Scientists linked lower sea levels to frequent volcanic eruptions

Scientists from Brooks University in the UK have found a link between volcanic eruptions in Santorini and changes in sea level.

In the new work, the authors studied the frequency of supervolcano eruptions on the island of Santorini and the factors that could influence the frequency of such events. Therefore, they studied the volcanic rocks that formed on the slopes of Santorini over the past 360 thousand years.

About 3.6 thousand years ago, a powerful explosion occurred here, as a result of which the central part of the island plunged into the sea. As a result, traces of more than 200 previous eruptions were exposed. Through their study, we found out the connection between the level of the Mediterranean Sea and the eruptions of Santorini.

Christopher Satow, Research Fellow, Brooks University

Further, scientists studied in detail the consequences of 211 volcanic eruptions and found out that volcanic activity occurred when the water level in the Mediterranean Sea was 40-80 meters lower than the current one. Only four eruptions of the supervolcano occurred when sea level was close to modern.

Geologists modeled how changes in sea level affect magma flows and determined that when sea level was several tens of meters below modern, molten rocks were easier to move towards the Earth’s surface.

This means that a decrease in the level of the world ocean can provoke volcanic eruptions: the authors believe that 60% of the centers of volcanism behave in this way.

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Alexandr Ivanov earned his Licentiate Engineer in Systems and Computer Engineering from the Free International University of Moldova. Since 2013, Alexandr has been working as a freelance web programmer.
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Alexandr Ivanov

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