This Is All That Greece Needs

Tyler Durden's picture


Listen up muppet masters - if you have put in a bid for that Greek jewel of Santorini on Ebay, it may be time to quietly withdraw from the auction. Because according to Georgia Tech, things may get rather shaky soon. Literally: "After decades of little activity, a series of earthquakes and deformation began within the Santorini caldera in January of 2011,” said Newman, whose research is published by Geophysical Research Letters. “Since then, our instruments on the northern part of the island have moved laterally between five and nine centimeters. The volcano’s magma chamber is filling, and we are keeping a close eye on its activity.” Because the only thing that Greece, whose primary business is tourism, needs, is for the biggest Cyclades tourist attraction to go up in a pyroclastic cloud.

From GAtech:

Newman, a geophysicist in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, cannot be certain whether an eruption is imminent since observations of such activity on these types of volcanoes are limited. In fact, similar calderas around the globe have shown comparable activity without erupting. However, Newman says the chamber has expanded by 14 million cubic meters since last January. That means enough magma has been pumped into the chamber to fill a sphere three football fields across.


Should Santorini erupt, Newman says it will likely be comparable to what the island has seen in the last 450 years.


That could be dangerous,” notes Newman. “If the caldera erupts underwater, it could cause local tsunamis and affect boat traffic, including cruise ships, in the caldera. Earthquakes could damage homes and produce landslides along the cliffs.”


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.


Santorini is the site of one of the largest volcanic events in human history. The Minoan eruption, which occurred around 1650 B.C., buried the major port city of Akrotiri with more than 20 meters of ash and created Santorini’s famous, present-day cliffs. Newman says such history will likely not repeat itself any time soon. Such an eruption comes along once every 100,000 years, and the current inflation in the magma chamber is less than 1 percent of the Minoan blast.

An animation of Newman's GPS stations and the angles of movement is shown below.

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Fri, 03/16/2012 - 14:56 | 2262822 mayhem_korner
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For a minute I thought the graphic was an image of the inside of Blankfein's front door.

Fri, 03/16/2012 - 15:00 | 2262839 SheepRevolution
SheepRevolution's picture

I don't see any sheep among the sheeples on that island...

Fri, 03/16/2012 - 15:32 | 2263008 sIewie the pi-rat
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This movie shows physics-based computer simulations of the tsunami waves
from two volcanic explosions -- Krakatoa in 1883 and
Santorini (or Thera) in 1628 bc. Something like 35,000 people parished in the
Krakatoa tsunami. The Thera tsunami has been associated with downfall of an
entire civilization, the Minoans and of course, the tale of Atlantis.


For more tsunami information visit

Fri, 03/16/2012 - 15:34 | 2263020 AccreditedEYE
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Guess Zeus is releasing the Kraken because he is so pissed the Greeks have become such a weak and feeble people....

Fri, 03/16/2012 - 15:57 | 2263130 margaris
margaris's picture

Lets send santorum to santorini then.

Fri, 03/16/2012 - 16:14 | 2263213 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

if the greek finiMini is about to explode, it might not be "secure enuf" for hisCandidacy to reside there, even in exile

Fri, 03/16/2012 - 16:18 | 2263232 Hard1
Hard1's picture

Ultra bullish news, after the explosion we get to rebuild the infrastructure.

Fri, 03/16/2012 - 18:24 | 2263657 Mark Carney
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Glad I got to visit Greece when I did (2009) just before the elections.  Eeryone was happy, no riots and great times.


Shit got bad fast.....


Lol, I remember joking with the wife as we were there that all people did was eat, drink and smoke (all while talking on their call phones). 



Their airport secrurity was so lax that I even accidently got on the plane with a can of arousal (axe)...authorities in Paris nearlt shit their pants when we transfered there.

Fri, 03/16/2012 - 19:10 | 2263798 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

riots limited to Athens


Santorini and Mykonos are fine


homeless beach bum enjoying natural beauty and food is happier than some investment bankster (ie. Greg Smith) selling his soul 100hours a week in rathole that is Manhattan pushing toxic derivatives.


In fact, low level banksters should be rioting against society for leading them to waste their lives and talent on corruption in prisons like New York or London.



Fri, 03/16/2012 - 19:18 | 2263813 Mark Carney
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True, but Athens is the gateway to the islands.


Strikes shut down the airport and ferries...kind of hard to get around you might say

Fri, 03/16/2012 - 23:43 | 2264337 Marigold
Marigold's picture

Sounds like you prefer getting groped by the US authorities.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 07:32 | 2264625 ThisTimeIsDifferent
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Absolutely bullish news. The Euros are finally learning the lessons from their masters:

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 22:05 | 2266260 Harlequin001
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What, the English?

Fri, 03/16/2012 - 16:36 | 2263295 Common_Cents22
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and Obummer gets one more excuse for his poor economy.  The fall of the Santorinian economy.

