Outline for the Scientific Report (Assignment 4 of 4)
The Eruption of Thera
On the Greek Island of Santorini, approximately 3500 years ago the volcano known as Thera erupted. Some claim that this eruption had a force that exceeded anything humans had ever seen before. The eruption destroyed part of the island and is thought to be related to the legend of Atlantis (in addition to and other biblical stories). The violence of the eruption and the resulting tsunami may have led to the collapse of the Minoan civilization. The aerosols from the eruption may have changed climate around the world. This sounds like an excellent event to teach us about the wide-spread and varied consequences of a catastrophic volcanic eruption.
The following site can give you one perspective of this famous event: https://www.livescience.com/4846-eruption-thera-changed-world.html
Despite the potential for the eruption of Thera to be a regional catastrophe, there are many scientists that claim the effects of the eruption have been exaggerated and this eruption did not change the course of human civilization. Part of the controversy is centered around dating the event (e.g. did the eruption occur before or after the decline of the Minoan economy?) and part of the problem is varying interpretations of the scarce physical evidence of ancient volcanic deposits (e.g. tephra), tsunami deposits, and climate change. Although humans were most certainly affected by this eruption, no human account of the event was recorded. Our knowledge of the sequence of events and the severity of the consequences are pieced together from ancient evidence and hence interpretations are debated.
Your final assignment (part 4 of 4) is to write a scientific report about the debate surrounding the severity of the environmental, health and societal impacts of the Thera eruption (and subsequent tsunami). Because of the controversy surrounding this event you will need to be diligent in your research and convincing in your writing. Below is an outline of what I expect you to cover in your report. As always, use your own words, and follow instructions closely.
• You submitted a draft of the Introduction for Assignment #3. The instructions here are the same. Use the feedback you received from the last assignment to improve your Introduction for the major assignment. • Begin by just stating very simple facts – all the details will come in later in the report. • Where is Santorini? What is Thera? • Note the (approximate) date and location (a map is essential) of the events • You’ll want to provide some introductory facts that will convince the reader that the event was a catastrophe. Your reader will wonder why you are writing about Thera so it’s best to explain briefly in the introduction why the event was significant. • You’ll need to include a definition of “tsunami”.
2 • Draw comparisons to other volcanic eruptions (e.g. Krakatau) that were also considered devastating. How does Thera rank among the world’s most devastating eruptions? What other factors make it significant or unique (again you are trying to convince the reader why Thera deserves to be the topic of this assignment). • Briefly introduce the reader to the debate surrounding Thera regarding the timing and consequences. • Statement of Aim (this may be a subsidiary heading under Introduction or simply a separate paragraph): just a sentence or two about what the report will cover.
Geological Setting of Thera
• Describe in detail the geological setting; why is there a volcano at this site? • Give a broad overview including one or more figures to help explain the tectonics. • Provide the history of the volcano (past and subsequent eruptions and damage). • How active is this volcano? • Why are eruptions at this location explosive?
The eruption and tsunami
• This is the story of the “main event” of the Minoan eruption of Thera. This section will describe the physical processes that caused the devastation. Give the history of the event including more detail than you stated in the Introduction. • Be sure to say something of the source of material: do they know the composition? What were the types/volumes of material ejected? How many eruptions were there? etc. • What caused the tsunami? What was the extent of the tsunami? How big were the waves? etc. Note that there is some debate on this topic – you might choose to present the most extreme case (e.g. the maximum extent of the tsunami is thought to be…) and then discuss the debate surrounding the consequences in the following section. • After you have covered the big eruption, consider how the volcano has changed. Include some statement as to potential future eruptions at Santorini.
The consequences of the catastrophe and the debate
• From your readings, you will know that there are many dire consequences that could have resulted from the Thera events (for example: collapse of the island, loss of life, loss of the Minoan shipping fleet, climate change). • In this section you should discuss the impact of the eruption/tsunami on the region. • When discussing this impact include information from both sides of the debate about the severity of the eruption/tsunami and the timing of the event and the severity of the consequences. • Your goal should be to present both the evidence for and against the catastrophic nature of the Thera event.
