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Santorini volcano erupts less often when sea levels are high

Blue and white buildings against water in Santorini, GreeceThe Greek island of Santorini is a picturesque vacation destination, but about 3600 years ago, it was the site of a massive volcanic eruption that rocked the landscape forever. The blast was so devastating that some experts argue it may have even inspired the legend of the lost city of Atlantis. Fortunately, new research suggests contemporary travelers probably don’t have to worry about a repeat performance. When sea levels are high, as they are today, the volcano at Santorini erupts less often, Science News reports. A computer simulation showed that when sea levels were about 40 meters lower over the past 360,000 years, cracks in the volcano splintered toward the surface as the weight of the ocean was removed. That made the volcano erupt more often, researchers report this week in Nature Geoscience. For now, they expect volcanic activity at Santorini to remain relatively calm, but they say other volcanoes around the world may also be sensitive to changing sea levels.