National Geographic : 1972 May
opelos esvo Aegean Sea SkariSamo Keos "? • K thera Mediterranean Sea \ 0 100 STATUTEMILES A Sites of Minoan settlements orinfluence Elevations in feet DRAWNBY SNEJINKASTEFANOFF With mind-staggering force, Thera's volcano belched ash high into the air; winds carried it as far as 600 miles. The shaded area in the map above shows the heaviest concentration of volcanic fallout, based on core samples taken from the sea floor by American scientists. The Theran ash killed island vegetation and clogged the harbors of eastern Crete, whose ships had traded throughout the Mediterranean. Drained of its molten interior, Thera's cone slumped into the sea, turning the round island into a broken crescent (left). The collapse set up immense tidal waves that surged outward at perhaps 200 miles an hour, dealing the port settlements of Crete, 70 miles away, a pulverizing blow.