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Volcanoes: A Planetary Perspective [Paperback]

Peter Francis


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Book Description

May 1 1993 0198540337 978-0198540335
Several of the greatest disasters in history were caused by volcanic eruptions, and some have influenced the course of human civilization. Inevitably, the sheer physical power of volcanic eruptions makes them of compelling interest. Apart from their immediate effects, large eruptions also have world-wide atmospheric effects, with implications for the global climate that are becoming of increasing current concern. In this book, Dr Francis gives an account - much of it from first-hand experience in many parts of the world - of the familiar violent aspects of volcanoes and the various forms that eruptions can take. He also goes beyond the spectacular visible displays to explore why volcanoes occur where they do, and how examples of major historical eruptions can be interpreted in terms of physical processes. Throughout he attempts to place volcanism in a planetary perspective, exploring the preeminent role of submarine volcanism on Earth and the stunning range of volcanic phenomena revealed by spacecraft exploration of the Solar System.

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'for the thoroughness and range of the coverage in the text make this an excellent adjunct to the reading list for even a postraduate course in volcanology.' an extremely readable, entertaining, authoritative and informative work that should bring a better appreciation of modern volcanology to a wide audience. Nature August 1993

'the work is organized around the styles of volcanism found on the earth ... the lay reader is skilfully guided around or over the technical hurdles without the storyline being lost and perseverance, when it is needed, is rewarded by many fascinating details about particular eruptions ... the thoroughness and range of the coverage in the text make this an excellent adjunct to the reading list for even a postgraduate course in volcanology ... Francis has succeeded in producing an extremely readable, entertaining, authoritative and informative work that should bring a better appreciation of modern volcanology to a wide audience.' L. Wilson, Nature August, 07/09/1993

'the lay readers is skilfully guided around or over the technical hurdles without the storyline being lost; and perseverance, when it is needed, is rewarded by many fascinating details about particular eruptions ... the thoroughness and range of the coverage in the text make this an excellent adjunct to the reading list for even a postgraduate course in volcanology ... Francis has succeeded in producing an extremely readable, entertaining, authoritative and informative work that should bring a better appreciation of modern volcanology to a wide audience.' Lionel Wilson, University of Lancaster, Nature, Vol. 364, August 1993

'This is simply the best book I have seen on the science that underlies modern understanding of volcanology - and on top of that it is a pleasure to read ... a coherent and lively overview of his field, from historical accounts of great eruptions to lavas on Mars and elsewhere ... it is difficult to put down, principally because of Francis's lively style ... His lucid style and individual ... voice entices committed and casual readers alike. This is the book for all those who have wondered why and how volcanoes erupt as they do, and are prepared to think a little to find out ... what makes this text so compelling is the sense of contact with research. Francis refers throughout to the scientists involved - what they saw and how they interpreted their observations.' Sue Bowler, New Scientist, September 1993

`...difficult to put down, principally because of Francis's lively style. He combines anecdote, observation and theory to lead the reader unerringly through complex scientific arguments and out the other side, to the significance of the findings.' `This is the book for all those who have wondered why and how volcanoes erupt as they do, and are prepared to think a nittle to find out.' `It is an eloquent testimony to the value of careful observation teamed with intelligent application of experimental results and theoretical ideas.'New Scientist

'In an easy-to-read style, he has produced a scholarly work that is a suitable text both for earth and environmental science students and for those who wish to know more about this important natural process. The book is extremely well illustrated with high-quality drawings and photographs. This is a good follow-up to the author's earlier and highly successful book on the same subject.' Times Higher Education Supplement

'This is above all a very readable account of one of the Earth's fundamental geological processes and as such will appeal equally to students of geology and geography, nonspecialists, and the general reader. The book is magnificently illustrated and the author writes from first hand experience of research in this field.' Aslib Book Guide, Vol. 59, No. 3, March 1994

`targeted specifically to a popular audience. It went on to achieve considerable success, in part because of its accessible style, low price, and lack of competitors ... Francis has written a highly personal discourse, focusing on those volcanoes and topics that most captivate him ... it is Francis's subtle appreciation of how volcanoes work that really sets this book apart.' Science, Vol 263, 21 January 1994

`Graduates would find much new material of interest and plenty of references for further study.' OUGS Journal 16.1, Spring Edition 1995

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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A marvelous work on volcanology. Nov. 30 2004
By Jerald R Lovell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This reaches the high end of trade works on the subject, and I suggest that some exposure to the sciences, particulary physical geology, is probably appropriate before tackling this book. Having so stated, I believe this is one of the best books I have ever read on volcanoes.

The author is a person of considerable dry wit and humour, and has achieved a masterpiece by making the subject readily understandable through excellent draftsmanship. The photographs closely follow the text, and are unusually helpful.

I was particularly impressed by the fine work on the emerging science of pyroclastic flows; that most dangerous of volcanic phenomena. Notwithstanding the fact that this book is some 7 years old, the text is remarkably current, and a must for anyone interested in pyroclastic flows and their perils.

Although the author indicates otherwise in his preface, I really believe this book would be very useful as a collegiate text on the subject of volcanology. Obiously, I recommend the book very highly to all.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still the best book on volcanoes Aug. 22 2001
By Ulrich Knittel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Though I read quite a number of books on volcanism, I'd say, this is certainly the best (hard to believe, it is already 7 years old! and still mostly up-to-date). It covers virtually all important topics in a very clear way and should be understandable not only to the specialist but also to the educated layman. It contains certainly the best review of extraterrestrial volcanism I have read so far, though there are books specifically dedicated to that topic. 5 stars galore!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent review of eruptions and explanation of physical basis of volcanism July 13 2006
By Szewczyk Andrzej - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This the very interestingly writen book, in which physical backgrounds of the volcanic phenomena are explained very accessibly. Particularly interesting are vivid descriptions of several, the most known, explosve eruptions and explanations of the physical bases of pyrocalstic currents. The book contains numerous fascinating photographs, well illustrating the described events. It would be advantageous if they were published in colour.
5.0 out of 5 stars super book for those Interested in how our planet works and how Volcanos have Influenced history June 10 2014
By Ronald E. Bowers - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My interest is in Geology., this book covers much Geology as well as Historical influence of Volcanos
Beautifully written in an engaging prose style
REB, MD
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent text May 6 2013
By K Sean Daniels - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book breaks down the mechanics of volcanoes so that anyone with a good understanding of basic geology concepts can understand what is going on. Well written and easy to read.

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