Mediterranean Sea Aegean Sea
07.10.2019 - 28.10.2019
Chief scientist:
Jens Karstens

The working area of expedition POS538 is the underwater volcano Kolumbo northeast of Santorini. In 1650 A.D. the Kolumbo erupted in the Aegean and caused a tsunami. The eruption claimed numerous lives. Although numerical simulations indicate that the tsunami was caused by a submarine explosion or pyroclastic flows, its origin is still not clearly understood. During expedition POS538 we will record the first 3D seismic dataset of an entire volcanic cone and use it to reconstruct the growth and destruction of the volcanic cone in detail. With this data we will determine the most important parameters of the tsunami formation. In addition, ocean bottom seismometers will be used and seismic profiles will be collected in preparation for a seabed drilling campaign. With the help of all findings, we can significantly improve numerical tsunami simulations for hazard assessment in the Aegean. The knowledge gained can also contribute to a better assessment of the hazard potential of other submarine volcanoes.