South Sandwich Trench

South Sandwich Trench

Map of South Sandwich Plate (SAN) shows its position between the Scotia Plate (SCO), South American Plate (SAM) and the Antarctic Plate (ANT). There are also visible The East Scotia Ridge (ESR), South Sandwich Islands (SSI) and the South Sandwich Trench (SST).

The South Sandwich Trench is a deep arcuate trench in the South Atlantic Ocean lying 100 km to the east of the South Sandwich Islands. The trench is produced by the subduction of the southernmost portion of the South American Plate beneath the small South Sandwich Plate. The South Sandwich Islands constitute a volcanic island arc which results from this active subduction. Mount Belinda on Montagu Island is an active volcano.

It is the deepest trench of the Southern Atlantic Ocean, and the second deepest of the Atlantic Ocean, after the Puerto Rico Trench.

The trench is 965 km long and has a maximum depth of 8,428 metres below sea level. This location, at 55°40'S, 025°55'W, is called Meteor Deep. It is 122 km northeast of Zavodovski Island.

The southernmost portion of the South Sandwich Trench reaches south of 60°S and therefore into the Southern Ocean, thereby containing the maximum depth of that Ocean at 60°00'S, 024°W, with a depth of 7,235 meters.

See also


  • Structural evolution of the Scotia Sea floor during paleogene-quaternary period (West Antarctic)
  • "South Sandwich Islands, southern Atlantic Ocean". Volcano World. Oregon State University. Retrieved 19 November 2013. 
  • Patrick, Matthew R.; Smellie, John L.; Harris, Andrew J. L.; Wright, Robert; Dean, Ken; Izbekov, Pavel; Garbeil, Harold; Pilger, Eric (2004). "First recorded eruption of Mount Belinda volcano (Montagu Island), South Sandwich Islands". Bulletin of Volcanology 67 (5): 415–422.