Fri, 03/16/2012 - 16:22 | 2263241 slewie the pi-rat
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can we get a banana slug pic, here, too, steve? 

Fri, 03/16/2012 - 15:03 | 2262864 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

I thought it was a representation of greeces gold and the arrows showed the directions it went to...

Fri, 03/16/2012 - 15:11 | 2262908 mayhem_korner
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Looks like a bunch of 'em pointin' t'ward Belgium...

Fri, 03/16/2012 - 15:34 | 2262928 Popo
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FWIW -- Don't believe that nonsense in the article about "Such an eruption comes along once every 100,000 years."  

That's patently false, and anyone who has read the Black Swan or at least understands the mathematics of calculating the probabilities for rare events knows that anyone who ever claims that something comes along "Once every 100,000 years" is almost certainly wrong.

Accurately calculating the probabilities of a once in a hundred year event is barely possible.  The dataset is cosmologically sparse and the models simply don't work in any predictive capacity.

What we *do* know is that the last eruption was 3600 years ago.  And that the near-term probability of another eruption is increasing.   The rest of our prior historic data simply isn't that meaningful from a mathematical/probabilistic perspective.

Fri, 03/16/2012 - 15:39 | 2263037 GeneMarchbanks
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Popo the Epistemocrat. You do realize that Taleb is just recycling the old induction problem hotly debated since Hume?

Fri, 03/16/2012 - 16:42 | 2263319 shuckster
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I agree - anytime I hear someone try to rebutt a prediction like this (a catasrophic one) - I assume only one thing - they are a paid government lacky. Anyways, using round numbers like 100,000 proves that these idiots have not done their homework. Numbers in nature never appear in 100,000's - that's a number contrived for human interactions because it is round and easy to remember. Reminds me of the TSA agent who said terrorists coming into an airport are 1 in 1,000,000,000 - (meaning there are 6 terrorists on the planet)....

Fri, 03/16/2012 - 17:40 | 2263514 o2sd
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Reminds me of the TSA agent who said terrorists coming into an airport are 1 in 1,000,000,000 - (meaning there are 6 terrorists on the planet)....


No, it means there are 6 terrorists on the planet that enter airports. The others are non-airport-entering terrorists.

Fri, 03/16/2012 - 17:52 | 2263565 Tao 4 the Show
Tao 4 the Show's picture

Interesting aside: Nature magazine (important in the scientific world) recently had an article about how yes, there are more large earthquakes lately, but no, it's not important because it is mainly an artifact of better equipment in ecent years.

Could be correct, or could be a normalcy bias wrapped in a rationalization. Amazing how people think nothing changes.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 01:13 | 2266628 amadeusb4
amadeusb4's picture

OT, but what is this, 1999? Human population topped 7 billion recently. Now, there's an extra "airport" terrorist out there completely unaccounted for!

Fri, 03/16/2012 - 17:43 | 2263531 Tao 4 the Show
Tao 4 the Show's picture

Generally agree with you about the stats, though these are arrived at In various ways depending on the field. He did mention that the expansion of the magma chamber is a fraction of what it was before the big eruption (presumably there is geological evidence for this), so there could be a physical reason for the prediction of a lesser eruption. But even if the 100k period is arrived at this way, it still depends on an assumption of constant fill rate.

For most people, it takes hard work to to understand probability and statistics - particularly when and where they do or do not apply. The unscrupulous and the ignorant have made a grand mess on the Internet and the freaked out public (those bothering to read beyond the MSM) is as confused as ever. Tough to sort out the truth these days.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 12:09 | 2264911 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

Stats are a big part of my profession. I assure you, interpreting them is like reading the scum the tea leaves have left behind in your cup. You can learn something from it, but because the concepts you define are always hostage to language (socially constructed, not obdurate), you can "con"coct some really stupid conclusions from a set of numbers and not even know you did it.

I sat in on a doctoral presentation once where the student had already defended and passed, she was just presenting her stuff to the department, lots of sophisticated statistical analysis. After she was done and everyone applauded, I raised my hand and asked the student, "Why do we do statistics?" She informed me that if you have a big enough sample, you can make inferences about characteristics of the poplulation from that sample. She had all the census data from a country regarding actitity of NGOs. ALL. Everyone. I then asked her if she had a sample, or a population. She stood there like a deer caught in the headlights. Everyone in the room finally caught on. The elephant in the room was that she had already defended, turned it into the graduate school, everything. One of the other professors in the room (Graduate Coordinator) defended her by saying that statisticians ran numbers on populations all the time. I stopped at that point, because anyone paying attention knows you don't run inferential statistics on a population because you don't need to, you know the value.

I have pulled that stunt three times in my years in the profession. None were as far along as this student, but it happens more than you think.

Even the stat heads get stupid bout their stat. 

Fri, 03/16/2012 - 15:20 | 2262961 Pool Shark
Pool Shark's picture



Okay... will the pranksters who have been moving the seismic devices knock it off already?

Go make some crop circles or something...


