June 2012 marked the kick-off of the Deep Carbon Observatory's DECADE initiative. DECADE, which stands for Deep Earth Carbon Degassing, is a growing international research effort within the DCO's Reservoirs and Fluxes Directorate involving more than two dozen researchers from 11 countries. The initial field expedition of the DECADE group is to the partially-submerged volcanic island of Santorini, located in the southern Aegean Sea, about 200 km (120 mi) southeast from Greece's mainland. Santorini is the most active volcanic center in the South Aegean Volcanic Arc, and the site of one of the largest volcanic eruptions in recorded history: the Minoan eruption which occurred some 3600 years ago at the height of the Minoan civilization. Santorini has seen a large increase in seismic unrest and magma chamber inflation since early 2011.
Photo: DECADE researchers installing a MultiGAS volcanic gas analyzer at the crater rim of Santorini, with tourists looking on.