3• Use this evidence to convince the reader that either Thera was a terrible catastrophe or that it was not. By the end of the section the reader should be convinced of one of these things (that means you will need to have an opinion based on your research). • When researching a topic like this you will encounter different sources that may contradict each other. This does not necessarily mean that one opinion/source is wrong. Some research might consider a bigger/smaller area that was affected more or less. In addition, more recent research might have new data available that allows for alternative interpretations. Keep these things in mind when reading the literature so that you can “build the story” of what really happened. • Think hard on this section, do lots of reading, rewrite often…….and write it up with documenting evidence. • This section is worth twice as many marks as the other sections (see marking scheme) and so it should be approximately twice as long.
• This is a summary of the important parts of the report; neither new material nor personal opinions should be included.
Report Preparation Instructions
A significant portion of you mark is for correct formatting. Follow these instructions closely if you want those marks.
The requirements for a good scientific report are always very rigorous. What I’ve defined below is roughly what an editor of a scientific journal might ask of you. There are a few notable differences between a scientific report and an essay: 1) Scientific reports use headings for different sections of the report 2) Nothing is ever written in the first person (do not use “I”). 3) We only report facts. We do not include personal opinions except on rare occasions. Those opinions must be backed up by facts from a cited reference. 4) We use figures to demonstrate complex ideas (maps, graphs with data, diagrams) that would be complicated to explain in words. There are many details in the following document that you must remember; please print it out and keep it handy as you construct your report.
A. File Format
Word Processing Software The only acceptable formats for submission are • Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx extensions) • Rich Text Format (.rtf extension); this one loads VERY slowly Most word processing software converts files readily to MSWord or RTF. It’s usually done in the ‘Save As…’ option. Please understand that I cannot accept reports submitted in any other formats because markers will not have other software. We do not want to mark a PDF file because it is difficult to insert comments. A PDF file may be marked, but may not receive many comments.
B. Report Structure
1. Report length Word count should be 2500 ± 200 (double spaced). Do the word-count as follows: • Place the cursor at the beginning of the word “Introduction” and select straight through to the last word in “Conclusions”. The count of that block should be 2500 ± 200 words; that is the method of counting the marker will use. DO NOT selectively add/subtract any components (headings, figure captions, etc.) within that block. However, if your software for ‘word count’ shows a checked box for “Include textboxes, footnotes and endnotes”, then uncheck that box. • Reports with word counts between 2000 and 2299 words or between 2701 and 3000 words will be penalized 5 marks. • Reports less than 2000 words or greater than 3000 words will be penalized 10 marks.
2. Title Page
o The title page must include report title author’s name student number date submitted name/number of this course. o The title page must not have a page number (the easiest thing is to assign it ‘0’ but not have page number printing start appearing until page 1; see the options under ‘Insert’>’Page Numbering’). o Do not put a picture on the title page
3. Table of Contents
o This page must be numbered 1. o All the headings/subheadings within the report must appear here exactly as they do inside the report, in order, and with the page number (align all numbers in a column on the right side) at which that heading appears in the report. Do not give a range of pages for content of topics included under headings – only the page number at which the heading appears. o The heading following ‘Conclusions’ should be ‘References’ (not ‘Bibliography’). It is best to choose some numbering sequence for headings so their hierarchy is obvious to the reader/marker. o Following ‘References’ (we’re still in the Table of Contents) must be a list of ‘Illustrations’ and then ‘Tables’ (every assignment will require some illustration or table). Each illustration must be listed as: Figure 1 Title or Caption (keep it short) page #. Tables must have similar format. 4. Content Sections from ‘Introduction’ to ‘Conclusions’
o Obviously use whatever headings are appropriate to the topic. I will provide suggestions within the ‘Outline’ for the assignment for the main sections you should include. You are welcome to use sub-headings within these main sections; however, avoid having too many short sections that will make you report choppy. o The report text should always begin with ‘Introduction’ and end with ‘Conclusions’. o The content of ‘Introduction’ should set the scene for what follows by introducing the topic and noting why the report is being done (this latter is called the statement of aim and it is a clear, short statement of what aspects of the topic you will be presenting in the report). You may use a subheading for statement of aim or you may simply isolate it in a separate paragraph. o The section ‘Conclusions’ should contain no new data, only your appraisal of the topic together with a summary of the very most significant facts learned.
