American researcher conducted a study of the movement of geological rocks beautiful islands of Greece and did not rule out that an underwater volcano can be dangerous to human activity.
Photos here and in the text: Georgia Tech
Moscow, March 14. Santorini, also known as Thira, is rightfully one of the most famous and most beautiful places of the island of Greece. BBC TV and Radio called it the best islands in the world in 2011. Santorini is famous for its beaches, sunsets on the hilly coast and attracts tourists for centuries. U.S. scientist warns scientific and tourist community that has a chance of a strong eruption of an underwater volcano, which lies near the coast of a beach paradise.
The island is of volcanic origin, showed no signs of a significant geological activity since 1950. But the island's volcano woke up again, says Professor Andrew Newman, Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) — a major research center of the U.S..
Geophysicist Newman watches geology of the island in 2006 with his own established on the surface 20 of the GPS-stations. These devices use satellite navigation to measure the tiny movements of the earth surface — in the same way, for example, measure the thickness of ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica. And now he's responsibility that the Santorini caldera (depression, formed as a result of the failure of the top of the volcano) is deformed with unprecedented speed.
"After several decades of relative calm, from January 2011 series of tremors and deformation of soil again established on Santorini — says Newman. — Since our instruments in the northern part of the island moved to a distance of 5 to 9 inches. The hearth of the volcano filled and we are closely watching its activities. "
The professor is not sure that the eruption is inevitable, because it simply is nothing to compare his findings — observations of geological activity of this type is extremely small. Comparable geological activity in other known volcanic calderas to until the drive.
Santorini is the site of one of the largest volcanic events in human history. Minoan eruption, which occurred around 1650 BC, buried the large port city of Akrotiri under a layer of ash more than 20 meters and formed cliffs of Santorini, which is famous today resort.
Similar story in the near future should not happen again, says Newman, as such eruptions occur only once in a hundred thousand years. Increase the amount of magma is less than 1% of what was the beginning of the great Minoan eruption.
However, Newman said that the volume of magma in the waters of the caldera of Santorini in the last year increased by 14 million cubic meters. Lessons there is enough material to fill an area of three football fields, says the professor.
If the volcano of Santorini in fact begin to erupt, "this will result in a tsunami — small but sufficient to affect shipping traffic, including cruise ships. An earthquake can destroy homes and create landslides along the rocks, "- says Newman.
During the summer season, from May to October, the island planted about 50,000 tourists. Usually about five cruise ships stop right above the volcano, said Newman.
The study was partially supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), and it is reported that researchers published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters results may not necessarily represent the views of the Fund, which, however, the press has not given.
Source: Georgia Institute of Technology, Register