(was 1900-03)

Deception Volcanic Observatory
South Shetland Islands

Instituto AntᲴico Argentino
Balcarce 290
Buenos Aires 

Universidad Nacional de R????egro 
Laboratorio de Estudio y Seguimiento de Volcanes Activos (LESVA)
Av. Roca 1242
8332 - Gral. Roca
Rio Negro



Telephone :

+54 0298 4420886

Research Director:

Dr. Alberto Tomas Caselli

Email :

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Websites :




Departamento de Volcanologia, 
Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (MNCN)
Jose Gutierrez Abascal 2
28006 Madrid - Espana

Telephone :

(34)91411 1328

Telefax :

(34)91564 4740


Dr. Alicia Garcia

Email :

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Website :



Dr. Alberto Tomas CASELLI (Argentine) - Volcanology, gas geochemistry
Dr. Alicia GARCIA (Spain)  - Volcanology, Geophysics


Dr. Ramon Ortiz (Dep. Volcanologia, MNCN-CSIC, Madrid, Spain) - Volcanology
Dr. Jesus Iba????(Universidad de Granada, Spain)) - Seismology
Dr. Javier Almendros (Universidad de Granada, Spain)) - Seismology
Dr. Manuel Berrocoso (Universidad de Cadiz, Spain) - Geodesy
Dr. Mariano Rodriguez-Arias (Universidad de Extremadura, Spain) - 
Dra. Maria dos Santos Afonso (Universidad de Buenos Aires) - Chemistry
Dr. Gabriela Badi (Universidad de la Plata) - Seismology
Dr. Mariano Agusto (Universidad de Buenos Aires) - Gas Geochemistry

Birgit Nj峴ad (Norwegian Polar Institute) 

The volcanological observatory was created in the 1993 summer in the Argentine Station of Deception Island by the Instituto Antartico Argentino (IAA) and the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC) - Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (NMCN) from Spain. It was established in response to the volcanic reactivation on Deception during the 1991-92 summer. It is going to be in operation intensively - mainly during the austral summer (from November to February/March each year). Some instruments could be operating during winter. 

Main goals:

  1. Monitor and research the volcanic activity.
  2. Provide surveillance of activity that could threaten tourists to Deception Island (more than 20.000 en 2007-2008). 


.    Telemetric seismic network, broad band seismic stations and seismic arrays (antenna). Some instruments working in winter time. Its objective is to obtain detailed information about volcanic tremors as well as low magnitude events.
.    Search of volcano magnetic signal are made from continuous recording of magnetic field intensity at Deception Island. The Livingstone Island Magnetic Observatory is used as a reference station.
.    Temperatures from hot soils and fumaroles are measured regularly. In addition aerial photographs are taken each winter to compare extension of thermal anomalies by their effects on snow and ice cover.
.    Samples of gases from fumaroles are periodically analyzed with a field geochemistry laboratory install in the Observatory (Argentine Station), by classical analytical techniques.
.    Solar and terrestrial radiation (direct & diffuse), air temperature and humidity, wind speed and direction, soil heat flux, soil temperature at 8 different deeps and snow deep cover are automatically recorded in micrometeorological station covering the island. A station monitors automatically the spatial-time evolution of anomalous high soil temperature during the year.
.    Deformation Networks
.    At present, there are 13 GPS stations, twelve of them in Deception Island and another one at the Spanish Base Juan Carlos I in Livingston Island (REGID network) established to control of the geodynamic activity of the island. The regional control is provided by several GPS stations around the South Shetland Island, the Bransfield Sea and the Antarctic Peninsula (REGAE Network).
.    The levelling network (RENID) consists of six independent lines around the island, which allow a quick action just in the area where the volcanic activity could be detected.
.    The gravimetric network (REGRID) is integrated by the stations of REGID and the benchmarks of RENID and a gravimetric point at Livingston Island. Also includes the first 6 gravity benchmarks measured each year from 1986. A continuous gravity recorder was sometimes located in the Argentine Station basement. 


The intense eruptive activity over the period 1967-1970 caused the destruction of the Chilean and British scientific stations at Pendulum Cove and Whalers Bay, and also changed the morphology of the island mainly in the area of Telephone Bay. In addition, large quantities of ash were deposited on the neighbouring islands, as can be seen at Johnson glacier at Livingston Island. From 1986 and during the austral summer, Argentinean and Spanish research teams started to monitor the volcano's activity by means of geodesic, geochemical and geophysical techniques and methods. In a parallel way, several geological and geophysical structural surveys have been carried out. At present the most significant surface manifestations of volcanic activity are evidenced by the existence of fumarolic areas, the presence of hot soils, and thermal waters. Furthermore, numerous areas exist with notable seismic activity. Recorded seismicity is either of tectonic (due to the expansion of the Bransfield rift) or volcanic origin. Until now two (1991-92 and 1998-99) seismo-volcanic crises have been recognized. After 1998-99 seismovolcanic crisis the Deception volcano monitoring has been intensified and it could be possible that, in future, the Deception Volcanological Observatory will be operated all the year.


Although the volcanic hazard of Deception Is. is moderate (small effusive to surseyan eruptions), the presence of a significant number of tourists in summer (more than ten thousand people) the volcanic risk is very high. The characteristics of the island difficult the rapid exit of the ships and the evacuation of the people as the last accidents of cruiser ships have been demonstrated.