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In the late Bronze Age, sometime between 1600 and 1626 BC, the Grecian volcano Santorini catastrophically erupted causing the island to partially sink into the Aegean Sea.  The eruption is thought to be the source of the legend of Atlantis, where in 360 BC, Plato wrote of a city that sank into the sea in a “single day and night of misfortune.”

NAU in Greece is a first-year study abroad course from Northern Arizona University that takes students to the active volcano, where they study the caldera-forming eruption that likely contributed to the downfall of an ancient, advanced civilization.  While on Santorini, the students learn about the processes that generate cataclysmic volcanic eruptions and study the ancient and modern volcanic hazards associated with such eruptions.  Students have the opportunity to study the bizarre landscapes and landforms of volcanic islands, explore 3,600 year-old Minoan ruins buried by the last explosive volcanic eruption, walk on and study an active volcano, swim in hot springs, tour the island by private boat, among many other unique experiences, all while being immersed in Greek island culture.

This blog is a compilation of the student and faculty experiences during a 3-week excursion to Santorini.  Students are responsible for one blog post per week on the topic of their choosing.  Data is compiled from the student’s own unique work and any references that are appropriate.  Although each student goes through two editing phases before posting, grammatical errors and errors in content may appear (and have purposely not been corrected).

We welcome your constructive criticism and hope you will learn lots about the geologic history of Santorini!

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