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Volcanoes : Crucibles of Change - Richard V. Fisher

Paperback

Published: 17th August 1998
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Whenever a volcano threatens to erupt, scientists and adventurers from around the world flock to the site in response to the irresistible allure of one of nature's most dangerous and unpredictable phenomena. In a unique book probing the science and mystery of these fiery features, the authors chronicle not only their geologic behavior but also their profound effect on human life. From Mount Vesuvius to Mount St. Helens, the book covers the surprisingly large variety of volcanoes, the subtle to conspicuous signs preceding their eruptions, and their far-reaching atmospheric consequences. Here scientific facts take on a very human dimension, as the authors draw upon actual encounters with volcanoes, often through firsthand accounts of those who have witnessed eruptions and miraculously survived the aftermath.

The book begins with a description of the lethal May 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens--complete with an explanation of how safety officials and scientists tried to predict events, and how unsuspecting campers and loggers miles away struggled against terrifying blasts of ash, stone, and heat. The story moves quickly to the ways volcanoes have enhanced our lives, creating mineral-rich land, clean thermal energy, and haunting landscapes that in turn benefit agriculture, recreation, mining, and commerce. Religion and psychology embroider the account, as the authors explore the impact of volcanoes on the human psyche through tales of the capricious volcano gods and attempts to appease them, ranging from simple homage to horrific ritual sacrifice.

"Volcanoes" concludes by assisting readers in experiencing these geological phenomena for themselves. An unprecedented "tourist guide to volcanoes" outlines over forty sites throughout the world. Not only will travelers find information on where to go and how to get there, they will also learn what precautions to take at each volcano. Tourists, amateur naturalists, and armchair travelers alike will find their scientific curiosity whetted by this informative and entertaining book.

"A vivid, insightful, heavily illustrated book... Most important, Volcanoes is fun. The authors take us on a roller-coaster ride through centuries of volcanic thrills, keeping our attention riveted on the deadly fireworks, while giving us just enough science to deepen our awe."--William J. Broad, The New York Times Book Review "A short course in volcanology offered by a team of scientists who bring both scholarship and something like glee to their work... Abundantly illustrated, always accessible and sometimes downright chatty, Volcanoes is a work of science that has not lost its sense of wonder."--Jonathan Kirsch, Los Angeles Times "Volcanoes: Crucibles of Change is written by three respected vulcanologists who, having witnessed several volcanic tragedies, hope to inform and educate people about the wonders, the thrills, and the dangers of volcanoes...[It is an] informative and entertaining book."--Hazel Rymer, The Times Higher Education Supplement "[An] entertaining and informative book that puts volcanoes firmly in their social and cultural place, as well as summarizing the scientific advances that have helped us to understand why and when they erupt... It's a good read, too, written with enthusiasm and expert knowledge, as well as deadpan humour."--Sue Bowler, New Scientist "Volcanoes is a compendium of facts and observations, compellingly and concisely explained."--Richard Fortey, London Review of Books

