Recent studies have indicated that, for the first time since 1950, intense geophysical activity is occurring at the Santorini volcano. Analysis of satellite interferometry data was performed using two well-established techniques, namely Persistent Scatterer Interferometry (PSI) and Small BAseline Subset (SBAS), producing dense line-of-sight ground deformation maps. The displacement field was compared with GPS observations from ten continuous sites installed on Santorini and the results show a clear and large inflation signal, up to 150 mm/yr in the line-of-sight direction, with a radial pattern outward from the center of the caldera.

Since February 2012 the latest InSAR and GPS data suggest that the intense geophysical activity has started to diminish, as the observed displacement has declined significantly, possibly signaling a new phase of relative stability and reducing the probability of an imminent volcanic eruption, following empirical knowledge from calderas that experienced similar inflation episodes in the past.

 
Volcanoes1 web

Line-of-sight deformation velocities measured by satellite interferometry

Publication:

  • Papoutsis, I., Papanikolaou, X., Floyd, M., Ji, K. H., Kontoes, C., Paradissis, D., and Zacharis, V. (2013) Mapping inflation at Santorini volcano, Greece, using GPS and InSAR. Geophysical Research Letters, 40(2), pp. 267-272, DOI: 10.1029/2012GL054137.