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Slumbering Greek Volcano Stirs

Santorini, Greece from LANDSAT. Credit: NASA

Over the past year, Greeks have become accustomed to the feeling of the Earth shifting beneath their feet. Now, it’s not just the economy that’s making them uneasy. Measurements from GPS instruments indicate the ground near the mouth of the island volcano Santorini has deformed by about 2.5 inches since January 2011. In that time, the magma chamber has been growing.

The island is what remains of one of the largest volcanic eruptions in recorded history 3,600 years ago. It destroyed Minoan settlements and may have inspired the legend of the lost city of Atlantis.

According to a post on by reporter Stephanie Pappas:

If a Santorini eruption did occur, [Andrew] Newman said, it would be nothing like the Minoan eruption of 1650 B.C. that birthed the myth of Atlantis. That eruption was a once-in-100,000-year event, and the expansion of the magma chamber happening now is only 1 percent of what would have gone on prior to the ancient blast.

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