All About Volcanoes , The Power of the Thera Eruption

As we dig deeper into the list of Decade Volcanoes, we will encounter an entry that may have been responsible for causing the collapse of an ancient civilization. To find out who suffered the most when it came to an eruption that occurred thousands of years ago, continue reading.

8) Santorini (Greece)

Situated in the southern part of the Aegean Sea, you will find Santorini , a small, circular archipelago of volcanic islands located about 200 kilometers from the mainland of Greece. Also referred to as Thera (or Thira), this volcano has earned a place on the list of Decade Volcanoes. While the volcano chain is positioned close to a collection of uninhabited islands (such as Palaia Kameni, and Christiani), there are residents that dwell close to Santorini.

Santorini is actually the remnants of a huge volcanic explosion that destroyed early settlements that attempted to call the once solo island their home. The explosion is also responsible for the establishment of the current geological caldera (which resembles a cauldron) of the region. However, there is great visual beauty to enjoy when gazing at Santorini, which has catapulted the site to one of the most popular tourist spots in Europe.

An intriguing feature of Santorini is the large centralized lagoon that measures 8 miles by 4 miles, where steep cliffs that reach into the air surround on three sides. With the Aegean Sea as a backdrop, the island showcases a downward slope departing from the cliffs. A smaller island called Therasia separates the lagoon from the sea, which is used for various kinds of shipping exploits.

When it comes to the South Aegean Volcanic Arc, Santorini is considered the most active volcanic center. Today, the caldera is filled with water, but the island still serves as one of the largest volcanic eruptions that the planet has known , referred to as the Minoan Eruption. Depending on who you speak to, it is not uncommon to here of this eruption as being referred to as the Thera Eruption.

This eruption that marked the historic significance of Santorini took place about 3,600 years ago when the Minoan civilization was at its best As a result, a large caldera was born with volcanic ash as its surroundings. The deposits are estimated to have settled hundreds of feet deep. Many believe that this eruption indirectly caused the collapse of the Minoan civilization that once thrived on the island of Crete.  However, there is another theory regarding the Thera Eruption, as some believe that the tale is connected to the legend of Atlantis.

About the Minoan Civilization

It was during the Bronze Age that the Minoan civilization thrived in history with a culture that prospered from about 2700 to 1450 BC. Their domain was found on the island of Crete and continued for some time until the Mycenaean Greek culture became a dominant force there.

To learn more about the ancient Minoan civilization, check out “All About the Minoan Civilization”