Volcanoes: An Introduction

Volcanoes: An Introduction

Volcanoes: An Introduction

Volcanoes: An Introduction


A straightforward introduction to the subject of volcanoes. This volume is designed not only for students of geography, the Earth and environmental sciences, but also for the interest of the general reader. Chapters are devoted to stratovolcanoes


I want you to read this book with pleasure and share some of the enjoyment that I have had in studying, visiting and admiring volcanoes. I should like to introduce volcanoes in their fascinating variety to those who wish to learn more about what are, I think, the most beautiful landscapes in the world. The rich but often complicated and dispersed expert literature on volcanoes, combined with my own observations, form the basis of this book and I have tried to include many of the latest ideas in a rapidly advancing subject. However, direct references that would have made the text too heavy have been eliminated, although, for those whose appetite has been whetted, a selection of further reading is indicated at the end. I have also tried to avoid jargon and I use a very minimum of technical terms, but I hope that the glossary will provide a useful means of clarification where they could not be avoided.

I must stress that, as a geographer, I am most interested in the geographical aspects of volcanoes, although, as several chapters in this book show, they are inseparable from their geological origins. Most books on volcanoes emphasize either the generation of volcanic materials beneath the Earth's surface, or the geological variety of the products that they expel. I have, instead, concentrated on aspects of volcanoes as landscape features and the different impacts that their eruptions have had upon the landscape and populations around them. The examples chosen were drawn wherever possible from areas that I know best-some will therefore seem to betray a regional bias, but many will also perhaps be unfamiliar, although, I hope, none the less appropriate. In the end, if reading this book encourages you to visit volcanoes and it enables you to see them with new eyes, then my own efforts and yours will have been worthwhile. But perhaps you should read the chapter on volcanic prediction before you go, just to avoid taking unnecessary risks.

Among the many friends who in their various ways have offered stimulus and encouragement, I should especially like to express my appreciation to my colleague Rob Watt. I should also like to thank the Trustees of the Carnegie Fund for the Universities of Scotland for a generous grant that enabled me to study in the Azores. I am grateful to Dr P. Cattermole for valuable instruction on the generation of magma, and to Dr J.C. Carracedo for gready improving my knowledge of the eruption of Lanzarote. I thank John Brush, Juan Carlos Carracedo, Jean-Paul Gadet, Raymundo Punongbayan, Josette Tourenq and Margot Watt for providing me with photographs for some of the illustrations, Jim Ford for drawing all the diagrams, and Pat Michie for secretarial help.

Alwyn Scarth Dundee and Paris


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