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An island steeped in profound historical importance
Santorini's storied past is nothing short of remarkable. The island was the stage for one of the most colossal volcanic eruptions ever recorded, known as the Minoan eruption or Thera eruption, which occured approximately 3,600 years ago, during the zenith of the Minoan civilization. The eruption's aftermath shaped the landscape, leaving behind a vast caldera surrounded by layers of volcanic ash, some hundreds of meters deep. It is believed to have played a role in the eventual decline of the Minoan civilization on the nearby island of Crete, located 110 kilometers (68 miles) to the south, partly due to a colossal tsunami. Additionally, the Thera eruption has been linked to the legendary tale of Atlantis.
Today, Santorini remains the most active volcanic center within the South Aegean Volcanic Arc. However, what remains is primarily a water-filled caldera. This volcanic arc stretches approximately 500 kilometers (310 miles) in length and spans 20 to 40 kilometers (12 to 25 miles) in width. The region's volcanic activity dates back some 3-4 million years, with volcanic eruptions on Thera commencing around 2 million years ago, marked by the extrusion of dacitic lavas from vents around Akrotiri.
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