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The Thera volcanic events and subsequent ashfall probably sterilized the island, as occurred on Krakatoa.

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Studies have identified four major eruption phases, and one minor precursory tephra fall.

The thinness of the first ash layer, along with the lack of noticeable erosion of that layer by winter rains before the next layer was deposited, indicate that the volcano gave the local population a few months' warning.

Since no human remains have been found at the Akrotiri site, this preliminary volcanic activity probably caused the island's population to flee.

The Minoan eruption of Thera, also referred to as the Thera eruption or Santorini eruption, was a major catastrophic volcanic eruption with a Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) of 6 or 7 and a dense-rock equivalent (DRE) of 60 km It devastated the island of Thera (now called Santorini), including the Minoan settlement at Akrotiri and communities and agricultural areas on nearby islands and the coast of Crete with a related earthquake or tsunami.

There are no clear ancient records of the eruption, which may have inspired certain Greek myths, Geological evidence shows the Thera volcano erupted numerous times over several hundred thousand years before the Minoan eruption.

In a repeating process, the volcano would violently erupt, then eventually collapse into a roughly circular seawater-filled caldera, with numerous small islands forming the circle.

The caldera would slowly refill with magma, building a new volcano, which erupted and then collapsed in an ongoing cyclical process.

This cataclysmic eruption was centered on a small island just north of the existing island of Nea Kameni in the centre of the then-existing caldera.

The northern part of the caldera was refilled by the volcanic ash and lava, then collapsed again.

Research by a team of international scientists in 2006 revealed that the Santorini event was much larger than the original estimate of 39 km If so, the eruption's Volcanic Explosivity Index was 7.

The volcano ejected up to four times as much as the well-recorded eruption by Krakatoa in 1883.

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