>Mediterranean cruise ship captains seem to be a more casual bunch than many might have previously thought
I laughed. I probably shouldn't have, mind you, but I did.
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, …
There's two peaks above the water in the centre of the caldera formed by smaller eruptions since the big boom. I suspect the GPS devices have been put there. From vague memory of having been there nearly 40 years ago the names of the peaks translate as "Big Burnt" and "Little Burnt".
Quite a bit bigger than lumps of rock - We walked up to the top of the biggest one two years ago and it's surprising how large it actually is, with quite a few different craters. It's also a bit treacherous as the volcanic rock debris has a nasty habit of slipping when you walk over it.
Also It was quite obvious that there was activity still occurring as you could see steam and bubbles in the middle of the Caldera..
Talking with one of the locals there was more concern about an area I think to the East of Santorini where the sea bed has risen considerably, and there supposedly are no fish there anymore.
You're good. There are two islands in the caldera, all formed by resurgent vulcanism since the caldera was formed. They're Nea Kameni, Palea Kameni which translate as New Burnt and Old Burnt respectively. They've been intermittently active for about 2000 years with the last explosive eruption in 1939-40 followed by quiet dome building in 1950 (IIRC).
This sort of deformation isn't uncommon in calderas as magma is regularly injected into the underlying magma chamber and then withdrawn again. It may, or may not presage more vulcanism in the very near future. If you want a good example of one that scared people witless a while back, the small town of Pozzuoli west of Naples sits in the middle of the Campi Flegrei caldera which last had a minor eruption in 1538 when the completely new volcano Monte Nuovo popped up in the middle of some fields. Between 1982 and 1984 they experienced thousands of small quakes and the ground bulging by 40cm - at its peak the town was rising by 4mm per day! Unsurprisingly, there were predictions of an imminent eruption, so the town was evacuated. After a few tense months the ground began to deflate and the area returned to its usual levels of seismicity.
And Campi Flegrei is a real monster of a volcano, about 37kya it produced 200km3 of white hot foam that now underlies most of the Bay of Naples. About 2 million people live in and around it who might need to be evacuated in a hurry. And you've seen what Italian traffic is like on a good day.
Hurrah. I think it was late 1973 I was there, school trip on the SS Uganda. The kids doing geography O-Level were supposed to get a field trip to Old Burnt which got cancelled, the rest of us went ashore for a couple of hours though by the time those of us who couldn't afford a donkey got to the top it was time to start back down again...
Not sure of the IT angle here but rumour has it that the sister of the boat captain owns a old casio calculator.
Beyond that some people burn there shops down to claim on the insurance, Greece is going for a larger scale claim perhaps. Either that or hoping to cash in on the tsunami torrists.
As for underwater GPS, that is probably worth an article in itself as GPS radio's will only go a efw meters at best underwater so you need relay boy's - but interesting stuff and worth more detail than for what is in all effect a storay about a rock that may move soon, but has not yet, but might.
Alas the story "the rock that would" is not exactly going to grab anybodies attention beyond the type of people who clean oversized dandruff from carpets.
"The Santorini caldera is awake again and rapidly deforming at levels never seen before"
Never seen before in what, the last six years the prof has been measuring? Or based on a guess for the last 3500 years? Or from when it last erupted in 1950? Perhaps it might help to look up the translations of 'Nea Kameni' and 'Palaia Kameni' before assuming cataclysmic doom is the only option. The natural Greek reaction to a lava flow will be to fence it off and charge for entry, closing at 2pm and all day Monday.
As for the film's level of accuracy, it starts to fall just after they all point at a spot on the map, then the boat turns to sail off in exactly the opposite direction. Oh, and the growling comedy shark. But still, wetsuit, Jolie...
On that note, the Greek government should insure Greece for about 500 billion Swiss francs (stabler currency, you see) and then pray that it does/doesn't explode (depending on your viewpoint).
On the other hand, if a really big eruption at Santorini was able to sink Atlantis, God knows what this one can do.
I used to have a couple NPO Arsenal "dual purpose" harpoons.
Those came out off the factory line slightly later than the Heckler & Koch P11 and were supposedly for civilian use.
Very "supposedly". 60cm long (can be carried on dual belt holster on your thigh), 5m-10m lethal range, pusher-less hydraulic design. 9mm solid steel heavy arrows. The bloody thing could split a rock at the end of its 5m tether at maximum power settings. You needed nearly Arnie-level strength to load it at that setting though so the most I could manage was about half of that which made it effective to around 2-3m underwater.
Unfortunately the hydraulic pusher-less design happened to be extremely vulnerable to dirty water so the blooms in the Black Sea in the 80-es put mine out of use. There was no fish left to shoot at too :(
You misunderstand Grasshopper. Its a 5 shot pepper pot style pistol The 5 barrel clusters are pre-loaded in the factory. But the user can swap out the fired cluster with a fresh new one full of underwater banging fun.
The thing is probably about as accurate as Jack Sparrow's flintlock pistol as the barrels are smooth bored. Underwater the range varies a lot .
You also need a supply of PP9 batteries to fire the wee beastie.
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What are the odds...
Remind me not to go on a round the world cruise anytime soon...
Just a thought, but what if Yellowstone AND Santorini go KAFECKINGBOOM on the same day?
Yellowstone has been affected by other earthquakes including the Indonesian one, so all it would take is one nearby to destabilise the caldera and its Game Over.
cough San Andreas/Hayward Fault Big One /cough
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