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Santoríni’s volcano

Will it erupt again?

Nea Kameni island, located in Santorini caldera, Greece

Will Santoríni’s volcano erupt again? It might!

Thanks to robotic submersibles (Remotely Operated Vehicles or ROVs) first developed by Titanic-explorer Robert Ballard in the 1980s, the sea bed aroound the island has been explored in great detail, with some astonishing discoveries about the volcano’s history, reconstructed in this video.

It’s now known that all of the dozen volcanic eruptions that occurred here over the last half a million years occurred underwater—similar to the 2021—22 explosion of Hunga Tonga–Hunga Haʻapai off Tonga, the largest eruption since Krakatoa in 1883. It was hundreds of times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

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Sidelights and Myths

Text © Dana Facaros

Images by Bernard Gagnon, NASA Earth Observatory