2010 Expedition
White bacterial mat

Santorini & Kolumbo Volcanoes

July 29 – August 12, 2010

Santorini volcano is one of the most famous volcanoes in the world as the site of numerous large-volume explosive eruptions over the last 600,000 years, including the 3600 Ybp eruption thought to have severely impacted the Minoan civilization in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. However, Santorini is only one volcano in the tectonically active southern Aegean Sea. Many other volcanic centers are submarine and only partially explored, despite one of the sites, Kolumbo, erupted explosively in 1650 AD causing damage and fatalities on the island of Thera. 

In 2006 two cruises aboard the R/V Aegaeo and the R/V Endeavor focused on exploring submarine deposits from the Minoan eruption of Santorini and preliminary investigation of Kolumbo submarine volcano. 

An important discovery of the R/V Endeavor cruise was an active Kuroko-style hydrothermal vent field in the crater of Kolumbo volcano at 500m depth. Hydrothermal venting at Kolumbo was significantly more robust than anything found within the Santorini caldera. Expedition NA007 focused on further investigation of the underwater component of the Santorini volcanic line to better understand the nature and extent of submarine volcanism and hydrothermal circulation northeast of the main volcanic island, Santorini.

Selected Publications


Zegkinoglou, N.N., Mathur R, Kilias SP, Godfrey L, Pletsas V, Nomikou P, Zaronikola N (2023). Boiling-induced extreme Cu isotope fractionation in sulfide minerals forming by active hydrothermal diffusers at the Aegean Kolumbo volcano: evidence from in situ isotope analysis. Geology 511 (11): 1072-1076.


Nomikou P., Polymenakou, Paraskevi N; Rizzo, Andrea Luca; Petersen, Sven; Hannington, Mark; Kilias, Stephanos Pantelis; Papanikolaou, Dimitris; Escartin, Javier; Karantzalos, Konstantinos; Mertzimekis, Theodoros J (2022). SANTORY: Santorini’s Seafloor Volcanic Observatory. Frontiers in Marine Science 9: 796376.


Fuller, S. (2015). Distribution of tephra from the 1650 AD submarine eruption of Kolumbo volcano, Greece. MS Thesis: University of Rhode Island


Cantner, K., Care,y S., Sigurdsson, H., Nomikou, P. (2014). Integrated volcanologic and petrologic analysis of the 1650 AD eruption of Kolumbo submarine volcano. Journal of Volcanological and Geothermal Research 269: 28-43.
Nomikou, P., Croff Bell,K., Papanikolaou, D., Bejelou, K., Cantner, K., Sakellariou, D., Perros, I. (2014). Tsunami Hazard Risk of a future volcanic eruption of Kolumbo submarine volcano, NE of Santorini Caldera, Greece. Natural Hazards 72(3): 1375–1390.
Nomikou, P., Papanikolaou, D., Tibaldi, A., Carey, S., Livanos, I., Croff Bell K., Pasquarè, F., Rousakis, G. (2014). The detection of Volcanic Debris Avalanches (VDAs) along the Hellenic Volcanic Arc, using marine geophysical techniques. Submarine Mass Movements and Their Consequences 37: 339-350.


Bell, K., Carey, S., Nomikou, P., Sigurdsson, H., Sakellariou, D. (2013). Submarine evidence of a debris avalanche deposit on the eastern slope of Santorini Volcano, Greece. Tectonophysics SI: The Aegean: a natural laboratory for tectonics 597-598: 147-160.
Carey, S. Nomikou, P., Croff Bell, K., Lilley, M., Lupton, J., Roman, C., Stathopoulou, E., Bejelou, K., Ballard, R. (2013). CO2 Degassing from Hydrothermal Vents at Kolumbo Submarine Volcano, Greece and the Accumulation of Acidic Crater Water. Geology 41(9): 1035-1038.
Kilias, S., Kilias, S., Nomikou, P., Papanikolaou, D., Polymenakou, P., Godelitsas, A., Argyraki, A., Carey, S., Gamaletsos, P., Mertzimekis, T., Stathopoulou, E., Goettlicher, J., Steininger, R., Betzelou, K., Livanos, I., Christakis, C., Croff Bell., K., Scoullos, M. (2013). New insights into hydrothermal vent processes in the unique shallow-submarine arc-volcano, Kolumbo (Santorini), Greece. Nature Scientific Reports 3(1): 2421.
Nomikou, P., Carey, S., Croff Bell, K., Papanikolaou, D., Bejelou, K., Alexandri, M., Cantner, K., Martin, J. (2013). Morphological analysis and related volcanic features of the Kolumbo submarine volcanic chain (NE of Santorini Island, Aegean Volcanic Arc). Zeitschrift fόr Geomorphologie 57: 29 - 47.
Nomikou, P., Croff Bell, K., Papanikolaou, D., Livanos, I., Martin, J. (2013). Exploring the Avyssos-Yali-Strogyli submarine volcanic complex at the the Avyssos-Yali-Strogyli submarine volcanic complex at the eastern edge of the Aegean Volcanic Arc edge of the Aegean Volcanic Arc. Zeitschrift fόr Geomorphologie 57: 125-137.
Nomikou, P., Papanikolaou, D., Alexandri, M., Sakellariou, D., Rousakis, G. (2013). Submarine Volcanoes along the Aegean Volcanic Arc. Tectonophysics SI: The Aegean: a natural laboratory for tectonics 597-598: 123-146.
Smart, C., Roman, C., Carey, S. (2013). Detection of diffuse seafloor venting using structured light imaging. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 14(11): 4743-4757.


Nomikou, P., Carey, S., Papanikolaou, D., Croff Bell, K., Sakellariou, D., Alexandri, M., Bejelou, K. (2012). Submarine volcanoes of the Kolumbo volcanic zone NE of Santorini Caldera, Greece. Global and Planetary Change 90-91: 135-151.


Cantner, K. (2011). Volcanologic and petrologic analysis of the 1650 AD submarine eruption of Kolumbo volcano, Greece. MS Thesis: University of Rhode Island