How Santorini Came to Be

Hi everyone! My name is Petra and I will be leading you on a tour of Santorini, an island in the Aegean Sea with an explosive past. I’ve included a photo of myself above so you will recognize me as we go exploring. Let’s begin by looking at the different types of volcanoes! The photo above shows the six different types of volcanoes that can … Continue reading How Santorini Came to Be

Santorini: An Island Paradise with a Ground-Shaking Secret

Though Santorini is considered one of the most beautiful islands in the world, its beauty is a mask to a very violent history of volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, landslides, tsunamis, floods, and many more hazards. With this in mind, it is okay to go to the beach, try some new foods, hike up a new terrain, and immerse yourself in greek island culture. But spending 4,000 … Continue reading Santorini: An Island Paradise with a Ground-Shaking Secret

A Beautiful Place with a Frightening Reality

After living in California on the San Andreas fault, I never realized how many people did not know how dangerous it was and all of the misconceptions people had about the fault. Before I started taking geology classes, I was definitely one of those people. I knew that it was there, but I really did not know much about it. I didn’t know the risks … Continue reading A Beautiful Place with a Frightening Reality

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? 

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How it’s Made: The Formation of Santorini

As we arrived in Santorini, I wondered how this island was created. How did this island become this unique and geologically complex crescent shape? So, as a person who needs their questions answered, I investigated this topic, and the results were more than satisfying. From just a few limestone and metamorphic hills to massive caldera-forming eruptions, Santorini definitely had a more complex history than I … Continue reading How it’s Made: The Formation of Santorini

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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The Minoan Tsunami: Two Theories, Past and Present

When I was thirteen I visited the coastal Alaskan town of Yakutat for a photography trip with my dad. On the beach there were signs to look out for wash up items on the beach from the 2011 Japan tsunami, some of the items included dolls, soccer balls and a lot of trash. I was shocked to see these items on a beach in Alaska when the tsunami occurred over 4000 miles away. This was my first and only experience with a tsunami. Six years later I came here to Greece and learned about the tsunami from the Minoan eruption and my curiosity was piqued again. 

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The beginning, middle, and no end in sight.

Our first day of class on Santorini was nerve wracking for me. I had no clue what information Professor Skinner would be telling us, how fast paced the class would be, or what knowledge I would have to remember from when I took Geologic Disasters two semesters ago. It helped to see that everyone was in the same position I was in, all nerves with a slight bit of excitement for the unknown information.

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