5. Illustrations/Tables Within the Report
o Believe me; every topic I assign will require illustrations! All illustrations inside the report must be documented as follows (preferably below the illustration): Figure xx. Title or captionReference number The superscripted reference number is the source for the figure (Reference #s are described below). o Every illustration you include must be relevant to the story you are telling (do not include a picture just because ‘it’s nice’), and must be mentioned within the text, as follows: “Jupiter’s Great Red Spot (Fig.1) is produced by…..” or “Figure 1 demonstrates that…”. o Please insert illustrations into the text where they are relevant and not grouped together at the end. o Most illustrations won’t insert properly if you grab them from a website and drop them directly into your report (and you’ll lose marks big-time if the marker can’t view your illustrations). Here’s how to do it correctly: • Right click on an illustration you want (from the source) and save it to your computer. • Return to your report, and place the cursor in the report where you want the picture to appear, click ‘Insert’ on the top toolbar, choose ‘Picture’ then browse to the picture file you just made, and double click on the picture you want to insert into the report. • Chances are the inserted picture will occupy far too much space, so click on it, grab one corner, and ‘push’ it to the size you want. • A report always looks better if you wrap the text around the pictures. To do that, click on the picture, on the top toolbar click on ‘Format’ > ‘Picture’ > ‘Layout’ > ‘Tight’, and it should be wrapped. You can now move it exactly where you want it (as long it’s not far, or it will jump out of place totally). • Keeping captions tied to pictures: Captions will ‘float’ away from the pictures if you make any revisions (or format conversions) to the report. There are several ways to tie them together, but a simple way is to insert a text box (adjusted to the right size by pulling on a corner) that will hold both the picture and its caption as a single unit (You’ll see a text box symbol somewhere on one of your toolbars; once you put your cursor where you want it to appear, click on that symbol). So, make the text box first. Now, you can insert the picture into the box, and type the caption below it. This is a bit awkward, no doubt about it, but it works. If you are a pro and have photo editing software, you can normally type inside the space assigned to the figure (and you can expand that if you need).
You will find advice on where to look for information and determining suitable references in the instructions for Assignment #2. In any report, some of the content will be based upon your personal general knowledge; for that, obviously, you don’t need references. For all other content, it is essential, in any scientific report, that you note the source as a proper reference. In most cases you will cite a reference for almost every sentence in the report. Here is the easiest way to do it (and the method I want all of you to use).
• Within the text, use a superscripted number to indicate the reference. • On a page headed References at the end of the report, record the numbers sequentially and follow each number with the details of the reference. • Here’s an example of what might appear in the text: About 23% of incoming solar radiation is used to evaporate water1.
Then, on the References page at the back, you’d see: 1 Abbott, P.L. (2002) Natural Disasters, Third Edition. McGraw Hill.
Note that the reference number is superscripted both within the text and on the References page.
