Magma chamber found beneath submarine Kolumbo volcano just miles from Santorini


PREMO Member
Surprise magma chamber found under Mediterranean Sea volcano near popular tourist destination

A new study has uncovered a previously undetected magma chamber beneath Kolumbo, an active submarine volcano in the Mediterranean Sea near Santorini, Greece.

A group of international researchers used a novel imaging technique for volcanoes that produces high-resolution images of seismic wave properties, according to a Jan. 12 release from the American Geophysical Union (AGU).

The study was published in the AGU journal Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, and the authors noted that the presence of the chamber "poses a serious hazard as it could produce a highly explosive, tsunamigenic eruption in the near future."

Images helped to identify a large magma chamber that has been growing at an average rate of roughly 4 million cubic meters per year since Kolumbo’s last eruption in 1650 C.E., nearly 400 years ago.

The study's lead author noted that if the current rate of magma chamber growth continues, sometime in the next 150 years the volcano could reach the 2 cubic kilometers of melt volume that was estimated to be ejected during the 1650 C.E. eruption.

Although volcanic melt volumes can be estimated, there is no way to tell for sure when Kolumbo, which lies at around 500 meters deep, will erupt next.