Earthquakes threaten the eastern Mediterranean more than scientists had thought.

A team led by Vasiliki Mouslopoulou at the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences in Potsdam analysed and carbon-dated ancient shorelines in Crete to estimate when and how quickly earthquakes over the past 50,000 years pushed the island upwards. They conclude that at least 40 quakes of magnitude 8 or greater would have raised the land to its current level.

The quakes came in clusters separated by quieter periods. The entire eastern Mediterranean could be at higher risk of future mega-quakes — and the resulting tsunamis — than previously suspected.

Geophys. Res. Lett. (2015)