GSNZ Wellington branch talk

7:00 PM
8:00 PM

Government Building LT01, Pipetea Campus, Victoria University of Wellington

GSNZ Branch event

Uncovering mysteries of the 1650 eruption and tsunami of Kolumbo Volcano in the Aegean Sea, presented by
Gareth Crutchley (NIWA-GEOMAR)

Kolumbo Volcano is a relatively small submarine volcano in the Aegean Sea, just 10 kilometres northeast of the tourist hotspot of Santorini. In the year 1650, Kolumbo’s volcanic cone grew by about 250 m over a period of two weeks as erupted pumice rained down on the seafloor. At the end of this two-week period the volcanic cone had breached the seafloor and plumes of smoke and glowing rocks filled the sky. What followed was a huge explosion, a deadly cloud of poisonous gas, and a tsunami that devastated surrounding islands. Events like this are not uncommon. The eruption of Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai in Tonga in January 2022 was a stark reminder of their powerful explosivity and the hazard they pose to society.

In this presentation I will talk about recent research into the geological processes that triggered the 1650 tsunami that propagated from Kolumbo volcano. By combining 3D imagery of the volcano with tsunami simulations, we reveal the most likely chain of events that led to the tsunami. Studies like this are important for understanding the complex range of geohazards posed by submarine volcanism, especially in New Zealand where active offshore volcanoes lie very close to our populated coastlines.

GSNZ members are invited to a pre-talk networking/social gathering at the The Backbencher from 5:45-6:45pm. Nibbles will be provided courtesy of the Wellington branch and a cash bar will be operating.

Please RSVP to if you plan to attend the pre-talk function so we can get a handle on numbers.

This event will be live streamed: