3.2. Historic eruptive
and major seismic events after the Minoan eruption (ca. 1640 BC),
The following is mainly summarized from Friedrich (2000).
The eruptive events from 197 BC-726 are only poorly documented
from Greek, Roman and Byzantine writers. Citations can be found in the excellent book "Fire in the
- 197 BC -- Formation of an island called Hiera
(gr., = "the holy one") inside the caldera,
probably a precursor of Palea Kameni. Documented by greek
and Roman writers: Strabo (66BC - 24 AD), Plutarch (ca.
40-120 AD), Pausanias (ca.120 AD), Justinus (2nd
century AD), Eusebius from Cesarea (270-340 AD) and
Ammianus Marcellinus (ca. 330-400 AD). Probably
surtseyan activity with updoming of the sea-floor
(comparable with the 1707-1711 events).
- 46 AD -- Appearance of a new island that probably
grew together with Hiera and formed the basis of Palea
Kameni. Descriptions by Roman historians Seneca (4 BC-65
AD), Livy (59 BC-AD 17), Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD), Dio
Cassius (ca. 200 AD), Aurelius Victor (4th
century AD), Philostratos (ca. 200 AD), Orosius (5th
century AD), Cassiodorus. (418-562 AD), Labbreus (1670). Probably
surtseyan activity with updoming of the sea-floor.
- 46-726 AD -- No reports of activity are known from
that period. There was either actually no eruption or it
has not been recorded.
- 726 AD -- Strong explosive probably sub-plinian
eruption. Records by Nicephoros (758-823), Theophanes
(752-818) and Cedremus (after 1059). Probably small
effusive activity following the pumice eruption creating
the black blocky lava lobe at Agios Nikolaos (the small
harbor bay with the church and hot iron springs).
- 1457-1458 -- Unclear reports from Athanasius
Kircher (1665) and Buondelmonte (1465/66) indicate that
either a part of Palea Kameni collapsed and disappeared
or a new island between Palea Kameni and Thera was built.
- 1570-1573 -- Formation of Mikri Kameni
(gr., = "small burnt island"). Surtseyan
activity, ash-fall and block fall-out
- 27. Sept 1650 -- Kolumbo submarine volcano (ca. 8
km NE of Cape Kolumbo, Santorini): strong
surtseyan-subplinian eruption with ash and pumice
fall, toxic gasses (>50 fatalities). Generation of a strong
- 23. May 1707 - Sept. 1711 -- Formation of Nea
Kameni (gr., = "the new burnt island"). Strong
surtseyan and effusive activity. Ash-fall and gas
explosions. Lowering of the coastline of Thera and Mikri
- 18. May 1707 -- Earthquake
- 21. May 1707 -- Earthquake
- 23. May 1707 at sunrise -- Rising of a white
island ca. 200 m west of Mikri Kameni. Updoming of
the sea-floor. White pumice and black lava blocks covered
with living sea animals.
- 23. May - 13/14. June 1707 -- Rising of the
white island without visible volcanic action up to
70-80 m height and ca. 500-600 width.
- 5. June 1707 -- Rising and growing of a black
island north of the white island. "Fire"
visible (lava fountains?).
- 12. June 1707 -- The white and the black island
- 1711 - 1866 -- No activity. Mikri and Nea Kameni
separated islands forming 2 natural bays (Georgios and
Vulkano bay). Sulfuric fumaroles in Vulkano bay. Building
of a small harbor and ca. 50 summerhouses (!) on Nea
- 4. Feb. 1866 - 15. Oct. 1870 -- Moderate effusive
and minor explosive activity. Mikri and Nea Kameni unite.
Lava flows, lava fountains and ash-falls.
- 26. Jan. 1866 -- Falling down of blocks between Mikri
and Nea Kameni, fractures in the walls of houses.
- Following days --Rising temperature of seawater
(boiling) and increased fumarolic activity.
- Beginning Feb. 1866 -- Smoke and rising of dark cooled
lava blocks to the surface of Vulkano bay. The rising
cone was called "Georgios".
- 6. Feb. 1866 -- Cooled lava blocks reach Nea Kameni and
cover the houses.
- 20. Feb. 1866 -- Strong explosion of Georgios.
Ash-fall. Repeated in short intervals during the
following months. Max. height of pyroclastic columns
during paroxysmal explosions 2,2 km.
- New eruptive center, called "Aphroessa",
becomes active south of Nea Kameni.
- March 1866 -- Products of Aphroessa reach Nea Kameni.
- 10. May 1866 -- New eruptive center. Formation of a
small island ("Maionisi", gr., = May-islands)
that dissappears shortly after.
- 11. Aug. 1925- 17. March 1928 -- Moderate effusive
and explosive activity. Growth of Nea Kameni. Lava flows,
lava fountains and ash-falls.
- Aug. 1925 -- Rising temperature in the Red bay
("Kokkina Nera", gr. = red waters) at the
eastern shore of Nea Kameni and subsidence of Nea
Kameni's east shore. Vapor fountains and lava outflow.
- 11. Aug. 1925 - Jan. 1926 -- Building of a small cone
("Daphne"). Effusive and explosive activity
from this cone culminating in paroxysmal pyroclastic
columns up to 3,2 km high.
- Jan. 1926 - May 1926 -- Pause of activity.
- May 1926 -- Phreatomagmatic explosions producing minor
- May 1926 - Jan. 1928 -- Pause of activity.
- Jan. 1928 -- 4 phreatic explosions and mixed
effusive-explosive activity forming a new lava dome
- 20. Aug. 1939 - July 1941 -- Formation of several
lava domes ("Tritona", "Ktenas",
"Fouqué", "Smith-Reck" and
"Niki"). Extrusive and slighly explosive
activity. Lava outflow in most cases preceeded by
- 10. Jan. 1950 - 2. Feb. 1950 -- Small effusive
activity ("Liatsikas" lavas) preceeded by