A Simple and Easy Math Problem

On June 13th we returned to the Cape Akrotiri lighthouse where we first looked at the domes that formed the Akrotiri peninsula. This time, Lisa wanted to show us the most massive block she’s ever seen. A block is a solidified rock that is thrown up into the air during an eruption, and can be any shape. This blocks shape was gigantic. 

We walked down the slope behind the Akrotiri lighthouse. Lisa pointed out the thin layer of pumice from Phase 1 of the eruption which consisted of pumice fall. On top of Phase 1 was the white lapilli and ash beds of Phase 2 that were deposited as a result of pyroclastic surges. Pyroclastic surges are turbulent clouds of ash and lapilli and lithic fragments that tumble across the landscape outward from the vent depositing the material according to density. Lithic fragments are usually deposited together in a pyroclastic surge because of their density. The giant block Lisa brought us down there to see was obviously too large to be carried by a pyroclastic surge. It wasn’t even close to the size of the lithic fragments carried by the surge. So how did it get there? 

Continue reading “A Simple and Easy Math Problem”

The Complex History of Santorini’s Early Caldera Complex

The Peresteria composite cone once stood high on the horizon of the Aegean. It was a prominent feature on the landscape and graced the stratosphere with its peak. Peresteria was the first subaerial volcanic feature to appear in the northern part of Thera on a major fault system known as the Colombo Line. Since its construction, it has been blown up by four caldera forming eruptions, and covered by numerous lava flows. In its exposed interior, Peresteria shows the geologic history of the island and holds the key to Santorini’s complex past. 
Continue reading “The Complex History of Santorini’s Early Caldera Complex”

The Peculiar Placement of Athens Acropolis

The Acropolis in Athens sits high above the city on a peculiar limestone mound. The Acropolis has had many uses since its installment: it provided a vantage point for defending the city, and fresh water springs around the base of the mound provided a place to wash and bathe. But most importantly, because of the immense size of the towering limestone outcrop, the Acropolis sat … Continue reading The Peculiar Placement of Athens Acropolis