Imagine what the Minoans saw if they ever tried to come back to their beloved island a couple of weeks after the eruption. There would have been ash everywhere, ash that would have been too hot to walk on. The whole ocean would have had a layer of pumice floating on it, which would have prevented the Minoans from visiting their home. The whole landscape changed dramatically, and would have been unrecognizable. The Minoans probably turned right around when they saw this. (Read Katie’s last blog to learn about why they left). I always like to imagine what their reactions would have been when they saw what happened. Maybe they didn’t know what even happened in the first place? Maybe they had an idea, and knew it was a smart idea never to return? Whatever did happen, the effects of the Minoan eruption intrigue me. Studying the volcano eruption is like the climax of the story, and researching the global effects is the ending.
Even though the island before Santorini was completely altered, it was not the only place to be affected by the eruption. The noxious gases and ash fall would have affected the entire surroundings of Santorini. Also, pumice and ash fall most likely covered the nearby islands. Ash has been found on the island of Anatolia, which lies 42 miles east of Santorini. The ash even traveled to the island of Rhodes, which is 520 miles away. Even more shockingly, the ash was found in Western Turkey, which is 800 miles away! The same pumice was found at Rhodes (187 miles away,) Limnos (351 miles away,) Paros (86 miles away,) Cyprus (452 miles away,) and many more . The pumice most likely traveled there by the ocean current.
There were also global changes due to the eruption. Fine ash particles would have been carried up into the stratosphere, where they would reflect the sun’s light which causes global cooling and periods without light.. For example, this too happened on April 10, 1815 in Indonesia, with the Mount Tambora eruption – the largest eruption ever recorded. When Mount Tambora blew its top off, so much ash was ejected that the sky darkened and the sun was blocked from view. Mount Tambora’s eruption made the Earth’s temperature drop down three degrees Celsius on average, which is why they call the time period after the eruption “The Year Without a Summer” . With an eruption as big as Santorini’s, the average temperature would have also decreased on a global scale.
Climate effects were also felt all the way to China. During the reign of King Cheih, the weather decreased and was more irregular. Also, the dimming of the sun and dry fogs were recorded. This caused crops to fail, which caused famine. Soon after, there were heavy rains that caused flooding . These floods were followed by seven years of drought. It’s truly unbelievable how an eruption can affect a country located 6,091 miles away.
Overall, I think it’s incredible how one eruption can cause so much chaos. The whole eruption itself lasted about 24 hours, which is remarkable. To think that one eruption can change everything, from the landscape to the weather worldwide. It makes me admire the power of the Earth and wonder what else it is capable of.
 Friedrich W.L., 2009, Santorini: Volcano, Natural History, & Mythology, Denmark: Aarhus University Press, 312 P.
Photo 1: Tom Pfeiffer, 2003, The Minoan Eruption, http://www.decadevolcano.net/santorini/minoaneruption.htm, (June 2015)
Photo 2+3: Bryn Mawr College Mawr, When The World Ended the Bronze Age Eruption of Thera, http://skywalker.cochise.edu/wellerr/students/santorini-Nobles/project.htm, (June 2015)