Santorini Volcano Introduction
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Santorini Volcano / Introduction

Santorini Volcano : The Bronze Age The Kameni Islands : Evolution Professor Christos Doumas The Atlantis Question
Volcano : New Evidence Discovered 20th Century Volcanic Eruptions The Akrotiri Excavations Atlantis versus Egypt

Introduction to the Santorini Volcano : A Brief History

Santorini : Island of the Volcano

Santorini is one of the 5 volcanic centers making up the southern Aegean volcanic arc. Jutting out from the deep blue sea, the sheer volcanic cliffs are topped with gleaming white houses and churches, resembling snowcapped mountains. Layer upon layer of red volcanic rock form a visual demonstration found nowhere else on earth.

Nea Kameni 21st Century
Photo : Klearchos Kapoutsis

The Minoan Volcanic Eruption : Bronze Age 1600 BC
The group of islands known as Santorini is unique. Probably the only volcano with a caldera that reaches into the sea, the last major explosion occurred during the Minoan Bronze Age 3,600 years ago. The thunderous fury of nature left its mark on the island, the home of Greece's last active volcano which still smolders today. The entire center of the circular island sank into the sea during the tremendous volcanic explosion. The eruption caused tidal waves which virtually wiped out the advanced Minoan Civilization of Crete, 70 miles to the south.

The huge mass of pumice thrown out from the Minoan eruption covered the surface of the sea over a wide region and was washed up at higher levels on the shores by the tsunamis triggered by earthquakes. A recent example is the earthquake in Santorini that happened on 9th July 1956, when the tides on the island of Ios reached a height of 25 meters. On most of the shores of the surrounding part of the Aegean, lumps of pumice have been found that clearly drifted on the surface of the water. Pumice was also found on the northern coast of Crete and on the shores of Anafi, Limnos, Paros, Samothraki, Cyprus and even Israel. Experts have discovered traces of this eruption as far as Egypt on the Nile Delta.

What remains today of Santorini is a large crescent shaped island enclosing a west bay and the largest caldera on earth.

Nea Kameni 21st Century

The Creation & Evolution of the Santorini Volcanic Fields. Strongili Island 1700 BC
Created by N.Androulakakis & G.Vougioukalakis

See more : The Evolution of the Volcano

The Christiana Islands
The volcanic islands Christiani, Askania and the Eschati reef are also part of the volcanic group of Santorini. They lie to the southwestern end of the tectonic line running northeastward through the Kameni islands to the submarine volcano of Kolumbo. At present the Christiana islands are not inhabited, but ruins, road-like structures for collecting water and other signs of human activity, including traces of the Bronze Age and medieval settlements clearly show that for many centuries they were densely populated. Christiani today has a small church and is visited by local fishermen.

Aspronisi : 'White Island'
Aspronisi is a small island covered with a thick layer of white pumice laid down by the Minoan eruption. Aspronisi is uninhabited, and even though it is only 60 meters at its highest point, its interior is almost inaccessible.

We would like to congratulate and credit the AUTHOR Walter L. Friedrich for his excellent book "Fire in the Sea : The Santorini Volcano: Natural History and the Legend of Atlantis" as the main source and inspiration for this section.

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