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Encyclopedia of Volcanoes [Hardcover]

Haraldur Sigurdsson , Bruce Houghton , Hazel Rymer , John Stix , Steve McNutt
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 29, 1999 012643140X 978-0126431407 1
Volcanoes are unquestionably one of the most spectacular and awe-inspiring features of the physical world. Our paradoxical fascination with them stems from their majestic beauty and powerful, if sometimes deadly, destructiveness.
Notwithstanding the tremendous advances in volcanology since ancient times, some of the mystery surrounding volcanic eruptions remains today. The Encyclopedia of Volcanoes summarizes our present knowledge of volcanoes. Through its thematic organization around the melting of the earth, it provides a comprehensive source of information on the multidisciplinary influences of volcanic eruptions--both the destructive as well as the beneficial aspects.
The majority of the chapters focus on the geoscience-related aspects of volcanism (radioactive heat source, melting rock, ascent of magma, surface phenomena associated with exiting magma, extraterrestrial volcanism, etc.). In addition, complementary chapters discuss the multidisciplinary aspects of volcanism; these include the history of volcanology, geothermal energy resources, interaction with the oceans and atmosphere, health aspects of volcanism, mitigation of volcanic disasters, post-eruption ecology, and the impact of eruptions on organismal biodiversity.

In addition to its appeal to educators, students, and professional and amateur scientists, the Encyclopedia of Volcanoes functions as an important information resource for administrators and officials responsible for developing and implementing volcanic hazard mitigation around the world.

* The first and only reference work to cover all aspects of volcanology
* More than 80 separate peer-reviewed articles--all original contributions by leading authors from major institutions of science around the world, commissioned for this work
* An integrated transition from the volcanic process through hazards, risk, and societal impacts, with an emphasis on how volcanoes have influenced and shaped society
* Convenient single-volume format with topics arranged thematically--articles provide coverage of nine different aspects of volcanology
* Each entry in the Encyclopedia begins with an outline of the article content and a concise definition of the subject of the article
* 3,000 Glossary entries explain key terms
* Further Reading lists appear at the end of each entry
* Extensive cross-referencing system links related articles
* Sixteen pages of color will convey the science and excitement of this often violent phenomena
* Large 8 1/2" x 11" page size, easy-to-read double-column format

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This impressive work covers all aspects of volcanism. Written by over 100 international scholars in the field, the articles are arranged in nine thematic sections, beginning in the center of the earth with the origin and transport of magma, moving through the different types of eruptions, and finally investigating volcanic interactions, hazards, and economics. There is even a section on extraterrestrial volcanism. Geared for college students and researchers, the well-written articles include a glossary that defines terms within the context of the article, which is very helpful to readers unfamiliar with the terminology. A list of related articles and a bibliography of further readings provide users with additional sources of information. The encyclopedia also includes a catalog of historically active volcanoes on Earth. Works such as The Encyclopedia of Earthquakes & Volcanoes (Facts on File, 1994) are nowhere near as comprehensive as this volume. The thematic organization allows the user the choice of reading a single article on a limited topic or reading the entire section for a full overview. In fact, the entire work could be read from beginning to end, if desired. An excellent source for those who want more than general information on any aspect of volcanology, this volume is highly recommended for academic libraries.
-Teresa Berry, Univ. of Tennessee Lib., Knoxville
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

The centrality of volcanic processes in the history of our planet would be hard to overstate. Further, their impact on our environment continues to be significant. This volume is the first sophisticated attempt at a comprehensive reference work about volcanoes and volcanic processes. The editors are respected scientists who have published and lectured extensively on volcanology (the study of volcanoes). Articles were contributed by more than 100 international experts.

Structure is thematic, with the 82 extensive articles organized into nine sections. After two very informative introductory articles that give an overview of volcanism and the history of volcanology, the first eight sections address the physical processes and materials produced by those processes. Part one is a discussion of magma; parts two through four address various types of volcanoes, eruptions, and materials flows. Volcanism elsewhere in the solar system, an area of growing interest, is the subject of part five. Parts six through eight address the interaction of volcanic events with other physical systems on Earth, such as the atmosphere, oceans, glaciers, and lakes. The final major section treats the economic and cultural aspects of volcanoes, with interesting essays on such topics as art, literature and film, economics, and archeology. The nine sections are followed by two appendixes. One lists units of measurement and conversion factors. The second is a comprehensive catalog of known volcanoes. A very thorough alphabetical index completes this outstanding presentation.

The articles average about 16 pages in length. Each article is a full-length treatment of a concept or set of concepts and begins with an outline of the article and a glossary of terms. At the end of each article is a list of cross-references to other articles within the encyclopedia and a brief bibliography. The entries are liberally illustrated with photographs, maps, diagrams, and graphs. Also included are 12 color plates. The articles can be quite technical but not any more than they need to be in giving serious academic treatment to the topic. Readers who are less familiar with this area of geology will find the glossary in each article to be very useful. However, the book will likely not be accessible to most readers below the college level. For readers who are looking for a simpler overview of many of the topics treated here, Facts On File's Encyclopedia of Earthquakes and Volcanoes [RBB Ap 15 94] is probably a better choice.

