Wonder magma chamber discovered underneath Mediterranean Sea volcano…

A brand new find out about has exposed a prior to now undetected magma chamber underneath Kolumbo, an active submarine volcano in the Mediterranean Sea close to Santorini, Greece.

A gaggle of global researchers used a singular imaging methodology for volcanoes that produces high-resolution pictures of seismic wave homes, in line with a Jan. 12 unencumber from the American Geophysical Union (AGU).

The find out about was once revealed within the AGU magazine Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, and the authors famous that the presence of the chamber “poses a major danger as it might produce a extremely explosive, tsunamigenic eruption within the close to long run.” 

Researchers are recommending real-time danger tracking stations close to different energetic submarine volcanoes to make stronger estimations of when an eruption could be more likely to happen.


“The present state of the reservoir signifies that an explosive eruption of excessive societal have an effect on one day is conceivable (regardless that now not forthcoming), thus we propose setting up an everlasting observatory involving steady earthquake tracking… and seafloor geodesy,” they wrote.

The indicated eruption can be very similar to however of a lesser magnitude to the new Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai eruption, bringing a predicted tsunami and an eruptive column tens of kilometers excessive.

Maxar satellite tv for pc imagery displays the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano on Dec. 24, 2021, ahead of the eruption on Jan. 14, 2022, within the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai Islands, Tonga.
(Maxar by way of Getty Pictures)

The find out about was once reportedly the primary to make use of full-waveform inversion seismic imaging to search for adjustments in magmatic task underneath the outside of submarine volcanoes alongside the Hellenic Arc, the place the volcano is situated.

Submarine volcanic activity along a section of the Kolumbo crater on the seafloor, observed with SANTORY monitoring equipment.

Submarine volcanic task alongside a bit of the Kolumbo crater at the seafloor, noticed with SANTORY tracking apparatus.

The technology is applied to seismic profiles, or recordings of floor motions alongside kilometers-long traces, and assesses variations in wave velocities that can point out subsurface anomalies. The crowd discovered that full-waveform inversion era can be utilized in volcanic areas to search out doable places, sizes and soften charges of cell magma our bodies. 


The seismic profiles have been built after the scientists fired air-gun pictures from aboard a analysis vessel cruising over the volcanic area, triggering seismic waves that have been recorded via ocean-bottom seismometers situated alongside the arc.

A considerably diminished pace of seismic waves that commute underneath the seafloor indicated the presence of a cell magma chamber beneath Kolumbo, in line with the find out about, with the traits of the wave anomalies used to higher perceive the prospective hazards the magma chamber might provide.

Pictures helped to spot a big magma chamber that has been rising at a mean charge of kind of 4 million cubic meters in line with 12 months since Kolumbo’s last eruption in 1650 C.E., just about 400 years in the past.

A view of the town of Oia with its lime-washed houses and churches with blue domes on Santorini in the Aegean Sea.

A view of town of Oia with its lime-washed homes and church buildings with blue domes on Santorini within the Aegean Sea.
(Marcos del Mazo / LightRocket by way of Getty Pictures / Report)

The ultimate time Kolumbo erupted, it killed 70 people in Santorini

The find out about’s lead creator famous that if the present charge of magma chamber enlargement continues, someday within the subsequent 150 years the volcano may just achieve the two cubic kilometers of soften quantity that was once estimated to be ejected throughout the 1650 C.E. eruption.

Even if volcanic soften volumes will also be estimated, there is not any strategy to inform evidently when Kolumbo, which lies at round 500 meters deep, will erupt subsequent.


“We want higher knowledge on what’s in truth underneath those volcanoes,” Kajetan Chrapkiewicz, a geophysicist at Imperial School London and the lead creator of the find out about, mentioned in a observation. “Steady tracking methods would let us have a greater estimation of when an eruption may happen. With those methods, we’d most likely find out about an eruption a couple of days ahead of it occurs, and other people would be capable to evacuate and keep secure.”

For the previous few years, scientists have labored on setting up SANTORY (Santorini’s seafloor volcanic observatory) that may be capable to measure progressions in Kolumbo’s volcanic task. It’s nonetheless underneath construction.

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