• In the text and on the References page, keep the reference numbers in sequential order of new use; the first reference gets number 1, the second new reference gets number 2, etc. If you use the first reference again somewhere later in the report, do not give it a new number – reuse number 1. • If you wish to reference a website source, in the text of the report you will simply use a superscripted sequential number (in the same sequence). On the ‘References’ page, beside that superscripted sequential number, you document the web address together with a very short title so that a reader knows what that site is about. Please also list the date that you accessed the site. For example: 2Details of the skyhooks: www.whateveritsays.html (accessed May 3, 2014). • Some websites – such as ‘Wikipedia.com’- are so complex that you must be careful to make a separate reference for every sub-site of those sites that you use material from. [A word about Wikipedia use: I’m well aware that some instructors caution you to stay away from Wikipedia use for non-Science topics – and deservedly so. However, Science articles are generally well- done; if you see a site that contains abundant referencing, you can accept the content. You may find that some sections bear ‘flags’ from the editorial advisors stating that more referencing is needed; to me that speaks well for the cautionary care given by peer-scientists for the Wikipedia papers.] • If you cite information from a scientific journal article that you found on the internet, be sure to cite the article properly (see example below) rather than listing it as a web- site source. • Text, table and illustrations must all have references, and they must all be incorporated within the one listing of sequential numbers. • If you use a subprogram such as ‘Endnotes’ to keep track of your references, you will soon discover (at least in older versions) that you are not permitted to use the same number over and over. If you do not use the same number for the same reference, you will certainly lose marks; my recommendation: keep track of reference numbering manually. [The use of footnotes is NOT an acceptable alternative to the above procedure.] • All of what you write should be in your own words – no matter what your source of information. Sometimes direct quotations are just so effective no words of your own can equal them. In that case, be sure to set off the quotation with quotation marks (and follow it with the superscripted reference number, of course). But beware: It’s not acceptable to have more than 5% of the word count as direct quotation. [A major reason for expressing things in your own words is simply that you will have to understand the content to do that; cut-and-paste doesn’t do a thing for your knowledge.] Be aware that if you use a cut- and-paste section that someone else has completed (without quotation marks and a
cited reference), not only will markers not count that as part of your report, but you can be accused of plagiarism – and markers are pretty good at finding the sources (the Turnitin software program does it quickly).
Examples of how to format your reference list:
Note that the references are single-spaced and that each reference is separated by a space. The authors’ last names and initials are followed by the date in parentheses. Pay attention to the punctuation style. Journal articles must have the volume number (in bold) and page number. Include the article title and the journal title (in italics). Books must include the publisher’s name and location of printing. The examples below are for journal articles (1 and 2), books (3), web sites (4), book chapters (5), an abstract (6) and a thesis (7).
1Petrophilas D. C. (1997) Rocks I have known and loved. Journal of Rocks 61, 123-321
2Bells J. D. and Whistles H. P. (1995) Asperity-limited tectonic lithofacies juxtaposition in the northeastern South-Central Mountains, West Virginia. Nature 447, 7767-7776.
3Nixon R. M. (1975) I Am Not a Crook. Vantage Press, New York
4Details of the skyhooks: www.whateveritsays.html (accessed May 3, 2014)
5Butcher N. D., Baker R. B., Waxwright C. M., Tinker, Jr., D. R. C. and Taylor G. J. (1998) Sm-Nd, Rb-Sr, U-Th-Pb, Re-Os and K-Ar isotope systematics in 762 subangular pebbles from the bed of Oompa-Loompa Creek, Glacier National Park. In Mesozoic Volcanic Activity in North America (eds. P. M.Thieux and F. T. Frough). Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge. pp. 417-496
6Gibbs J. W. and Helmholtz H. L. (1997) Thermodynamic properties of triskadeka-biphenyl complexes of Fe++ and Zn++ in the range 80°-85°C at pH 4.5 in aqueous solution from the ice in which ALH 84001 was recovered. Lunar Planet. Sci. XXVIII. Lunar Planet. Inst., Houston. #7654(abstr.)
7Harvard J. (1787) Investigations on why the ground in New England is so rocky. Ph. D. thesis, Yale Univ
Most software has the capability of checking spelling; use it. As for grammar, if you have the reputation of terrible grammar, get a friend to read the report before you submit.
8. Help with writing
We do not have the physical resources to offer to proof read everyone’s report before submission and offer writing advice. However, you will get feedback on your research skills through the first two assignments and your writing style in the third small assignment. If you want/need further assistance with writing (learning to write well, proof reading, etc.) I strongly encourage you to visit the Writing Support Center: https://www.sdc.uwo.ca/writing/. They offer a variety of services (and are super nice).
