Top critical review
4 people found this helpful
on 3 August 2013
This little book is very concise (106 pages + glossary) and illustrated with useful photos, tables and charts. The author goes straight to the point; each chapter is coherently structured. Many aspects of volcanoes and volcanology are covered in few pages, which in itself is an achievement.
Unfortunately, every medal has two sides, and I sometimes found it a little difficult to relate to the text's extreme density. Some sections almost feel like long technical listings (e.g. types of volcanoes). Consequently, I think this book might be better appreciated as a support for or complement to a course or a series of lectures.
I also wish the glossary had been 100% reliable. I couldn't find "plume" for instance, although the word appears in bold font in the text (and should thus be defined at the end). Ironically enough the definition of "hot spot" refers to ... "plume" (as an entry).
It is also the first time I've seen a reference to Wikipedia (table p. 36) in a printed book, which I found intellectually questioning. I might belong to the old school but I usually turn to printed books when I'm searching for information that is likely to be (even?) more reliable than Wikepedia where everyone can write incognito on their favourite subject, referring to sources of variable quality. In addition, Wikipedia's pages can be modified anytime, and we cannot be sure the information Dr Jerram refers to corresponds to what can be read on Wikipedia today.
Otherwise, "introducing Volcanology" is a good little reference book.