Natural Hazards

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 83–96 | Cite as

Geological and Historical Investigation of the 1650 Mt. Columbo (Thera Island) Eruption and Tsunami, Aegean Sea, Greece

  • D. T. M. Dominey-Howes
  • G. A. Papadopoulos
  • A. G. Dawson


This paper reviews geological andhistorical evidence for the eruption and tsunamireported to have occurred in 1650 in the areaof Mt. Columbo, Thera Island, Greece. The tsunami isbelieved to have been generated as a consequence ofthe eruption of Mt. Columbo 6.5 km NE of Thera Island.Historical documents state that the tsunami flooded upto 2 miles inland and destroyed many engineeredstructures. We present lithostratigraphic evidencefrom one abandoned trench and two trench excavationsclose to sea level in the villages of Kamari andPerissa respectively, which lie well within thereported inundation zone of the tsunami. The resultspresented show that no marine- (tsunami) depositedsediments are preserved at these locations.Alternative hypotheses of discontinuous sedimentdeposition and over estimation of the event magnitudeare considered to explain the observations presentedhere. The data may have important implications for thedevelopment of hazard zone maps, risk assessment,vulnerability reduction and for emergency managementofficials.

eruption tsunami sediments magnitude assessment Thera Greece 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. T. M. Dominey-Howes
    • 1
    • 2
  • G. A. Papadopoulos
    • 3
  • A. G. Dawson
    • 2
  1. 1.Coventry Centre for Disaster Management, School of the Built EnvironmentCoventry UniversityCoventryU.K
  2. 2.Centre for Quaternary Science, Division of Geography, School of Natural and Environmental SciencesCoventry UniversityCoventryU.K
  3. 3.Institute of GeodynamicsNational Observatory of AthensAthens

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