Cataclysmic eruptions at the Greek isle of Santorini about 3,600 years ago spewed out 9.5 to 14.3 cubic miles (40 to 60 cu km) of lava that devastated the ancient Minoan culture, and may have inspired the legend of the lost city of Atlantis.
Since that huge eruption, which affected the environment as far away as China and perhaps even North America and Antarctica, Santorini has experienced a series of smaller eruptions that ended in 1950. After a 60-year lull, the volcano re-awakened in January 2011.
Fortuitously, scientists had installed a GPS monitoring system in the area in 2006. In June 2011, they noticed that their GPS stations had moved 0.2 to 1.3 inches (5 to 32 mm) farther from the caldera (which is mostly underwater) than just six months earlier. By January 2012, the movement had accelerated, reaching 7 inches (180 mm) of growth per year.
Computer models suggest that the swelling is due to an influx of nearly 500 million cubic feet (14.1 million cubic meters) of magma into a chamber 2.5 to 3.1 miles (4 to 5 km) below the surface.
This influx of magma does not necessarily signal an impending explosion, the scientists assure us. “However, we cannot say for certain that this will not erupt either.”
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Thanks to Robert Dean for this link
Even if it should erupt, 9.5 cubic miles of lava “represents only about 0.03 percent of the estimated eruptive volume from the monstrous 1650 B.C. eruption—not nearly enough for a repeat performance,” says Discovery.com. “Should Santorini erupt, it will most likely be a relatively tame event.”
My concern of course, is the cumulative effect of so many volcanoes going off around the world. And how many underwater volcanoes are now erupting that we aren’t even aware of?
Warmer oceans and cooler skies – a deadly combination.