Around the World

Imagine what the Minoans saw if they ever tried to come back to their beloved island a couple of weeks after the eruption. There would have been ash everywhere, ash that would have been too hot to walk on. The whole ocean would have had a layer of pumice floating on it, which would have prevented the Minoans from visiting their home. The whole landscape changed dramatically, and would have been unrecognizable. The Minoans probably turned right around when they saw this. (Read Katie’s last blog to learn about why they left). I always like to imagine what their reactions would have been when they saw what happened. Maybe they didn’t know what even happened in the first place? Maybe they had an idea, and knew it was a smart idea never to return? Whatever did happen, the effects of the Minoan eruption intrigue me. Studying the volcano eruption is like the climax of the story, and researching the global effects is the ending.

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Location of ash deposits from the Minoan Eruption. Photo 1

Even though the island before Santorini was completely altered, it was not the only place to be affected by the eruption. The noxious gases and ash fall would have affected the entire surroundings of Santorini. Also, pumice and ash fall most likely covered the nearby islands. Ash has been found on the island of Anatolia, which lies 42 miles east of Santorini. The ash even traveled to the island of Rhodes, which is 520 miles away. Even more shockingly, the ash was found in Western Turkey, which is 800 miles away! The same pumice was found at Rhodes (187 miles away,) Limnos (351 miles away,) Paros (86 miles away,) Cyprus (452 miles away,) and many more [1]. The pumice most likely traveled there by the ocean current.

There were also global changes due to the eruption. Fine ash particles would have been carried up into the stratosphere, where they would reflect the sun’s light which causes global cooling and periods without light.. For example, this too happened on April 10, 1815 in Indonesia, with the Mount Tambora eruption – the largest eruption ever recorded. When Mount Tambora blew its top off, so much ash was ejected that the sky darkened and the sun was blocked from view. Mount Tambora’s eruption made the Earth’s temperature drop down three degrees Celsius on average, which is why they call the time period after the eruption “The Year Without a Summer” [1]. With an eruption as big as Santorini’s, the average temperature would have also decreased on a global scale.

Climate effects were also felt all the way to China. During the reign of King Cheih, the weather decreased and was more irregular. Also, the dimming of the sun and dry fogs were recorded. This caused crops to fail, which caused famine. Soon after, there were heavy rains that caused flooding [1]. These floods were followed by seven years of drought. It’s truly unbelievable how an eruption can affect a country located 6,091 miles away.

Overall, I think it’s incredible how one eruption can cause so much chaos. The whole eruption itself lasted about 24 hours, which is remarkable. To think that one eruption can change everything, from the landscape to the weather worldwide. It makes me admire the power of the Earth and wonder what else it is capable of.

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Thought of what Santorini may have looked like before caldera collapse. Photo 2
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Santorini now. Photo 3

Works Cited

[1] Friedrich W.L., 2009, Santorini: Volcano, Natural History, & Mythology, Denmark: Aarhus University Press, 312 P.

Photo 1: Tom Pfeiffer, 2003, The Minoan Eruption, http://www.decadevolcano.net/santorini/minoaneruption.htm, (June 2015)

Photo 2+3: Bryn Mawr College Mawr, When The World Ended the Bronze Age Eruption of Thera, http://skywalker.cochise.edu/wellerr/students/santorini-Nobles/project.htm, (June 2015)

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4 thoughts on “Around the World”

  1. Hi Marcella,

    What I can see here is that you have a strong voice throughout the piece and a good sense of what you’re writing about. That’s a good way to start a post and your intro is one of the stronger sections here. You go into your background of being interested in this topic and open with a bit about the original inhabitants who experienced the eruption.

    What I think would be worth incorporating into this post is a bit more of the details of the eruptions in a geological sense as well as some more of your personal insight into the events coupled with your speculation on how the original inhabitants would have reacted. In the intro you mentioned that you liked imagining their reactions to the eruption and I think it would actual be interesting to hear what you think those reactions might have been. By doing that you can also go into more detail about the eruption and aftermath that they would have seen. You want to casually put those geological observations in with a bit of your own experiences and thoughts. I do think you could include a bit more explanation of how the pumice affected neighboring islands and rather than just saying how far the islands are from the eruption, you could talk about the actual affects the pumice would have had there. Another interesting thing to include in these blogs is a bit of your own stories from your time on site. You can provide your readers with firsthand knowledge of this place in casual language, so you have a chance to describe things in a way people want to read, rather than a textbook. If you see pumice everywhere, mention that and relate it to the topic of pumice covering everything after the eruption. If you see ash, then like that to the massive ash-falls that happened. A good skill to practice when editing is to do a search (cntrl+f) for words you think you used frequently, then try to smoothly replace them: “also” and “eruption” were in there a few times and I think you could either switch them out, omit them, or change the sentence so you don’t need them. You have a great start and a lot of potential to include interesting information in this post.

    Justin Kanzler

  2. Hi Marcella, what an interesting and well written post you have provided this week. Your topic of volcanic eruptions and their global impacts was simple enough to make for an easy read, yet also provided many facts and historical evidence of your topic. It was fun to read how various eruptions throughout time affected their general area and to then learn how the raw power of volcanoes is enough to impact the earth on a global scale.
    As I mentioned earlier, I felt your piece reads as well written and your writing comes off as personal, yet informed and factual. Although, one small piece of the post that I stumbled over can be found at the section beginning: “Climate effects were also felt all the way to China…”. I believe this section continues to speak on the Mount Tambora eruption but there is a lack of transition presenting a continued thought concerning this eruption or the Minoan eruption. Perhaps additional language reiterating that the Mount Tambora eruption is still the topic of discussion would make for a smoother and cleaner reading of your post.
    Other than that, thank you for all the interesting information on the power of volcanic eruptions. (And cool visual of the Santorini rendering and its actual appearance).

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