2008. Updated Information on Spain’s Antarctic
Antarctic
and Sub- Antarctic
Antarctic
“Weather-Forecasting” Interests. For The International Antarctic
Antarctic
Weather Forecasting Handbook: IPY 2007–08 Supplement. ^ Headland, R. 2009. A Chronology of Antarctic
Antarctic
Exploration: A Synopsis of Events and Activities From the Earliest Times Until the International Polar Years, 2007–09. London: Bernard Quaritch. 722 pp. ^ Purdy, J. 1855. Laurie’s Sailing Directory of the Ethiopic or Southern Atlantic Ocean; Including the Coasts of Brasil etc. to the Rio de la Plata, the Coast thence to Cape Horn, and the African Coast to the Cape of Good Hope etc; Including the Islands between the Two Coasts. 4th ed. London: Richard Laurie. p. 173. ^ 14 November 2004: Tangra. Discovering Antarctica
Antarctica
Timeline. Discovery Channel UK website, 2012. ^ S. Romeo. IceAxe.TV Antarctic
Antarctic
Peninsula Ski Cruise Update 4. TetonAT website, 2009. ^ T. Crocker. Livingston Island, South Shetlands. Liftlines Skiing and Snowboarding Forums, 17 November 2011. ^ Vidin
Vidin
Info ^ Gotse Delchev Municipality site[dead link] ^ Razgrad News ^ Gradski Vestnik

Bibliography[edit]

Livingston Island. Antarctic
Antarctic
Place-names Commission of Bulgaria, 2006.

Ivanov, L. General Geography and History of Livingston Island. In: Bulgarian Antarctic
Antarctic
Research: A Synthesis. Eds. C. Pimpirev and N. Chipev. Sofia: St. Kliment Ohridski University Press, 2015. pp. 17–28. ISBN 978-954-07-3939-7 Antarctica: Livingston Island, Climb Magazine, Issue 14, Kettering, UK, April 2006, pp. 89–91. Ivanov, L.L. Livingston Island: Tangra Mountains, Komini Peak, west slope new rock route; Lyaskovets Peak, first ascent; Zograf Peak, first ascent; Vidin
Vidin
Heights, Melnik Peak, Melnik Ridge, first ascent. The American Alpine Journal, 2005. pp. 312–315. Gildea, D. Mountaineering in Antarctica: complete guide: Travel guide. Primento and Editions Nevicata, 2015. ISBN 978-2-51103-136-0

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Livingston Island.

South Shetland Islands. 70south, 2005. Information on the South Shetland Islands including Livingston Island. Expedition Tangra 2004/05. Spanish base Juan Carlos I. Expedition Omega Livingston 2003. The Omega Foundation, USA, 2003. Protected area Byers Peninsula. Management Plan and Map. Protected area Cape Shirreff. Management Plan and Map.

 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Geological Survey
United States Geological Survey
document "Livingston Island" (content from the Geographic Names Information System).

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