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Science writer and author Breining (Return of the Eagle) gives readers a solid introduction to modern volcanology in this look at "super volcanoes" in general (those that "have expelled at least 1,000 cubic kilometers of magma... all at once") and the Yellowstone caldera-"potentially the most explosive, most violent, most deadly active volcano on the planet"-in particular. Most readers will be astonished to learn that 2.1 million years ago, the area that is now Yellowstone National Park burst "with the force of hundreds of thousands" of Hiroshima-sized explosions; more surprising is that the site is past due for another, possibly larger eruption. Breining has done a public service by bringing these hazards to light with straight-forward writing and a well-organized text, clearly explaining complicated, violent geological processes without ignoring the awe-inspiring beauty of volcanic landscapes. He also includes the history of geological studies in Yellowstone, the critically important field of plate tectonics and what kind of fossils are generated by sudden, magma-induced death. Reviewing the largest known eruptions, Breining enumerates still-active threats to populations in Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, Naples, Italy and, of course, the U.S. Bolstered by clearly laid-out maps, Breining's talent for elucidating complex phenomena makes this one of the best books on volcanoes a general reader can hope for.
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PW Web Excusive Online reviews
“Science writer and author Breining (Return of the Eagle) gives readers a solid introduction to modern volcanology in this look at ‘super volcanoes’ in general … and the Yellowstone caldera … Breining has done a public service by bringing these hazards to light with straight-forward writing and a well-organized text, clearly explaining complicated, violent geological processes without ignoring the awe-inspiring beauty of volcanic landscapes … Bolstered by clearly laid-out maps, Breining’s talent for elucidating complex phenomena makes this one of the best books on volcanoes a general reader can hope for.”
Choice, March 2008
Super Volcano captures the essence, the excitement, and the deep and far-reaching influence of the world's greatest heat anomaly. Breining writes for the layperson with enthusiasm and informality, bringing the subjects to life...A rare read! Highly recommended".
BOOK NEWS Inc, December 2007
“Using field research and interviews with geologists and a paleontologist, Breining, an environmental and travel writer, reveals the truth about the Yellowstone super volcano.”
Bookwormsez syndicated column, December 2007“This book is fascinating and scary all at once and your recipients will gush over it.”
Fascination with Yellowstone grows and grows as we learn more about the history, the present situation, and the inevitable developments in near and distant future time. Super Volcano captures the essence, the excitement, and the deep and far-reaching influence of the world's greatest heat anomaly. Sections of this concise and easily readable book include 1) descriptions of volcanic activity, thermal springs, strange ecosystems, and earthquakes; 2) geological uniqueness and comparisons with other volcanic areas; 3) little-known and far-distant effects of Yellowstone eruptions of great relevance to humanity; 4) other super volcanoes in recent geologic time (Yellowstone is the fourth-largest known); and 5) prospects and circumstances of the next big blast from Yellowstone. Breining writes for the layperson with enthusiasm and informality, bringing the subjects to life with copious quotes from naturalists, field leaders, and volcanologists. Yellowstone and other super volcanoes are considered in terms of plate tectonics, evolution of scientific insights into the natural world, and--extremely important and underappreciated--impacts on the history and survival capabilities of humanity. A rare read! Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels. -- T. L.T. Grose, Colorado School of Mines
I have read and re-read this book a number of times. If you're interested in Yellowstone, volcanoes and geology, this is a well-written book filled with interesting information.Published 1 month ago by Carol Zaback
This was slightly disappointing, less focused on Yellowstone than I had hoped, with a lot of history of previous super-size eruptions, many of which I had never heard of..Published 1 month ago by Lee J. Manning
So much has changed since I was a kid in Oregon and we were told that most of the volcanoes in the Cascades were dormant. Read morePublished 2 months ago by hoppensmom
This is a very scary book, especially the last chapter that outlines the terrible effects of a super-volcano eruption. Read morePublished 6 months ago by chrissie
A good read and clearly written to give a layman a clear view of what volcanism is about, volcanoes and their effects and how they can affect humankind not just in the past but in... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Frederick Jee