Thursday, January 26, 2012

5.2 Mag Earthquake Strikes Near Santorini, Greece

A 5.2 magnitude quake struck approximately 30 miles Southwest of Santorini Island today at 4:42 UTC. The quake was followed by 4.1 and 4.2 aftershocks. 

Image from Google Earth with USGS overlay.

Santorini volcano was last active in the 1956 when a large earthquake and subsequent volcanic eruption resulted in the demolition of buildings and evacuations. An island was formed in the middle of the caldera, and thermal activity still occurs. While these quakes are not near the magma chamber, they do have the potential of destabilizing the region. More than likely a few aftershocks will continue to be recorded in the quake area.

*****UPDATE 1/27/2012*****

Another earthquake registering mag 5.2 has hit the same area, slightly SW of the original quake. This seems to confirm a statement from Greece's geologists that the Santorini fault is now in motion, and we could expect more quakes. Whether or not the quake activity affects nearby Santorini/Thera volcano remains to be seen, but scientists are being very cautious at this point in regards to statements. They are however closely monitoring the situation. Likely this will cause more fault slips and afterschocks. It will be interesting to see if there is a cascade effect up the fault to Santorini, but at this time it appears the activity may be moving away from the caldera. I will post more updates if anything new occurs.

*****UPDATE 2 1/27/2012*****

A 4.7 aftershock has hit near the epicenter of the first 5.2 quake.

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