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The morphology of a volcanic edifice reflects the integrated eruptive and evolutionary history of that system, and can be used to reconstruct the time-series of prior eruptions. We present a new high-resolution merged LiDAR-bathymetry grid, which has enabled detailed mapping of both onshore and offshore historic lava flows of the Kameni islands, emplaced in the centre of the Santorini caldera since at least AD 46. We identify three new submarine lava flows: two flows, of unknown age, lie to the east of Nea Kameni and a third submarine flow, located north of Nea Kameni appears to predate the 1925–1928 lava flows but was emplaced subsequent to the 1707–1711 lava flows. Yield strength estimates derived from the morphology of the 1570/1573 lobe suggest that submarine lava strengths are approximately two times greater than those derived from the onshore flows. To our knowledge this is the first documented yield strength estimate for submarine flows. This increase in strength is likely related to cooling and thickening of the dacite lava flows as they displace sea water. Improved lava volume estimates derived from the merged LiDAR-Bathymetry grid suggest typical lava extrusion rates of ∼2–3 m3 s−1 during four of the historic eruptions on Nea Kameni (1707–1711, 1866–1870, 1925–1928 and 1939–1941). They also reveal a linear relationship between the pre-eruption interval and the volume of extruded lava. These observations may be used to estimate the size of future dome-building eruptions at Santorini volcano, based on the time interval since the last significant eruption.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.