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Volcanoes and Earthquakes - Barry Weaver

Volcanoes and Earthquakes


Published: March 2008
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At present there are texts on volcanoes, and texts on earthquakes, but none that combine the two subjects. Volcanoes and earthquakes together constitute the most violent manifestations of the planet's dynamic processes. They have a huge impact on human society, but are also the main phenomena that tell us how plate tectonics actually works. They are therefore a perfect way of introducing students to science in general and geology in particular. This book comes with a student's CD-ROM and a companion website with Internet resources and links.

A tentative chapter outline (with brief details of each chapter) is as follows:. 1 Plate Tectonics - The Unifying Theory. Plate tectonics is fundamental to understanding the distribution and causes of volcanoes and earthquakes. The basics of plate tectonics will be presented in this chapter to "set the scene", with a subsequent return to plate tectonics (chapters 5 to 7) to examine the details of volcanism and earthquakes at the plate boundaries (and intraplate in chapter 8). Equally importantly, the birth and death of the continental drift hypothesis, and its resurrection with the development of plate tectonic theory, is an excellent example of the scientific method (good and bad), and this will be emphasized. 2 Minerals and Rocks, and the Composition and Structure of the Earth. Basic mineralogy, focusing on the common rock-forming silicate minerals. Rock types, focusing on igneous, and specifically volcanic, rocks (basalt, andesite, rhyolite). Composition and characteristics of oceanic and continental crust and the mantle (peridotite). "Solid Earth" perspective on the Structure of the Earth: Isostasy and why we have continents and oceans. The overall structure of the Earth and its history/discovery the crust, mantle, outer core, inner core. Lines of evidence: Earth s mass, meteorites, earthquake seismology. 3 Volcano Fundamentals. Magma generation - mantle melting. Magma modification - crystallization. Magma properties - viscosity and gas content. Volcanic products. Volcano types. Eruptive styles of volcanoes. Size of eruptions - the Volcanic Explosivity Index. Statistics of historic eruptions. 4 Earthquake Fundamentals. Ultimate energy source for volcanoes, earthquakes, mountain-building, plate tectonics. How thermal convection works and its application to mantle convection. Types of earthquakes. Faults, fault types, relationship to plate boundaries. Elastic rebound and recurrence interval. Seismic waves. Statistics of earthquakes and other natural phenomena. Recording earthquakes. Locating earthquakes. Earthquake intensity and magnitude. 5 Mid-Ocean Ridge Volcanism and Earthquakes. A review of the composition, structure, and formation of the oceanic crust with an emphasis on mid-ocean ridge volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. Will include an explanation of why magma is generated (decompression melting) under mid-ocean ridges. Will include a case study of hydrothermal vents ("black smokers") and the mineralization and ecosystems associated with them. Introduction to focal mechanisms. Global seismicity. Types of earthquakes at mid-ocean ridges: magnitude, depth, orientation, focal mechanism. Ocean-bottom seismometers. 6 Subduction Zone Volcanism and Earthquakes. A review of subduction zone features (geometry, subduction zone types) and processes, focusing on oceanic and continental volcanic arcs. Will include an explanation of why magma is generated in subduction zones (mantle wedge melting triggered by dehydration of the subducting plate) and magma modification through crustal contamination. Will include details of classic historic eruptions (Vesuvius, Tambora, Krakatau, etc.) and case studies of the 1980 Mt. St. Helens eruption, the 1991 Pinatubo eruption, and the 1995-present Montserrat eruption. Types of earthquakes possible in different parts of a subduction zone. Benioff zones. Speculations on causes of deep-focus earthquakes. Tsunami. Case histories of several significant subduction zone earthquakes: 1960 Chile, 1700 Washington-Oregon, 1755 Lisbon, 1964 Anchorage, Alaska, 1976 Tangshan, China, 1985 Mexico City, 1995 Kobe, Japan. 7 Transform Fault Earthquakes. Description of transform faults and their apparent contradictory earthquake mechanisms. Types of transform faults; fracture zones; leaky transforms. Seismicity at transform boundaries. San Andreas Fault: San Andreas plate boundary vs. San Andreas fault. Case studies of significant San Andreas (and California) earthquakes: 1906 San Francisco. 1975 Oroville. 1989 Loma Prieta. 1992 Landers. 1994 Northridge. Comparison of 1994 Northridge and 1995 Kobe earthquakes. 8 Intraplate Volcanism and Earthquakes. A review of the characteristics of hotspots and of hotspot volcanism, comparing and contrasting oceanic and continental hotspots. Will include an examination of the origin of hotspots (including the plate tectonic link if hotspots originate from deeply subducted ancient lithosphere) and an explanation of why magma is generated (decompression melting) in hotspots. Will include a case study of Hawaiian volcanism as an example of an oceanic hotspot, and a case study of Yellowstone volcanism as an example of a continental hotspot. Will also include a section on hotspot-related continental rift volcanism, as exemplified by the East African Rift. Intraplate earthquakes and plate tectonics. Aulacogen (failed continental rifts). Stresses at passive continental margins. Great U.S. intracontinental earthquakes: Mew Madrid, MO., Charleston, SC., St. Lawrence Seaway. Moderate intracontinental seismic risk zones: Oklahoma/Kansas/Nebraska earthquakes. 9 Volcano Monitoring and Eruption Prediction. A review of monitoring techniques (deformation, seismicity, gases) and their use in eruption prediction. Also volcanic hazard maps and their use in disaster preparedness (Nevado del Ruiz and Hawaii as examples). Will include (brief) case studies of unsuccessful (Guadeloupe, Long Valley) and successful (Mt. St. Helens [sort of!], Pinatubo) eruption predictions. Will also include mitigation by lava diversion, with Heimaey as a case study. 10 Earthquake Control, Forecasts. Prediction and Mitigation. Earthquake "control": The Denver Arsenal and Rocky Mt. Reservoir "experiments." Social and political ramifications of earthquake control. Difference between forecasts and predictions. Forecasts, seismic risk maps, zoning, construction practices and general earthquake damage mitigation. Example of forecasting earthquakes: seismic gaps along the San Andreas fault system. An Oklahoma "forecast." Earthquake prediction: Notion of precursors. Types of precursors. Chinese success(?). U.S. Parkfield, CA failure. Speculations on the future of earthquake prediction. 11 Benefits of Volcanoes. To counter the "death and destruction" perception of volcanoes, a review of the beneficial effects of volcanic activity. Will include mineral deposits (the intrusive "roots" of volcanoes and diamonds in kimberlite pipes), the use of volcanic materials in building/construction, rich volcanic soils for agriculture, and (most importantly) the degassing of Earth's interior and formation of the hydrosphere and atmosphere. 12 Volcanoes and Climate. A review of the effect of large volcanic eruptions on global climate (Tambora "year without summer", Pinatubo). Will include a discussion of the possible role of "mega-eruptions" in mass extinctions (i.e., dinosaur extinction and the Deccan Traps). 13 Extraterrestrial Volcanism. Comparison and contrast of volcanic forms and volcanic activity on the Moon, the other inner planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars), and the moons of Jupiter (specifically Io). 14 Meteorite ImpactsPossible inclusion: Relevant because impacts may be source of greatest "earthquakes" and volcanism on earth. Discussion of fractal nature of disasters (probably not using the word "fractal!") and comparison of this distribution with VEI and earthquake magnitude. And just the gee-whiz factor

ISBN: 9781405126304
ISBN-10: 1405126302
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 432
Published: March 2008
Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Ltd
Country of Publication: GB