Red Beach Panorama
The volcanic geology of Santorini leads to an unusually wide variety of colored pebbles and sands. The volcanic rock is naturally black, and most of the beaches around the island accordingly have black sand. The first parts of each eruption ejects pale-colored tuff, which can be found forming the white beaches. When water is involved in the later stages of an eruption, high concentrations of iron in the lava can oxidize, turning the rock a ruddy hue. This action transformed one part of the island into a Martian landscape of calving red boulders, albeit one with a very nice beach as shown in this panorama.
The curved arcs in the cliff face are due to the vertical cut through a small localized eruption cone. Normal black volcanic rock is seen to the left; red rock is seen to the right, the result of a hydrological incursion. The beautiful fade linking the two kinds of rock shows how water diffused through the setting lava.
Copyright 2008, J. S. Pezaris
AREADNE | Email | Search | Archive