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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 25 December 2017
Fantastic book and arrived in mint condition and on time. Perfect for the intended geology enthusiast!!
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on 9 December 2013
This is by far the best geology book I've ever read! It contains everything one needs in order to fully understand volcanism. The book is not elementary, but the text is not dry - the authors are good in narrating (moreover, when they explain things they make them crystal clear for the reader). the story of the Krakatau explosion is told so well that I got the impression it was written by a great novelist with a sense of drama. The only weak point of the book is that it contains only black and white images; colour shots would be a welcome addition in a later version. Yet, the unsurpassable quality of the text more than suffices for this minor weakness.
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on 22 December 2013
Probably the best volcano book out there for any student. A wealth of information is available here and is is written so as to be easily understood.
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on 23 February 2007
This is the most accessible third level text book on vulcanism that I have read. It is scholarly and illuminating but infused with some wit even when dealing with geohazards! Aimed at the student of geology, it is nonetheless an accessible read for the enthusiastic amateur and I would highly recommend it.
5 people found this helpful
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on 1 April 2015
Clear writing with many interesting examples. But I expectied more about volcanism on the other planets and moons.
One person found this helpful
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on 31 July 2016
This book was first published in 1976 (1993) 2003, has 361 pages, 11 chapters, 64 B/W photos and diagrams, and 22 B/W maps. The book is dedicated to author's cat -'Jeffrey'. This book tries to answer some common questions about volcanoes - What is a volcano - Why does volcanism exist - Are eruptions predictable - How dangerous or beneficial are they ? As we now know more of geology of Earth and Moon, we can understand volcanoes more closely. Volcanoes are known for their dormant status, eruption clouds, hot ashes, liquid rock ooze and tsunamis.
Most volcanoes are within 200km of the sea. Recently, active volcanoes means, active within the last 10,000 years. Earth's inner core is mass of iron and nickel, surrounded by dark rock of iron and magnesium, topped by very thin crust. The distribution of volcanoes resembles the distribution of Earthquakes. Any movement in the 6 large and many small tectonic plates can lead to earthquakes, above or beneath them. Meeting of plates leads to high level of seismic activity and volcanism. The large African Rift Valley volcanoes are of basalt alkaline ie Oldonyo Lengai (Mountain of God - produces washing soda (sodium bicarbonate).
'Ash-Flow' and 'Mud-Flow' from volcanoes causes destruction of life and property. Examples are :- Mt Vesuvius AD 79, Krakatoa 1883 and Mt Pelee 1902. The hot gas had killed many instantaneously, with no time to escape. Eruptions can be central, fissure, summit, flank, lateral or parasitic. It is when the high pressure gases escape, that liquid lava is sprayed high into the air, producing lava fountains. Under water eruptions are explosive, when red-hot magma comes in contact with large amount of sea-water forming instant steam.
Oxygen and silicon are the main elements of all rocks in the Earth's crust and make up of 99% of volcanic rocks, which can be dark or light. Emerging from the ground, the basalt lava is of the temp of 1,100'C. The 'aa' ;ava flow moves slowly on its track and can also form tunnels. Lava, without breaking the surface, can form a hill, where there was no hill before. Pyroclastic flow deposits (Tephra) can bury houses. Pyroclastic mud flows (Lahars - Indonesian word) can be fast and lethal. Steep slopes on volcanoes can lead to 'Hot Avalanches'.
The very hot pyroclastic gas flow is fast, noiseless and deadly. Volcanoes may form quickly or very slowly. their erosion can be slow or fast, destroyed by eruption or explosion. Craters are formed by eruption, explosion or subsidence (Caldera - Spanish for kettle). Erosion is caused by water, wind and ice. For a volcano to erode into a low hill, can take 15 to 20 million years. The neck or feeder pipe remain in the centre as massive pillars of rock (as seen in westerns). The side-effects of volcanoes are - earthquakes and tsunamis, dust in the air may cause strange colours of light around the Sun and the Moon (dust Veil).
Advantages of volcanoes are of course - digging Gold, silver, iron, copper, thermal heat, water and geothermal power. Volcano watchers study the significant changes and warning signs in the state of a volcano - to prevent loss of life and property from any future eruptions. Can barriers be built infront of the lava flows to divert them to unpopulated area ? A meteorite can also trigger a volcanic phenomenon, as seen on the surface of the Moon. Olympus Mons (Nix Olympica) is the largest volcano on Mars and in the Solar system. (27km in Ht, 500km in diameter, the crater is 100km in diameter containing 6 caldera).
Since this book was published, there has been more volcano eruptions, earthquakes and tsunamis, and we have more upto date pictures of these and other planets by the visiting crafts.
Some other books on Volcanoes are:-
(1) Volcanoes, MacDonald 1972
(2) Volcanoes, A Schreiber 2008
(3) Volcanoes, S Turnbull 2007
(4) 100 Facts of Volcanoes, C Oxlade 2009
(5) Walking The Giant, B McGuire 2013
(6) Island of Fire, A Witze 2014
(7) Volcano Discoveries, T Pfeiffer 2015
(8) Eruption, A Ganeri 2015
(9) Volcanoes, C Parker 2016
(10)Volcanoes and Earthquakes, J Bundle 2016
Having born in Kenya and seen many of the Great Rift Valley volcanoes, I enjoyed reading this book.
One person found this helpful
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on 22 November 2001
This was a book in a long list of preparatory recommended reading for a second level Open University course.
The style of writing is excellent. The content follows naturally from topic to topic. The level of detailis suitable for preparation for a second level University course. It would also be excellent reading for anyone with a general interest in matters scientific. The range of topics is wide and interesting.
12 people found this helpful
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on 12 December 2004
This book is the easiest 'textbook' I have ever read. It is informative and scientific whilst being succinct, educational and entertaining. Francis has an excellent, friendly writing style and the delight and passion he has for the subject matter is plain to see. This book is a must-have for wannabe volcanologists and for anyone with an interest in natural hazards.
13 people found this helpful
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on 7 January 2005
This book provides an excellent introduction to the study of volcanoes, both on Earth and in the Solar System in general, which is easily accessible to an interested amateur or an undergraduate in the early stages of their degree (it was recommended reading for several of my first year courses as an undergrad geologist). The late Professor Francis produced a work that is both informative and entertaining, whilst at no time trivialising the subject matter in hand. Pertinent examples and analogies are provided to clarify and illuminate rather than to dumb-down - a distinction sadly lacking from many other volumes covering similar topics. For a more comprehensive coverage of the topic, I would recommend referring to this book alongside either Igneous Petrology by Anthony Hall or Igneous Petrogenesis by Marge Wilson.
10 people found this helpful
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on 12 August 2016
This is an Amazon customer review but I am not an Amazon customer on this book, however I bought a copy, there are some good OU books, I studied fluid plane interface rocks and tectonics at UCW when Geology was good made by Wales wherein most Geologic features in this book and earth load features were examined by the staff the foremost authority on earth subjects, so buy this last and like International Symposium Forest Hydrology Sopper and Lull, SME Tunnel, Bruce and Clark hydrometeorology make them re-print it as Geikie et al or Dochuchaev, the Snowdon pictures, Landscape Architecture 1978 and Austrian forests Spanish forests Canadian forests, forest works at least provide their own materials and Geology saves you from collapse and water shortages. But then I am not a fatalist so this book is full of examples and process nations and history people academia and practice engineering, at least read a copy, then David will not be disappointed when he left gcaDesign architecture for OU work and Michael Caine talking to an OU student and tea shop antiques servant Julie will be justified.
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