Cape Plaka: A Trail Through History

The day was June 06, 2018. My day began atop a landscape overlooking the Aegean Sea. The heat was blistering and the air was humid, but I will not forget what I saw this day. To the front of me is the Aegean Sea, but positioned to my right is the explosive history of Santorini. I examined the wall, taking in each gradational layer piled … Continue reading Cape Plaka: A Trail Through History

My Geologic Adventure to Oια

 

June 6, 2018

Dear Diary,

Today we went on an amazing hike from the base of Peresteria volcano to the city of Οια (ee-Yah) in Santorini, Greece to broaden our knowledge on volcanic formations. 

We arrived on the outskirts of Οια approximately at 11:03 a.m., which was early enough to experience a light breeze from the north. Personally, I was super tired from hike down to Cape Plaka yesterday. The hike was intense, the sun beat hard, and I got beat up by the ocean pretty bad. Sweat burned in the cuts and scratches on my leg and hand. Additionally, had I known that the hike would be so strenuous would have definitely worked out before flying over to Santorini. Honestly, someone should have warned a big girl like me. Despite all the stress of hiking the class came across some interesting formations along the way.  Keep Reading!

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. 
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Into the Air: a Sky Filled with Ash, Gas, and Glass

Growing up in the mountains of Colorado I appreciate fresh, clean air. As I inhale, I greatly enjoy the crisp aromic air of Santorini.  In general we take for granted the air we breathe in, we know that it’s oxygen, nitrogen with a little too much carbon dioxide sometimes, and some places are more humid than others. Otherwise most places we go we don’t have to worry about blocks of hot volcanic rock the size of small cars zooming through the air or breathing in high amounts of methane, carbon dioxide, liquid glass, and hot ash.  During the cataclysmic Minoan eruption in 1613±13 BC the air here resembled the latter. Almost instantaneously the air went from out typical Santorini weather to being suffused with acidic gases, ash, pumice, and various rocks filling the sky above. As we went to various outcrops on the island we saw evidence of the massive amount of material that filled the sky’s that day 3600 years ago.

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Up Close & Personal: Rock Edition

For the last week, I’ve been outside under the Santorini sun drawing and describing the post Minoan eruption stratigraphy of the island from different localities. I’ve been attempting to find answers to the history of the island’s geography through the rocks. And these rocks are so easily taken for granted, sitting while hundreds of tourists walk by unfazed by the stories they could tell. But that’s why I’m here. My purpose in coming to Santorini was to study the geology and write about what I learn. It’s my goal to share my knowledge and translate the more advanced topics of geology to layman’s terms so those reading can understand the work I’ve completed.

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Moving Megatons: The Excavational Eruptions of Calderas

I’ve just learned the full story of the Minoan eruption. In my mind, I’m imagining 60 cubic kilometers of earth. This is about the size of a block of the Los Angeles basin, by volume; a massive amount of land. I can see all this land being ejected by the volcano miles into the sky, over a span of 24 hours. Such is the case of Santorini’s last caldera forming eruption.  Continue reading “Moving Megatons: The Excavational Eruptions of Calderas”

The Birth of an Island

Thousands of people mill around on the beautiful volcanic island of Santorini every day having little knowledge of the amazing geologic history that passes under their feet. The island is ever changing and is constantly forged then reforged by the liquified rocks churning beneath the sea. There are still those that know about the volcanism that has created the island you see today but fewer know of the true volcanic origins for this paradise.

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