A re-analysis of the Late Bronze Age eruption and tsunami of Santorini, Greece, and the implications for the volcano-tsunami hazard

Dale Dominey-Howes

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    47 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The paroxysmal eruption of Santorini (ca. 3500 BP), referred to as the Late Bronze Age (LBA) eruption, probably generated multiple tsunami; their occurrence and impacts being cited frequently in scientific papers and articles. This paper examines what is known about any LBA tsunami, noting possible mechanisms of generation and identifying sedimentological traces. Firstly, the eruption sequence is outlined providing the context in which tsunami genesis may have occurred. Secondly, the arguments forwarded for the tsunami and a summary of the evidence is given. Thirdly, results of a new geological investigation for LBA tsunami deposits at 41 coastal sites from Crete and Kos are presented. The data are used to test the hypothesis that the LBA eruption generated an east Mediterranean-wide tsunami. It will be seen that no terrestrial geological evidence is identified. The paper re-examines the original arguments presented for LBA tsunami, challenging them because their founding assumptions are flawed. Together, the new data and the re-analysis of the original tsunami hypothesis indicate that there is insufficient evidence to demonstrate that any significant far-field tsunami propagated throughout the entire east Mediterranean as frequently purported. Some terrestrial evidence exists to suggest localised near-field tsunami inundation. There is good submarine evidence however, to suggest that a tsunami was focused to the W and WSW. The results have important implications for understanding the volcano-related tsunami hazard within the region and elsewhere.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)107-132
    Number of pages26
    JournalJournal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
    Volume130
    Issue number1-2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2004

    Keywords

    • Santorini
    • Late Bronze Age
    • eruption
    • tsunami
    • evidence
    • hazard

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A re-analysis of the Late Bronze Age eruption and tsunami of Santorini, Greece, and the implications for the volcano-tsunami hazard'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this