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Supervolcano Paperback – October 9, 2008

24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"When a supervolcano goes produces energy equivalent to an impact with a comet or asteroid. You can try diverting an asteroid, but there is nothing at all you can do about a supervolcano."

--Dr. Ted Nield, Geological Society of London

About the Author

Dr. John Savino, Ph.D. is a geophysicist with a background in earthquakes and volcanoes. He has assisted the Department of Energy (DOE) in reviewing research conducted by earth scientists at several national laboratories and universities. Dr. Savino has also participated in the DOE's Public Outreach Program, delivering presentations on earthquakes and volcanoes. He has presented papers at numerous scientific conferences and published articles in refereed journals, technical reports, and abstracts in conference and meeting programs. He lives in Big Bear Lake, California. Marie D. Jones is the author of PSIence: How New Discoveries in Quantum Physics and New Science May Explain the Existence of Paranormal Phenomena. She lives in San Marcos, California.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Career Press (October 9, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1564149536
  • ISBN-13: 978-1564149534
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #772,076 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jerald R Lovell on March 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book is the first well-researched, well-written volume I have seen on supervolcanoes, i.e., resurgent ash-flow calderas. These monsters do not make conical mountains, but scatter ash and other pyroclastic debris over thousand of square kilometers, change climate and incoming solar radiation, and can wipe out species and civilizations in an instant.

The present book discusses these phenomena as well as recent large scale eruptions in the near past, such as Thera, Crater Lake, and Tambora, for purposes of comparison. This is necessary, inasmuch as record-keeping people have been fortunate enough never to experience a true supereruption. It does appear that mankind was nearly driven to extinction by the Toba supervolcanic eruption in 74,000 B.P., however, and much of the book is laudably devoted to an excellent collection of information on this event, and what its repetition, either at Toba or elsewhere, would portend for our civilization. The news is far from encouraging.

My only complaint about the book is the poor reproduction of the black and white photographs. Much important detail that would have greatly aided the written presentation is just simply missing or greatly disotrted. There are no color photographs.

However, the written presentation is superb. The book is filled with interesting details that follow well as a unit. Especially apt is the notation that the largest ash flow caldera known, La Garita, is located in Colorado. FORTUNATELY, that one is extinct.

The book closes worth a narrative of a hypothetical supereruption of Californi's active Long Valley Caldera in 2015, which largely destroys the Southwest and ruins agriculture in the Great Plains.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 22, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I saw this book advertised here on Amazon, it seemed like the kind of book I enjoy reading, so I ordered a copy. At first glance, this book seems a little lightweight. It is full of pictures, diagrams and scary-looking fonts of the type that tend to fill the pages of speculative books. In addition, although the author is a geophysicist with a Ph.D. he seems to refer to more articles in popular publications such as USA Today and Readers' Digest and abstracts of papers than you would expect of an expert in the field. These limitations aside, the book is actually an interesting read and seems to reflect pretty solid science in most cases. It includes an interesting history of volcanoes and supervolcanoes and the impacts they have had as well as special coverage of the main topic of the book, the Toba supervolcano that created an evolutionary bottleneck about 70,000 years ago. There are interesting references to some of the latest discoveries and developments in a number of fields and fairly even-handed coverage of topics that are still somewhat controversial such as the cause of prior mass extinctions and the so-called KT impact event. There is only one chapter that is very strange. In chapter 8, the author delves into the highly speculative idea of cellular memory, or the suggestion that memories of traumatic events can be stored at the cellular level outside of the brain and thus be passed on. Beside the fact that this is a very controversial area of inquiry, he fails to adequately explain why he even brings up the topic. In addition to the physical effects of a supervolcanic eruption, the author seems to be highly interested in the psychological effects.Read more ›
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Dr. S on June 28, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I teach college-level science, including a course on volcanoes. I must say that this is one of the most poorly-written science books that I have ever read. This book looks like a vanity-press product that has undergone essentially no editing. Interestingly, one of the specialities of the publisher is paranormal phenomena. To be sure, there is interesting content in the book if one can sift it out. There are many errors of grammar, punctuation (way too many commas!), and spelling; they even misspelled the name of noted volcanologist Haraldur Sigurdsson! The writing style is extremely wordy with much redundancy (annoying strings of alternate descriptions or synonyms for well-known terms or concepts, repetitions of catch phrases) and clumsy sentence construction. After a while I found myself so annoyed at the writing that it was difficult to focus on the science content. Another major annoyance is the authors' method of "citation" of sources, listing date, article title, periodical name, authors' names, and authors' affiliations right in the text; surely, use of footnotes or a standard citation style would have been a much better way to cite source material without breaking up the flow of the narrative so much. As another reviewer noted, many of the sources mentioned in the text are not scientific research journals, but rather popular media, web sites, and television programs. A rather long discussion simply summarized a PBS television program about supervolcanoes. The production values of this book are also very amateurish. A cheesy "explosion" font is used for chapter titles; likewise, an "LED" font is used for section headings and page numbers. Diagrams are all taken from other sources and are in many cases reproduced at too small a size to see details.Read more ›
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