Blue Dome Viewpoint offers a panoramic view of the flooded volcanic caldera on the Greek island of Santorini. Originally connected to the island, the volcano has repeatedly “blown its top” over the past two million years. Each eruption ejected rock and earth from the mountain peak, leaving a near-perect ring of high cliffs surrounding a sunken center. Subsequent tectonic activity lifted, folded, and tore apart the cliffs, allowing sea water to flood into the caldera. The most recent activity, believed to have occurred around 1610 BC, is known as the Minoan eruption. Considred to be one of the largest and most powerful volcanic events in recorded history, it was during this eruption that geologists believe the caldera achieved its current form.
Today, the circular footprint of the caldera is clearly visible from Blue Dome Viewpoint, as is the volcano itself. In the photo above, the cliffs on the left are part of the caldera wall. The black island at the center of the lagoon is the volcano, which is currently considered to be active but dormant. It does, however, exhibit periods of active volcanic activity. A minor eruption occurred in 1950 and smoke fumaroles can occasionally be seen. Geologists who monitor its activity also recorded landform changes around the caldera as recently as 2011 and 2012, thus it is likely only a matter of time before she will once again erupt.
Author’s note: I was a guest of Collette during my “Exploring Greece and Its Islands, Featuring Classical Greece, Mykonos & Santorini” tour. However, the receipt and acceptance of complimentary items or services will never influence the content, topics, or posts in this blog. I write the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.