Sun, 03/18/2012 - 13:10 | 2267246 Instant Wealth
Instant Wealth's picture

... or a turd's olfactory vector scheme?

Fri, 03/16/2012 - 17:06 | 2263381 wombats
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Great opportunities for muppets to buy sea-side villas.

Fri, 03/16/2012 - 14:56 | 2262823 seamus3500
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lava burns are transitory.

Fri, 03/16/2012 - 15:27 | 2262996 Cpl Hicks
Cpl Hicks's picture

Is that a magma pocket in your shorts or are you just excited to see me?

Fri, 03/16/2012 - 15:31 | 2263005 francis_sawyer
Fri, 03/16/2012 - 15:48 | 2263077 ILikeBoats
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You can't eat lava!

Fri, 03/16/2012 - 17:01 | 2263368 turtle777
turtle777's picture

That's just nonsense. Never heard of lava cake ?

Fri, 03/16/2012 - 15:15 | 2262832 Silver Dreamer
Silver Dreamer's picture

Mother nature is not in the business of controlling magma inflation.  Besides, Yellowstone's Super Volcano has been expanding too, and the magma chamber there has seen record increases recently as well.  Here's one link of many about the topic:

The measurements showed that from mid-2004 through 2006, the Yellowstone caldera floor rose as fast as 2.8 inches (7 centimeters) per year -- and by a total of 7 inches (18 centimeters) during the 30-month period, Chang says.

"The uplift is still going on today but at a little slower rate," says Smith, adding there is no way to know when it will stop.

Smith says the fastest rate of uplift previously observed at Yellowstone was about 0.8 inch (2 centimeters) per year between 1976 and 1985.

He says that Yellowstone's recent upward motion may seem small, but is twice as fast as the average rate of horizontal movement along California's San Andreas fault.

The current uplift is faster than ever observed at Yellowstone, but may not be the fastest ever, since humans weren't around for its three supervolcano eruptions.

Fri, 03/16/2012 - 15:39 | 2263034 dontgoforit
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Damn!  We're all gonna die! ....but, well yeah - we are all going to die.  Toast!  A toast - it's Friday and HappyHour has begun. 

Fri, 03/16/2012 - 22:09 | 2264187 IAmNotMark
IAmNotMark's picture

Good idea!

hmmmm....Hennessy or The Macallan? 

Shit!  End of the world?  I'll do the Glenfiddich 21!  Better drink it all before I'm gone.

Fri, 03/16/2012 - 23:09 | 2264303 Vampyroteuthis ...
Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

The current uplift is faster than ever observed at Yellowstone, but may not be the fastest ever, since humans weren't around for its three supervolcano eruptions.

If it goes again people will not be around for the end of this upcoming eruption.

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 03:51 | 2264515 RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture

since humans weren't around for its three supervolcano eruptions.


...and if they were, they were unable to draw 'breaking news' cave art before they were immolated.

Fri, 03/16/2012 - 15:02 | 2262833 slaughterer
slaughterer's picture

Now that the Greek economy is destroyed, why not destroy the nature?  Does the vampire squid have earthquake inducers?   

Fri, 03/16/2012 - 15:06 | 2262880 cossack55
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Sat, 03/17/2012 - 13:18 | 2265024 Dave Thomas
Dave Thomas's picture

So ionizing the ionosphere causes earfquakes?

Get back to Rense you nutter!

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 09:22 | 2266897 Maxter
Maxter's picture

No, it is about heating the water underground near the faults.  You know, a bit like "hydraulic fracturing".

The ionosphere is only useful to refelct teh waves back to teh earth,

Fri, 03/16/2012 - 16:38 | 2263305 Common_Cents22
Common_Cents22's picture

Michael Moore could single handedly plug the hole.

Fri, 03/16/2012 - 15:00 | 2262838 Possible Impact
Possible Impact's picture

Remember that "1000 points of light" quote:

"One moment there had been nothing but darkness; next moment a thousand, thousand points of light leaped out..." - C.S. Lewis

Fri, 03/16/2012 - 15:32 | 2263013 Popo
Popo's picture

Apparently written for those who do not know what a million is.

...and a point has no dimension, so what exactly is it's magnitude and how does one know when it "leaps out"?



Fri, 03/16/2012 - 15:37 | 2263029 dontgoforit
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Ur so deep...I like it!

Fri, 03/16/2012 - 23:11 | 2264306 TheMerryPrankster
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In astronomy magnitude is a measure of brightness, not dimension or size. a million? the price of a barrel of oil in a hundred years?

Fri, 03/16/2012 - 15:00 | 2262842 Lmo Mutton
Lmo Mutton's picture

It may be increasing but its on zero volume so expect a collapse back to the new normal.

Fri, 03/16/2012 - 15:01 | 2262844 mayhem_korner
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Pompeii...part deux?

Fri, 03/16/2012 - 15:01 | 2262845 Christoph830
Christoph830's picture

When it rains, it fucking pours.  Wow

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