Abstract

Large explosive volcanic eruptions from island arcs pour pyroclastic currents into marine basins, impacting ecosystems and generating tsunamis that threaten coastal communities and infrastructures. Risk assessments require robust records of such highly hazardous events, which is challenging as most of the products lie buried under the sea. Here we report the discovery by IODP Expedition 398 of a giant rhyolitic pumice deposit emplaced 520 ± 10 ky ago at water depths of 200 to 1000 m during a high-intensity, shallow submarine eruption of ancestral Santorini Volcano. Pyroclastic currents discharged into the sea transformed into turbidity currents and slurries, forming a >89 ± 8 km3 volcaniclastic megaturbidite up to 150 m thick in the surrounding marine basins, while breaching of the sea surface by the eruption column laid down veneers of ignimbrite on three islands. The eruption is one of the largest recorded on the South Aegean Volcanic Arc, and highlights the hazards from submarine explosive eruptions.

DOI

10.1038/s43247-023-01171-z

Publication Date

2024-01-15

Publication Title

Communications Earth & Environment

Volume

5

Issue

24

ISSN

2662-4435

Embargo Period

2024-02-16

Organisational Unit

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Share

COinS