Tsunami hazards associated with explosion-collapse processes of a dome complex on Minoan Thera

Minoura K., Imamura E., Kuran U., Nakamura T., Papadopoulos G., Takahashi T., ...More

NATO Advanced Research Workshop on Underwater Ground Failures on Tsunami Generation, Modeling, Risk and Mitigation, İstanbul, Turkey, 23 - 26 May 2001, vol.21, pp.229-236 identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Volume: 21
  • City: İstanbul
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.229-236
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: No


The Minoan Thera eruption of the Bronze Age is the most significant Aegean explosive volcanism. The eruption resulted in caldera collapse. We studied the Minoan volcano-tectonic event from the viewpoint of sedimentology and hydraulics. On the Aegean Sea coast of Turkey and Crete we found traces of tsunamis. The tsunami layers are overlain by felsic tephra. The mineralogical characteristics of volcanic tephra and AMS radiocarbon dating on foraminiferal tests show that the tsunami layers are correlative to the Minoan event. The results of our numerical simulation on the tsunami show that a destructive train of waves caused by the caldera collapse reached the Aegean Sea shore within 2.5 hours and the great surf set up by arrival of waves washed the coast. We conclude that the Minoan tsunami hazards damaged the maritime economy in the coastal areas of Aegean islands and Turkey.