For the last week, I’ve been outside under the Santorini sun drawing and describing the post Minoan eruption stratigraphy of the island from different localities. I’ve been attempting to find answers to the history of the island’s geography through the rocks. And these rocks are so easily taken for granted, sitting while hundreds of tourists walk by unfazed by the stories they could tell. But that’s why I’m here. My purpose in coming to Santorini was to study the geology and write about what I learn. It’s my goal to share my knowledge and translate the more advanced topics of geology to layman’s terms so those reading can understand the work I’ve completed.
In the late Bronze Age the Minoans did not have the technology to monitor the caldera but evidence shows they left before the Minoan eruption of 1613 BC. As a class we visited the ancient Minoan city Akrotiri which is sometimes called the Greek Pompeii. The city has been preserved by the ash fall from the Minoan eruption there is clear evidence the Minoans left before the eruption. I want to know what caused them to leave and did they know that a major eruption was going to occur? Today scientists can monitor the volcanic activity of Nea Kameni but they can’t predict when a volcano will erupt or know if they should call for an evacuation.
“[…] There occurred violent earthquakes and floods; and in a single day and night of misfortune all your warlike men in a body sank into the earth, and the island of Atlantis in like manner disappeared in the depths of the sea.”
In Critias and Timaeus, Plato tells the tale of a utopia devoured by the sea and never seen again. Many are familiar with the myth of Atlantis and most know it to be just that: a fable for the children, a simple story to spark the imagination. But I refuse to believe that. Though there is very little physical evidence to support Atlantis’ existence, there are a few lines in Plato’s dialog that make a convincing argument.
It’s Monday, November 30th, 2015, 11:30 am. Today is the day I will be learning about a topic I have anticipated since the beginning of Geologic Disasters. I will be learning all about rivers and flooding! Sitting in class I hear moans and groans about this. A lesson that seems so tedious and dull to my classmates was actually fascinating and thrilling to myself. I was finally going to learn about a topic I could personally connect with.
June 8th, 2016: Today, NAU in Greece visited the moon…in a Fiat van. With my head out the window and my hair not-so-elegantly-wind blown, we had arrived to Vlychada beach. Upon arrival, my ears were overwhelmed by the sound of the waves gently picking up stones and dropping them and my eyes didn’t know whether to take in the deep blue of the ocean, or the rigid outline of distant islands, or the massive moon-like rock wall to the left of me. All of this pleasant thinking was quickly interrupted by a hefty gust of wind that dusted my eyes with a uninvited layer of ash. At that moment, I directed my interest to the origin of my pain: the moonscape.
I started out my day sweating more than I would like, staring up at a large wall of rocks. It was weird because I never thought I would be doing that, let alone in Santorini. The sun was sweltering hot, sweat was dripping from every part of my body, and I could feel the stinging of my burning skin. Against my instinct I turned my body away from the beautiful crystal blue water crashing against the rocks under my feet. I sat uncomfortably with my feet and legs falling asleep on the hot rocks. We were learning about part of phase 4 of the Minoan eruption at Cape Mavropetra.
When I woke up on Wednesday morning, I was mentally preparing for a grueling day in the hot Santorini sun. Sweating sunscreen into my eyes while frantically scribbling notes every time Lisa spoke was the usual. Nonetheless it was exciting to spend every day in the field learning new things. Today we would be learning how to draw an outcrop sketch, which shows a section of stratigraphy in painstaking detail. Continue reading Missing Pieces