Prefacep. xiii
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
Volcanoes and Eruptionsp. 1
Politicians and Volcanoesp. 3
A Modern Tragedy: Mount St. Helensp. 7
An Eruption Carnival Turned Tragicp. 7
Far from the Volcanop. 13
The Costs of the Eruptionp. 16
The Eruption Settingp. 17
Tracking the Eruptionp. 18
Referencesp. 27
Why Do Volcanoes Erupt?p. 29
From the Tiny Molecule, Giants Growp. 34
Volcano Countryp. 38
Referencesp. 40
Volcanoes and Eruptionsp. 41
Types of Volcanoesp. 43
Composite Volcanoesp. 43
Domesp. 45
Calderasp. 46
Cinder Cones (Scoria Cones)p. 47
Maarsp. 47
Shield Volcanoesp. 47
Volcanic Eruptionsp. 48
Gas Eruptionsp. 48
Hawaiian Eruptionsp. 50
Strombolian Eruptionsp. 51
Plinian Eruptionsp. 51
Two Eruption Typesp. 53
Mount Pinatubo's Big Surprisep. 53
Hawaiian Eruptionsp. 57
Referencesp. 62
Poseidon and Pluto: Water and Volcanoesp. 65
Bikini and the Base Surgep. 69
Taal Volcanop. 71
Maar Volcanoes and Cinder Conesp. 73
A Little-Known Frontier: Volcanic Eruptions under the Seap. 77
Deep-Sea Eruptionsp. 81
Black Pillows on the Seafloorp. 84
Referencesp. 86
The Hazards of Volcanoesp. 87
Volcanic Hurricanesp. 89
What Happens inside a Pyroclastic Flow?p. 94
What Goes Up Must Come Downp. 95
Mount Unzen and Merapip. 95
Firecloud Rock: A Detective Storyp. 102
Calderas and Pyroclastic Flowsp. 105
Volcanism after a Caldera Collapsep. 111
World War II and the Battle for a Calderap. 111
Referencesp. 114
Falling Volcanoes and Floods of Mudp. 115
A Mountain Fellp. 117
Debris Avalanches and Slides beneath the Seap. 123
Volcanic Debris Flows (Lahars)p. 123
Potential Destruction from Mount Rainierp. 129
Referencesp. 132
Lava Flowsp. 133
Stopping a Lava Flowp. 137
Ditches, Walls, and Damsp. 137
Cooling Lava with Waterp. 138
Interrupting a Lava Flowp. 139
The 1991-1992 Eruption of Mount Etnap. 140
Lava Put to Usep. 142
A Ride on a Lava Flowp. 144
Referencesp. 146
Never Sail through an Eruption Cloudp. 147
A Sailing Ship and a Jetp. 149
Other Encounters with Ash Cloudsp. 153
Jetlinersp. 155
Ash and Aircraft Safetyp. 157
Referencesp. 161
The Breath of Volcanoesp. 163
Effects of Volcanic Gasesp. 165
The Year without a Summerp. 170
Referencesp. 173
Myths and Benefits of Volcanoesp. 175
Sometimes the Gods Are Angryp. 177
Volcanoes Assault the Sensesp. 179
Changing Ideas from Old to Newp. 181
Thera (Santorini): Its Influence on the Modern Worldp. 182
Volcanoes and the Underworldp. 187
Divine Interventionp. 189
The Making of a Mythp. 194
The Emergence of Volcanology as a Sciencep. 196
Science and Modern Ritualp. 197
Referencesp. 198
Volcanoes for Consumersp. 199
Skiing and Hot Bathsp. 201
Construction Materials and Kitty Litterp. 202
The Grand Tourp. 211
Modern Volcano Tourismp. 214
Referencesp. 216
Volcanic Treasures: Steam, Gold, and Diamondsp. 217
Steamp. 219
Oil and Volcanoes Don't Mix . . . or Do They?p. 224
Volcanoes and Prospectors' Dreamsp. 225
Volcanic Gemstonesp. 227
Referencesp. 228
From Ashes Grow the Vinesp. 231
The Allure of Volcanoesp. 237
Farmsp. 237
Coffee Plantationsp. 239
Fertility and Rebirthp. 240
Recovery from Vulcan's Devastationp. 241
Referencesp. 244
Volcanic Rocks: Guardians of Historyp. 245
Volcanic Ash: The Nearly Perfect Preservativep. 247
Human Origins in the Ethiopian Riftp. 248
Preserving Historic Culturesp. 251
Referencesp. 257
Living near Volcanoesp. 259
Mitigation and Survivalp. 261
Assessing the Hazards: The Pulse of Volcanoesp. 266
What Is a Disaster?p. 268
The Lesson of Armerop. 272
Mount Pinatubo: A Success Storyp. 275
Volcanologists on the Front Linesp. 279
The Tragedy at Galeras Volcanop. 279
Dante and the Volcanop. 284
Referencesp. 285
The Volcano Travelerp. 287
Canada and United Statesp. 288
Mexico and Central Americap. 297
Composite Volcanoes of Costa Ricap. 300
South Americap. 301
New Zealandp. 302
Indonesiap. 304
Philippinesp. 305
Japanp. 305
Italyp. 308
Greecep. 311
Metric Conversion Tablep. 312
Indexp. 313
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691002491
ISBN-10: 0691002495
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 336
Published: 17th August 1998
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.2  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.48