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SANTORini's seafloor volcanic observatorY

Project: Research

  • Paraskevi Nomikou (PI)
  • Javier Escartin (CoI)
  • Andrea Luca Rizzo (CoI)
  • Theodoros Mertzimekis (CoI)
  • Dimitrios Papanikolaou (CoI)
  • Stephanos Kilias (CoI)
  • Varvara Antoniou (CoI)
  • Konstantinos Karantzalos (CoI)
  • Lazaros Grammatikopoulos (CoI)
  • Dr Mel Krokos (CoI)
  • Francesco Italiano (CoI)
  • Sven Petersen (CoI)
  • Mark Hannington (CoI)
  • Paraskevi Polymenakou (CoI)


Submarine hydrothermal systems in active volcanic ridges and arcs exhibit highly dynamic nature. Of particular interest are those located in shallow
water hosted by subduction-related arc volcanoes as found in the active
Hellenic Volcanic Arc (South Aegean Sea). Owing to their vicinity to
highly populated/touristic areas (e.g. Santorini) they pose significant
risks, while our knowledge remains limited on the repercussions of this
type of hydrothermal activity as source of volcanic heat, potentially
toxic metals/minerals and climate-critical gases as CO2. To address such
risks long-term, continuous and high-resolution monitoring is required.
This can be achieved only through in situ observatories, which will also
improve our understanding of the evolution of ocean chemistry and
volcanism. No coherent and integrated strategy exists in Mediterranean Sea
for monitoring such submarine volcanic activity thus being able to
remediate promptly related environmental, climate, and social hazards.
SANTORY will establish a cutting-edge seafloor observatory using
innovative marine technology (integrating hyperspectral and temperature
sensors, a radiation spectrometer, fluid/gas samplers and pressure gauges)
within the most-active submarine Mediterranean volcano, Kolumbo. It is
located just 7 km NE (500m b.s.l.) of the well-known Santorini volcanic
island and its hydrothermal system emits mantle-derived fluids consisting
of nearly pure gaseous CO2 together with aqueous fluids venting at 220oC.
SANTORY will build an open-access data hub using innovative visualization
and virtual reality technologies to present the volcanic dynamics driving
scientific knowledge advances and communicating hazards to the society in
easy to understand ways. The outcomes of SANTORY will provide the impetus
for much needed multidisciplinary collaboration in Greece and across EU
and will be a first step for understanding of such natural laboratories to
underpin development of next-generation shallow volcanic seafloor
Effective start/end date4/05/213/05/24

ID: 27458197