Report Submission Instructions
Please be aware of the following assignment conditions: • The “Due Dates” recorded on the syllabus (and and in the OWL Calendar) are the final dates of submission without penalty. • If you have technical difficulties submitting an assignment contact the instructor immediately. • Assignments submitted within two hours after the deadline will receive a 2% penalty. • For 5 days following those “Due Dates” (including weekend days) reports may be submitted, but will be subject to a deduction of 10 % per day. No reports will be accepted after that. • Extensions will not be granted because you have a time problem on the due date; it’s up to you to manage your time and get the report assignment submitted. • If you require an extension for a legitimate medical or personal reason (e.g. physical illness or extreme stress) please get documentation from your doctor and take it to an academic counsellor in your home faculty. • When you submit an assignment you will receive an email receipt from OWL and an email receipt from Turnitin.com. Keep these for your records.
1. Before you submit, open the report (in MSWord or RTF format) and be sure that it looks the way you want the marker to view it. If you make any changes, remember to resave in the correct format. Close the file. 2. Go to the OWL site for our course. Choose “assignments” from the left-hand menu. 3. From the Assignment List choose “Final Scientific Report” 4. You will now see information about the assignment including: • The due date and time. • Information about the assignment including attachments with details. • Below that is the title ‘Submission’, and “Attachments” • Where it says “select a file from computer” click the BROWSE button and a window will open showing files on your computer. • Select your assignment file from your computer (click open to attach). This is what you use to send your report from your computer to the UWO server. 5. When done, the pop-up disappears, and you’ll be back to the assignment page. You should see your report listed just below the Attachment title. 6. Below the Comments box are the options: Submit, Preview, Save Draft, Cancel. Click on Submit. 7. You will then get a highlighted message at the top of the screen telling you that your assignment was submitted at a specific time; if you get that message, everything has gone well. [If you don’t get that message, then something has NOT worked for you
and the report has NOT been submitted. First, check that your computer is properly configured; if it is and still nothing works, check with me or call ITS for help]. 8. Click OK and you’re done! 9. When you submit an assignment you will receive an email receipt from OWL and an email receipt from Turnitin.com. Keep these for your records. Submission problems: Contact Technical Services (which takes time) at: https://servlet.uwo.ca:8081/helpdesk/index.jsp
Turnitin.com is the name of the software that Western uses to check submitted work for plagiarism. This software compares your report to everything that has been published, everything on the internet and all other student papers that have been previously submitted to Turnitin (from any university). When you submit your assignments through the OWL system it will automatically be checked by the TURNITIN software (no need to submit your report anywhere else).
Of course I do not want you to plagiarize anything. That is why I have directed you to the Academic Integrity Tutorial and Quiz (in course content). I am also giving you the chance to see the “similarity report” generated by Turnitin before the assignment deadline. This means that if you submit your assignment early, you can see the Turnitin report (it can take a day or two for the report to be generated if the system is busy) and you will know whether there are any passages that are similar (or copied) from other sources. You will then have a chance to make changes and resubmit the report (you can do this an infinite number of times until the deadline, but you can only submit once after the deadline).
The Turnitin report is what I use to determine if your paper contains plagiarism. Each Turnitin report generates a “score” out of 100. Of course it is almost impossible to have a score of zero – in a large class, your same references will have been used by many others and so many parts of your reference list will be highlighted as being similar to other work. A good score should be less than 35%, but the actual number is not critical. I will be looking through your assignments (hoping not to see hardly any highlighted sections) to ensure that you do not have whole sentences or paragraphs copied from one source or another. You MUST use your own words – not just for the sake of getting a low Turnitin score, but also because it will make a better report – reports that are cut and paste from many sources are usually incoherent, poorly conceived and they would receive poor marks even if the plagiarism was not identified.
