Caldera (complex stratovolcano) 329 m (on caldera rim) / 128 m (top of most recent lava shield, Nea Kameni)
Cyclades, Greece, 36.4°N / 25.4°E
: normal or dormant
(1 out of 5)
Santorini volcano eruptions:
1613 BC +-7 years (the so-called "Minoan eruption", one of the largest plinian eruptions during the past 10,000 years on earth)
historic eruptions: 197 BC, 46/47 AD, 726, 1570-1573, 1707-1711, 1866-1870, 1925-1928, 1939-1941, 1950
Typical eruption style:
Dominantly explosive, with effusive activity during intervals. Powerful explosive, so-called Plinian eruptions appear to occur every 10-30,000 years. Construction of lava shields and minor to irregularly spaced subplinian explosive activity during interval times.
Santorini volcano tours:Santorini Geology Tour
(private tours to discover Santorini's geology with a volcanologist, 1-3 days)Light of the Aegean
(Photo tour to Santorini, Cyclades, Greece)Pearl of the Aegean - Santorini
(8-day walking and study tour on Santorini, Greece)Santorini & Milos
(9-day combination geo tour to Santorini and Milos Islands, Greece)
Santorini volcano (Greece): news
New absolute age for the Minoan eruption on Santorini: 1627-1600 BC
Close-up into one of the holes with the branch sticking inside
Prof. Walter Friedrich when at the site
Other holes where charred wood could be found
The site when I first saw it; some parts of the tree were even lying on the ground below; leaves are preserved at the base of the ash layer
We are proud to announce a scientific discovery that has been made in close connection to one of our past tours on Santorini: A new absolute date for the great Minoan eruption on Santorini volcano has been published yesterday in the issue of Science Magazine (28 April, 2006). It confirms an early date for the eruption putting it at 1627-1600 BC with very good confidence.
The dating comes from a unique finding of parts of a partly burned olive tree buried alive during the first phase of the eruption. The method is based on a combination of radiocarbon techniques and dendrochronology.
When I (Tom) found this tree, I knew this was going to be an important and very lucky coincidence, filling me with scientific excitement. It was not easy to recover some parts of the tree because of its precarious position high on the steep cliff of Santorini, but with the help of geologist Peter from Holland, who was on our tour with me a few weeks later, I managed to excavate the probably largest pieces. A special thanks goes to him!
I remember Peter's words when we said good-bye at the airport: "You should not be surprised if something very intereting comes out from this tree!" - how right he was.
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