The eruption of Santorini in Greece in 1,650 B.C. was one of the largest in the last 10.000 years. About 7 cubic miles (30 cubic km) of magma was erupted. The plinian column during the initial phase of the eruption was about 23 miles (36 km) high.
The removal of such a large volume of magma caused the volcano to collapse, producing a caldera. Ash fell over a large area in the eastern Mediterranean and Turkey. The eruption probably caused the end of the Minoan civilization on the island of Crete.
Akrotiri, a Minoan city on the south part of Thera, is being excavated. About 3-6 feet (1-2 m) of ash fell on the city which had a population of about 30,000. The residents appear to have been successfully evacuated prior to the eruption. No bodies have been found in the ash.Archeologists also reported that movable objects had been taken from the city.
The Kameni Islands formed after the caldera. Eleven eruptions since 197 B.C. have made the two islands. The most recent eruption at Santorini was in 1950 on Nea Kameni, the northern island. The eruption was phreatic and lasted less than a month. It constructed a dome and produced lava flows.
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