My advice to you is this: 1) Prepare a draft of your report well before the deadline 2) Submit the draft assignment and view your Turnitin report 3) If you have a high Turnitin score, or any highlighted sections beyond a partial sentence, figure caption, reference list or equations, then rewrite those sections.
4) Repeat steps 1 to 3 until you are happy with the result and then submit the final version of your assignment.
Please note: it can take several minutes, several hours or even a day for Turnitin to generate a report and you will not be allowed to resubmit an assignment while Turnitin is generating the report. Hence, you should not submit an unfinished draft close to the deadline in case your report is delayed and you are not able to submit your final version before the deadline.
Major Assignment – Scientific Report
The Eruption of Thera
In order that you appreciate how important format is to a scientific report, there is an almost equal split in marks for format (45%) and content (55%) for the assignment.
Component: Marks Comments Formatting: See the Report Preparation Instructions for formatting information. Deductions will be made for each formatting error Title page 2 Table of Contents 5 Word limit – See report formatting instructions for deductions Page numbers 2 Illustrations/Tables 8 Quality and suitability: illustrations should support and enhance your report Headings 2 References 15 Marks for correct formatting and quality of references. See Assignment #2 for instructions on choosing good references. Spelling 3 Grammar 3 Style 5 Marks for coherent and clear writing and professional presentation. Content: See the Report Outline for details of what should be included in the following sections. You will be graded on what information you choose to include and how well you express that information, justify your arguments and achieve your statement of aim. Introduction 10 Geological Setting
The Eruption and Tsunami
The Consequences and Debates
REFERENCES – PLEASE USE MOST OF THEM AND SOME OF YOUR OWN- AS I SUBMITED THEM TO THE PROFESSOR
Features of Eruption
THIS IS THE 2ND PART OF THE ASSIGNMENT THAT I COMPLETED BUT DID NOT SCORE A HIGH MARK (60% FOR FOMATTING PROBLEMS
Konstantinou, K.I. (2015) Maximum horizontal range of volcanic ballistic projectiles ejected during eruptions at Santorini caldera,
Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 301, 107-115
Keller, Jorg; Gertisser, Ralf; Reusser, Eric et al. (2014) Pumice deposits of the Santorini Lower Pumice 2 eruption on Anafi island, Greece : Indications of a Plinian event of exceptional magnitude, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 278-279, 120-128.
Abbot, Peter M. and Davies, Siwan M. (2012) Volcanism and the Greenland ice-cores: the tephra record, Earth-Science Reviews 115, 173-191.
“Atlantis” Eruption Twice as Big as Previously Believed, Study Suggests: https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/08/060823-thera-volcano.html
Consequences of Eruption
Cadoux, Anita; Scaillet, Bruno; Bekki, Slimane et al.(2015) Stratospheric Ozone destruction by the Bronze-Age Minoan eruption (Santorini Volcano, Greece), Scientific Reports 5, 12243.
Reitz, Anja; Thomson, John; de Lange J., Gert et al. (2006) Effects of the Santorini (Thera) eruption on manganese behaviour in Holocene sediments of the Eastern Mediterranean, Earth and Planetary Science Letters 241, 188-201.
Lanoreaux, PE (1995) WORLDWIDE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS FROM THE ERUPTION OF THERA, Environmental Geology 26, 172-181
Eastwood, W.J.; Tibby, J.;Roberts, N. et al. (2002) The environmental impact of the Minoan eruption of Santorini (Thera): statistical analysis of palaeoecological data from Golbisar, Southwest Turkey, The Holocene 12, 431-444.
How the eruption of Thera Changed the World: https://www.livescience.com/4846-eruption-thera-changed-world.html (accessed October 15, 2015)
The Destruction of the Minoan Civilization: https://www.explorecrete.com/archaeology/minoan-civilization-destruction.html (accessed October 17, 2015)
Vespa, M.; Keller, J.; Gertisser, R. (2006) Interplinian explosive activity of Santorini Volcano (Greece) during the past 150,000 years, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 153, 262-286
Zellmer, G.; Turner, S.; Hawkesworth, C. (2000) Timescales of destructive plate margin magmatism: new insights from Santorini, Aegean volcanic arc, Earth and Planetary Science Letters 174, 265-281.
