Feeds

Underwater Greek volcano brewing Lara Croft style earthquake

IT angle? No. Angelina Jolie flooded temple angle? Yes.

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Angelina-Jolie-inna-wetsuit related news on the science wires this morning, as boffins in America announce that the underwater volcano off the shore of the famous, beautiful Greek island of Santorini is showing signs of trouble coming.

“If the caldera erupts underwater, it could cause local tsunamis and affect boat traffic, including cruise ships, in the caldera," says geophysics prof Andrew Newman, of Georgia Tech. "Earthquakes could damage homes and produce landslides along the cliffs.”

Newman knows this because he visited Santorini in 2006 and emplaced 20 remote-monitoring precision survey devices, which use GPS sat-nav to measure the movement of the Earth's crust very precisely (in a similar fashion to those used to try and find out how much ice is actually melting off the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets). According to this Georgia Tech statement:

The Santorini caldera is awake again and rapidly deforming at levels never seen before ... More than 50,000 tourists a day flock to Santorini in the summer months (from May to October). It’s common to see as many as five cruise ships floating above the volcano.

Mediterranean cruise ship captains seem to be a more casual bunch than many might have previously thought, but they might be well advised to steer clear of the Santorini caldera nonetheless, it would seem. As many Register readers will know, the Santorini caldera erupted back around 1650 BC and buried the city of Akrotiri, a major port of the ancient Minoan civilisation based on Crete. The buried town appears to have been a major metropolis of the age, with ships trading all around the Mediterranean and such domestic refinements as piped hot water (the oldest such facilities known, probably drawing on hot volcanic springs).

This background was exploited by scriptwriters drafting the plot of Tomb Raider sequel The Cradle of Life, early sequences of which depict top-heavy gunslinging treasure-huntress Lara Croft wetsuited (and tooled up with an appropriate underwater shooter*) in a sunken Minoan temple which is - topically, today - destroyed by an earthquake. Sadly the film fails to keep up this level of quality as it proceeds.

Prof Newman doesn't think a Minoan-style catastrophe is on the cards, but he does think some serious tremors at the least are likely. His research is in press at Geophysical Research Letters. ®

Bootnote

*The Heckler & Koch P11, normally available only to special forces frogmen such as those of Special Boat Service (SBS). It apparently works pretty well for an underwater gun, but has certain defects - it can't be reloaded like a normal pistol, for instance, the entire 5-shot barrel cluster has to be replaced with a factory-sealed unit.

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
Human spacecraft dodge COMET CHUNKS pelting off Mars
Odyssey orbiter yet to report, though - comet's trailing trash poses new threat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.