This volume is indispensable for anyone who is serious about understanding volcanoes on a sophisticated level. From the highly useful overview of specific topics and processes to the definitions of particular terms, there is no better or more comprehensive work available--nor is there likely to be. Given the high quality of the material, it is unfortunate that the publisher did not choose to offer a higher quality of binding. Even so, this valuable resource is highly recommended for larger public and academic libraries.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1417 pages
  • Publisher: Academic Press; 1 edition (October 29, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 012643140X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0126431407
  • Product Dimensions: 2.4 x 9 x 11.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #609,880 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Volcano reference of the Millenium January 4, 2000
By A Customer
I stumbled upon it at and decided to buy it on -- what a bargain! This 8 pound bookend is the first and only reference to cover ALL aspects of volcanology! More than 80 separate peer-reviewed articles. all original contributions for this work, by leading experts from major institutions of science around the world. I like the glossary entries that explain key terms at the beginning of each chapter and the extensive cross-referencing system that links related articles. Check out the cool articles on Volcano Art, Volcano Literature, and Volcanoes in Film!
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The King of Volcano References August 21, 2000
As a master's student studying volcanology and remote sensing, and a research assistant at the Alaska Volcano Observatory, I can honestly say this is it! From the depths of the mantle on Earth to the dynamic volcanism on Juptier's moon Io, the large team of authors and editors cover every aspect of volcanology possible in this 1,000 + page book. The book is extremely organized, complete with a detailed index, large glossary, and most importantly, references to journal publications. The book also uses high quality images and photos (black and white and in color), as well as scientific graphs, tables, and plots of data when necessary. Despite being written by such a wide array of scientists from all over the world, this encyclopedia is written with both volcanologists and the lay person in mind. This impressive compilation is well worth the price.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The state of the science June 20, 2001
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Great compendium of volcanology. Especially thrilling to an older geologist to see the advances in knowledge since we got out of school; for instance, seismic tomography has mapped actual magma chambers, which were semi-mythic suppositions in my undergrad day; and lo, there is the anatomy of the very volcanoes I grew up under. The book comprises dozens of specially submitted articles by diverse international authors, so you get many perspectives, not just of different disciplines, but of authors' sense of how they relate to others.
Flawed by abundant typos. The editing of this book is a great advance over say The Solar System by the same Academic Press, which was a mangled turnip; but they still have a ways to go. It is disappointing to see major scientific works bungled by bottom line that slashes proofing. NASA is probably largely responsible for the Solar System mess (Sally Ride, take a course in remedial english!). Geologists are a lot more meticulous than astronauts. But the buck shd stop with the publisher.
So buy this book and complain to Academic Press. Buy it before it goes out of print and you have to kick yourself; it will be long before the like comes again.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ...from a student's perspective... January 30, 2002
By A Customer
I found this text to be incredibly useful, especially considering the noticable dearth of textbooks dealing with volcanoes. The encyclopedia is comprehensible, yet in depth, and covers a broad range of topics. Whenever I have a volcano question I start here first!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT October 31, 2001
An excellent book. Written by some of the worlds most renowed experts-one of whom I am fortunate enough to know!
The book is well worth the money as every aspect of volcanology is covered.
I would recommend this book to anyone with a serious intest in volcanology.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book I ever read. February 21, 2000
This book is the best! There isn't anything that the average person isn't able to understand.This book was written by people that have a passon for what they do and love. My hat is off to DR. Sigurdsson for giveing us this masterpice.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning May 12, 2007
I'm an amateur volcano enthusiast, as well as a professional physicist. I can only say that I wish that a book such as this existed for my own field. It is stunningly comprehensive. Whether you are interested in the details of volcanic plumbing, caldera forming eruptions, or even if you want to read reviews of volcano movies like 'Dante's Peak' from the standpoint of a volcanologist - this book has it all! The only downside is that the book is positively enormous: over 1400 large format pages - it is a chore to lug around on business trips, let alone on field trips... Though I suppose that, at a pinch, you could use it as a shield against falling volcanic debris. Seriously though - if you are interested in volcanoes you owe it to yourself to get a copy of this book. Five stars is not enough.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent content throughout.
This book needs to be in the library for anyone seriously interested in volcanoes, their inner workings, and amazing outward expression upon the landscapes of the world.
Published 9 months ago by John O.
5.0 out of 5 stars A to Z on volcanoes
Excellent resource for those seeking info on volcanoes. This very large book is filled with well-written entries by a variety of authors on vulcanology, including info about... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Karen Yates
5.0 out of 5 stars out of print but snatch this up if you can
If you love volcanoes and want a comprehensive list of the volcanoes of the world, this is the "gotta have" piece.
Published 14 months ago by K Sean Daniels
5.0 out of 5 stars A must to have encyclopaedia for geo people
A really deep knowledge base for the audience from beginners to PhDs. Everything inside if your start geo sciences related to volcanology.
Published 16 months ago by VIGH ZOLTAN
5.0 out of 5 stars Top shelf product
Well done and thorough, by a multitude of the best authors. Such synoptic information would be useful in a variety of other fields, as what is here represents a digest of perhaps... Read more
Published on February 17, 2012 by D. R. Martz
4.0 out of 5 stars oveerview
The Encyclopedia of Volcanoes is a methodical by the number overview of most if not all of the known active and inactive volcanoes on earth, with a narrative on the different types... Read more
Published on September 3, 2009 by PMO
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