Cioni, R.; Gurioli, L.; Sbrana, A. et al. (2000) Precursors to the plinian eruptions of thera (late bronze age) and vesuvius (AD 79): Data from archaeological areas, PHYSICS AND CHEMISTRY OF THE EARTH PART A-SOLID EARTH AND GEODESY 25, 719-724
Reconstructing a Catastrophe: The Minoan Eruption Of Santorini: https://www.science20.com/tuff_guy/reconstructing_catastrophe_minoan_eruption_santorini-80529 (accessed October 17, 2015)
VOLCANIC ERUPTION AT THERA (SANTORINI) https://www.historymuseum.ca/cmc/exhibitions/civil/greece/gr1040e.shtml (accessed October 15, 2015)
The Minoan Santorini eruption and tsunami deposits in Crete (Palaikastro): Geological, archaeological, 14C dating and Egyptian chronology: https://www.academia.edu/303305/_The_Minoan_Santorini_eruption_and_tsunami_deposits_in_Crete_Palaikastro_Geological_archaeological_14C_dating_and_Egyptian_chronology_ (accessed October 16, 2015)
Thera, Egypt, and the Exodus: https://www.blogs.hss.ed.ac.uk/science-and-religion/2014/02/26/thera-egypt-exodus/ (accessed October 16, 2015)
Santorini Biblical Connection: https://www.greeka.com/cyclades/santorini/santorini-volcano/biblical.htm (accessed October 17, 2015
PLEASE USE THIS INTRODUCTION WITH SOME CORRECTIONS AS IT WAS ALREADY SUBMITTED TO THE PROFESSOR .
INTRODUCTION- PLEASE COPY AND PASTE THIS ONTO THE DOCUMENT- DO NOT INCLUDE IT AS PART OF THE 7 PAGES.
Santorini is a small Greek island located in the Aegean Sea (see Figure 1), and is classically known as Thera. Aside from being a great tourist destination, it is most famous for being the site of a catastrophic volcanic eruption that nearly destroyed the entire island. It is believed to be one of the most devastating eruptions in history, having an impact on human civilization, climate, and religion2. However, there is debate surrounding the Thera eruption as there are opposing sides that argue its catastrophic magnitude and impact on civilization, as well as the date that it took place. There is no denying however, that a large-scale eruption did indeed occur at this site.
Figure 1: Map of Santorini1
The Thera eruption is believed to have occurred between the years of 1627-1600 B.C.3. As mentioned before there is debate surrounding the validity of this date, however that will be explained in greater detail later in this report. The volcanic eruption was not the only devastating force of nature as a tsunami was triggered, destroying all in its wake across a considerably large area4. A tsunami, by definition, is “a long, high sea wave caused by an earthquake or other disturbance”5. In the case of the Thera eruption, it was the latter.
It is considered a catastrophe for the reason that it brought about the end of an entire civilization. It is believed to be responsible for the collapse of the Minoan civilization (a prospering sea-faring people who resided on Thera). It seems that during the peak of their civilization that they suddenly vanished from the world completely6. Another major consequence of the eruption was the fact that it had an effect on the global climate. It is believed to have been such a large eruption that it caused noticeable climate change worldwide, effectively lowering global tempuratures7.
Compared to other eruptions, Thera ranks among the highest in terms of total ejecta released, behind Tambora and Toba8. By comparison, its eruption is believed to be “four or five times more powerful than Krakatoa” which was another devastating eruption in history9. It is believed to be one of the biggest volcanic eruptions of all time10.
The aim of this report will be to shine light upon the various debates surrounding the topic of the Thera eruption, and which ones I believe hold more validity. By the end of this report the reader will hopefully be able to form their own opinion pertaining to the topic of Thera.