Volcanism -


By Hans-Ulrich Schmincke



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Volcanic eruptions are the clear and dramatic expression of dynamic processes going on in planet Earth. The author, one of the most profound specialists in the field of volcanology, explains in a concise and easy to understand manner the basics and most recent findings in the field of volcanology. Based on plate tectonics and illustrated with more than 300 color figures, the book offers insights into the generation of magmas and the occurrence and origin of volcanoes. The analysis and description of volcanic structures is followed by process-oriented chapters discussing the role of magmatic gases, as well as explosive mechanisms and sedimentation of volcanic material. The final chapters deal with the forecast of eruptions and their influence on climate. Students and scientists from a broad range of fields will find this book an interesting and attractive source of information.From the reviews:"The science of volcanology has made tremendous progress over the past 40 years, primarily because of technological advances and because each tragic eruption has led researchers to recognize the processes behind such serious hazards. Yet scientists are still learning a great deal because of photographs that either capture those processes in action or show us the critical factors left behind in the rock record.Volcanism by Hans-Ulrich Schmincke has photos of the best quality I have ever seen in a text on the subject. I found myself wishing that I had had the photo of Nicaraguas Masaya volcano, which was the subject of my dissertation, but it was Schmincke who was able to include it in his book. In addition, the schematic figures in their wide range of styles are clear, colorful, and simplified to emphasize the most important factors while including all significant features. The books paper is of such high quality that at times I felt I had turned two pages rather than one.I have really enjoyed reading and rereading Schminckes book. It fills a great gap in texts available for teaching any basic course in volcanology. No other book I know of has the depth and breadth of Volcanism. I was disappointed that the text did not arrive on my desk until last August, when it was too late for me to choose it for my course in volcanology. I am also disappointed about another fact the books binding is already becoming tattered because of my intense use of it! The recent discovery on Mars of rocks called "blueberries" has my colleagues in planetary geology proposing that the rocks are concretions formed within sediments because of the presence of free water. Meanwhile, a sedimentologist and mineralogist argue that they are accretionary lapilli formed by explosive volcanism. The photographs, photomicrographs, and discussions of those lapilli in Schminckes book are superior to any previously published. I have thus shared Volcanism with my colleagues to their significant benefit, and I am more convinced of its value for a broad range of Earth and planetary scientists.Schmincke is a volcanologist who, in 1967, first published papers on sedimentary rocks of volcanic origin, the direction traveled by lava flows millions of years ago, and the structures preserved in explosive ignimbrites, or pumice-flow deposits, that reveal important details of their formation. Since then, his studies in Germanys Laacher See, the Canary Islands, the Troodos Ophiolite of Cyprus, and many other regions have forged great fundamental advances. Such contributions have been recognized with his receipt of several international awards and clearly give him a strong base for writing the book.However, as a scientist who has focused on the challenges of monitoring the very diverse activities of volcanoes, I think that the texts overriding emphasis on the rock record has its cost. The group of scientists who are struggling with their goals to reduce or mitigate the hazards of the eruptions of tomorrow need to learn more about the options of technology, instrumentation, and methodology that are currently available. More than 500 million people live near the more than 1500 known active volcanoes and are constantly facing serious threats of eruptions. An extremely energetic earthquake caused the horrific tsunamis of 2004. However, the tsunamis of 1792, 1815, and 1883, which were caused by the eruptions of Japans Unzen volcano and Indonesias Tambora and Krakatau volcanoes, each took a similar toll. The 445 references cited in the book provide an important resource for all advanced studies. However, there are puzzling omissions. For example, George Walker has long been acknowledged as a critically important leader for the second half of the 20th century, but only one of his many solely authored contributions is cited. With his passing in January, I think such an oversight on Schminckes part is especially sad. Walker was one of those scientists who sincerely encouraged newcomers to the broad field of volcanology by the positive comments and constructive suggestions he always offered. Alex McBirney is certainly another major force in the science; he continues to make many important contributions but is only cited as the second author of the valuable textbook Volcanology (Freeman Cooper, 1979), which has served as the text on volcanology for more than 20 years.Undoubtedly, I will use Volcanism for my upcoming courses in volcanology. I will also never hesitate to recommend it to others. Many geoscientists from very different subdisciplines will benefit from adding the book to their personal libraries. Schmincke has done all of us a great service by undertaking the grueling task of writing the book - and it is much better that he alone wrote it. The many volumes that have been typically produced by teams of dedicated editors have often been disappointing because of the painfully inconsistent levels and depths at which the authors wrote their chapters. In addition, the very different styles of writing leave students confused and frustrated by the effect of "too many teachers," which often hinders efforts at team teaching. Schminckes contribution reads very well, with each chapter effectively building on the previous ones. I appreciate the opportunity that I have through his book to improve my efforts to educate future volcanologists."( Stanley N. Williams, PHYSICS TODAY, April 2005)

Product code: 9783540436508

ISBN 9783540436508
Dimensions (HxWxD in mm) H279xW210
No. Of Pages 324
Publisher Springer-Verlag Berlin and Heidelberg GmbH & Co. KG
Edition 1st ed. 2004. Corr. 2nd printing 2005
Volcanic eruptions are the clear and dramatic expression of dynamic processes in planet Earth. This title explains in an easy to understand manner the basics and the findings in the field. Based on over 300 color figures and the model of plate tectonics, it offers insight into the generation of magmas and the occurrence and origin of volcanoes.