Monday, September 15, 2014

Plate Tectonics

Boundary Tectonic Plates of Greece

  Greece is home to lots of seismic activity due to the several interactions in between three main plates: Eurasia, Aegean Sea, and African Plate. The Aegean Sea Plate is currently moving at approximately 30mm in a Southwestern motion against the Eurasia Plate and this action causes seismic activity in both Northern and central Greece. While this causes earthquakes and other seismic activity, interactions between the Eurasian and African plates cause a much more fascinating phenomenon known as the Hellenic Volcanic Arc.

Hellenic Volcanic Arc in Crete, Greece

The island of Crete was created through this interaction between the Eurasian and Africa plates. An uplift in the Earth's crust was caused by the subduction of the African and Eurasian plates that lead to the creation of the Crete island.

Subduction Diagram of Ocean to another Ocean Plate

Just North of the subduction zone is the Hellenic Arc of both active and inactive volcanoes and on the subduction zone is the Cretan Trough that extends 2000 meters below the surface. This subduction zone allows for magma to push up from the core that creates islands and volcanoes like Santorini in the Hellenic Arc.
Location of Volcanic Arc and Trench in Relation to Aegean and African Plates

Methana, Santorini, and Nisyros are the main active volcanoes in the Hellenic arc, and Santorini has been the most popular throughout history.  The Santorini volcano is famous for it's eruption in 1640 B.C. that killed off the Minoan population inhabiting the island. Santorini has had active eruptions up until the 1950's and now seems to be laying dormant.  

Santorini Eruption- 1950
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