Vlychada beach is located in the southern part of Santorini island, composed by thick pumice layers from the famous Late Bronze Age (LBA) (well-known also as Minoan) eruption (Antoniou et al., 2019). The LBA eruption of Santorini has influenced the decline of the great Minoan civilization on Crete, making it an iconic event in both volcanology and archaeology (e.g. Manning et al. 2006; Druitt, 2014). It discharged between 30 and 80km3 (dense rock equivalent; Johnston et. al., 2014) of rhyodacitic magma, mostly pyroclastic flows that entered the sea, and are preserved as ignimbrite deposits in the surrounding submarine basins (Sigurdsson et. al., 2006). According to numerous volcanological studies, there is a consensus that the eruption occurred in four major phases with an initial precursory phase (Reck, 1936; Druitt, 2014). Along Vlychada beach, volcanic products from phases P2 and mostly P3 and P4 can be recognized. A small part of phase P2 (at the bottom) products are dominated by pyroclastic surge deposits with multiple bedsets and TRM temperatures of 100–250°C. Phase P3 (in the middle) is a coarse-grained, massive, phreatomagmatic ignimbrite, still reflecting magma-water interaction and deposited at low temperatures (Druitt, 2014). Phase P4 (at the top) is a tan- to pink- colored compound ignimbrite (“tan ignimbrite”) (Druitt, 2014), mostly fine-grained (ash and lapilli grade), with a high abundance of comminuted lithic debris in the ash fraction (Bond and Sparks, 1976). The 3D model has an aerial extent of 125 x 55 m; the maximum elevation of the vertical cliff is 38 m.

Credits: UAV-based survey and 3D model by Fabio L. Bonali; funding is from MIUR project ACPR15T4_00098 ( The characterization of the LBA volcanic products in Vlychada beach was carried out by Paraskevi Nomikou and Varvara Antoniou.


  • Antoniou V., Nomikou P., Bardouli P., Sorotou P., Bonali F. L., Ragia L. and Metaxas A. (2019). The Story Map for Metaxa Mine (Santorini, Greece): A Unique Site Where History and Volcanology Meet Each Other. In Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Geographical Information Systems Theory, Applications and Management – Volume 1: GISTAM, 212-219.
  • Bond, A. & Sparks, R.S.J., 1976. The Minoan eruption of Santorini, Greece, Journal of the Geological Society, London, 132, 1–16.
  • Manning, S.W., Ramsey, C.B., Kutschera, W., Higham, T., Kromer, B., Steier, P., Wild, E.M. (2006). Chronology for the Aegean Late Bronze Age 1700–1400 B.C., Science, 312, 565–569.
  • Druitt, T.H., 2014. New insights into the initiation and venting of the Bronze-Age eruption of Santorini (Greece), from component analysis. B. Volcanol, 76 (2), 794.
  • Sigurdsson, H., Carey, S., Alexandri, M., Vougioukalakis, G., Croff, K., Roman, C., Sakellariou, D., Anagnostou, C., Rousakis, G., Ioakim, C., Gogou, A., Ballas, D., Misaridis, T., Nomikou, P., (2006). Marine Investigations of Greece’s Santorini Volcanic Field. Eos 87 (34), pp.337.
  • Reck, H., 1936. Santorini: Der Werdegang eines Inselvulkans und sein Ausbruch, 1925–1928, Reinser, Berlin.