Santoríni Caldera

Thíra Island, Aegean Sea - In about 1640 BC a gigantic eruption occurred on the eastern Mediterranean island of Thíra (Thera), also known as Santoríni. The eruption was so destructive that it was probably a factor in the decline of the Minoan culture. Although no direct records of the eruption exist, we can infer that it had a widespread impact on the Minoan civilization on nearby Crete and other islands. Many scholars attribute the legend of the lost continent of Atlantis to this eruption. The disaster may have been the basis for Greek philosopher Plato’s writings on the lost continent of Atlantis. It certainly devastated the island of Thíra, causing a large part of it to be submerged under the sea as a volcanic caldera known as Santoríni. Today the volcano is a huge caldera called Santoríni that is submerged in the sea and nearly encircled by what remained of Thíra after the eruption. The island is now one of the Aegean Islands of Greece. Several minor lava eruptions have built up two small islands in the caldera’s center. The last of these eruptions was in 1950. Although that eruption was minor, the history of this volcano shows that it is capable of truly enormous explosions that would have devastating effects.

We were in awe of the beauty and splendors of this small island and wish to share some of its sites.










      Cliffs with major & Capital city of FIRA                                  Harbor

Santorini is complex of overlapping shield volcanoes. Basalt and andesite lava flows that make the shield are exposed in the cliff below the town of Phira. Some of the cliff is thought to be a caldera wall associated with an eruption 21,000 year ago. Druitt and Francaviglia (1992) found evidence of at least 12 large explosive eruptions in the last 200,000 years at Santorini. The white layer at the top is the Minoan tephra from the 1,650 B.C. eruption. Photography copyrighted by Robert Decker.


       Santorini Harbor with path to top.                              Lava entrapped homes












































































Thera, Santorini, Greece

Thera, Santorini, Greece







Fira's catholic quarter with  cathedral. Anaphi        Fira, Santorini's capital at sunset. (Pfeffier)















 stop is one of my favorites.....Rhodes and particularly Lindos.




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