Researchers from the Hellenic Survey of Geology and Mineral Exploration (HSGME) and the Institute for the Study and Monitoring of the Santorini Volcano (ISMOSAV) teamed up with colleagues from Florence University and the National Research Council of Italy in order to establish a geothermal station to monitor the Santorini volcano and conduct other research in late October.
The new geothermal monitoring station will constantly record and relay temperature readings from three points on the surface and the fumaroles (plumes of gases emitted by the volcano) at the peak of Nea Kameni. The three points are situated along the length of a 30-metre opening to the east of the base fumarole and are monitored to detect possible changes in the thermal state of the volcano.
The scientists also collected and analysed samples of hot liquids emitted at the fumaroles to determine their physical and chemical properties at four points. Samples are meant to be taken at intervals of at least once a year but this was not possible in 2020 due to the pandemic restrictions.
The samples are analysed at laboratories in Italy and the values compared with those of previous years to determine whether they remain in the range indicating that the volcano remains dormant.
Other measurements taken include the amount of carbon dioxide emitted from the surface in areas where two volcanos – Nea Kameni and Kolombo – have active volcanic-tectonic lines. These measurements are also taken yearly to monitor the activity status of the volcanos.
In addition, the thermal state of the entire area at the peak of Nea Kameni was recorded using an infrared camera. All measurements indicated that the volcano remains dormant.