Santorini is one of the most spectacular caldera volcanoes in the world. It has been the focus of significant scientific and scholastic interest because of the great Bronze Age explosive eruption that buried the Minoan town of Akrotiri. Santorini is still active. It has been dormant since 1950, but there have been several substantial historic eruptions. Because of this potential risk to life, both for the indigenous population and for the large number of tourists who visit it, Santorini has been designated one of five European Laboratory Volcanoes by the European Commission.
Santorini has long fascinated geologists, with some important early work on volcanoes being conducted there. Since 1980, research groups at Cambridge University, and later at the University of Bristol and Blaise Pascal University in Clermont-Ferrand, have collected a large amount of data on the stratigraphy, geochemistry, geochronology and petrology of the volcanics. The volcanic field has been remapped at a scale of 1:10 000. A remarkable picture of cyclic volcanic activity and magmatic evolution has emerged from this work. Much of this work has remained unpublished until now.
This Memoir synthesizes for the first time all the data from the Cambridge/Bristol/Clermont groups, and integrates published data from other research groups. It provides the latest interpretation of the tectonic and magmatic evolution of Santorini. It is accompanied by the new 1:10 000 full-colour geological map of the island.