South Georgia is an island in the southern Atlantic Ocean that is part of the British Overseas territory of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. The main settlement is Grytviken. South Georgia is 167.4 kilometres (104 mi) long and 1.4 to 37 km (0.9 to 23.0 miles) wide. It is about 830 km (520 mi) north-east of Coronation Island and 550 km (340 mi) north-west from Zavodovski Island, the nearest South Sandwich island.
Central South Georgia
Map of South Georgia Island
|Archipelago||South Georgia group|
|Length||167.4 km (104.02 mi)|
|Width||37 km (23 mi)|
|Highest elevation||2,934 m (9,626 ft)|
|Highest point||Mount Paget|
The Island of South Georgia is said to have been first sighted in 1675 by Anthony de la Roché, a London merchant, and was named Roche Island on a number of early maps. It was sighted by a commercial Spanish ship named León operating out of Saint-Malo on 28 June or 29 June 1756.
On 19 March 1982, a group of Argentinians arrived at Leith Harbour and raised the Argentine flag on the island. On 3 April, the second day of the Falklands War, Argentine naval forces formally annexed the island. South Georgia was retaken by British forces on 25 April during Operation Paraquet.
The island is classified as an ET or polar tundra climate on the Köppen-Geiger classification system. It has no tree cover, and there is generally snow on the island during the winter months (April-November). The terrain is mountainous, with a central ridge and many fjords and bays along the coast. Additionally, South Georgia is a breeding ground for elephant seals, fur seals, and king penguins. The island is home to the South Georgia Pintail and the South Georgia Pipit, the only known habitat for these birds.
The island's topography include a stepped sequence of flat surfaces interpreted as wave-cut platforms formed when sea level was higher relative to the island. At sea level strandflats have been described.