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volcanoes/ volcanism (introductory reading) 2. volcanology (advanced reading) 3. books on Santorini 

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During the past years, some very interesting and well-written, informative books have been published reflecting the awesome progresses volcanology has made. Hopefully, some of the best books on volcanology are included as suggestion in the list that will be udated from time to time. For any suggestions or rewiews, please feel free to write an email !   
The following is a list of recommended reading on volcanism,- subjectively divided into two sections: one for introductory and one for more scientific reading, though this distinction may somehow be subjective because there is a spectrum of books ranging from easy to scientificly demanding titles.
During the past years, some very interesting and well-written, informative books have been published reflecting the awesome progresses volcanology has made. Hopefully, some of the best books on volcanology are included as suggestion in the list that will be udated from time to time. For any suggestions or rewiews, please feel free to write an email !   

volcanoes/ volcanism (introductory reading) 2. volcanology (advanced reading) 3. books on Santorini 

1. books on volcanoes/ volcanism (introductory reading)
  -   Volcanoes. R. Decker & B. Decker (1997)
  -   Volcanoes : Crucibles of change (1998)
  -   Volcanoes : Fire from the Earth (1993)
  -   Volcanoes. An introduction. (1994)
  -   Melting the Earth: The History of Ideas on Volcanic Eruptions (1999)
  -   Volcanoes of the Solar System. Charles Frankel (1996)


One of my favourite books !

Easy to understand, excellent pictures, well-written and a lot of information. Beyond a general introduction to the principles of volcanoloy, it describes prominent eruptions like Vesuvius, Santorini, Krakatao or Mt Saint Helens. Interesting price, and useful guide also for the student.

by Robert Decker, Barbara Decker (Contributor)
Availability: Usumeinerally ships within 24 hours.
Paperback - 320 pages 3rd edition (August 1997)
W H Freeman & Co; ISBN: 0716724405 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.69 x 9.19 x 6.27


Booknews, Inc. , November 1, 1989:
The previous edition of this thoroughly illustrated popular work was published in 1981. The new edition includes 16 pages of color plates along with information about recent events. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.

"This third edition of Volcanoes published by Freeman, written by the husband and wife team Decker and Decker, provides healthy competition for the others...Examples and descriptions of real eruptions are used to illustrate the processes of volcanic eruptions. These are presented at a level readable by the interested lay person but in sufficient depth to be useful for the student of volcanology...It's a worthy addition to the volcanologist's bookshelf either at home or in the office."

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- Volcanoes : Crucibles of Change
by Richard V. Fisher, Grant Heiken, A. K. Morris (Editor)

Availability: Usually ships within 24 hours.
Paperback - 344 pages (October 1998)
Princeton Univ Pr; ISBN: 0691002495 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.85 x 9.20 x 6.12
Other Editions:

The authors, professional volcanologists all, offer a rigorous geological account of the formation and composition of the many types of volcanoes, among them calderas, domes, and maars. They examine the chemistry of volcanic gases; consider the role volcanoes play in the formation of precious stones and minerals; and analyze advances in accurate seismological prediction and emergency disaster relief. They provide, in short, an admirably complete primer for volcano buffs, to which they add an unusual appendix describing the world's great volcanoes from a traveler's point of view, with directions for scaling peaks like Canada's Mount Garibaldi, Indonesia's Galanggung, and Italy's Stromboli.

William J. Broad, The New York Times Book Review:
Happily, a team of geologists has produced a vivid, insightful, heavily illustrated book that not only illuminates the wonder of incandescent rock and its constant reworking of the planet's surface but deftly explains, as Lane has put it, " why science and technology matter in people's lives." Most important, Volcanoes: Crucibles of Change is fun.

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A fantastic voyage through the world of volcanoes, excellently illustrated with pictures from the famous Kraffts -----Take a look !!!

Volcanoes : Fire from the Earth (Discoveries)
by Maurice Krafft, Paul Bahn (Translator)

Paperback (April 1993)
Harry N Abrams (Pap); ISBN: 0810928442 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.58 x 6.98 x 4.96

An illustrated look at volcanoes discusses the efforts of vulcanologists to understand this phenomenon and the eruptions past and future of the world's volcanoes, and presents photographs of volcanoes. Original.

Volcanoes and their devastating effects were once thought to be the work of superhuman forces. They are now more clearly understood, thanks to the efforts of scientists. Krafft completed this Discoveries study shortly before his death in Japan in the Mount Unzen eruption. 233 illustrations, 177 in full color; 1 map.

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I don't know the book by myself. If somebody sends me a review, I would thank him !

- Volcanoes : An Introduction (The Louise Lindsey Merrick Natural Environment Series, No 19)
by Alwyn Scarth
Paperback - 273 pages (August 1994)
Texas A&M University Press; ISBN: 0890966362 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.66 x 9.23 x 6.18
Other Editions: Hardcover

A reader from New York, USA , 18 Dezember 1998: 5 von 5 Sternchen
The a,b,c on volcanoes.
A wonderful piece that covers all one needs to know about volcanoes.Definitely a student's handbook, easy to read and understand and is suitable reading material for any age. One is captured by the amount of information cover in such a small text.

Booknews, Inc. , January 1, 1995
British geographer Scarth gathers and simplifies the latest scientific thinking and findings regarding volcanoes for general readers. Modern and ancient historical accounts combine with his own enthusiastic observations, drawings, and black-and-white photographs to explain volcanic activity, associated landforms, and predicting eruptions and their effects. Also includes a glossary without pronunciation.

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A classic of the future !

- Melting the Earth : The History of Ideas on Volcanic Eruptions
by Haraldur Sigurdsson
Availability: Usually ships within 24 hours.
Hardcover - 272 pages (June 1999)
Oxford Univ Pr (Trade); ISBN: 0195106652 ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.15 x 10.28 x 7.29

An excellent book for all readers interested in volcanoes.

"Dr. Haraldur Sigurdsson's new book "Melting the Earth" is a wonderful journey through time as he traces the history of man's fear and love of volcanic eruptions. I can't think of a better guide on this epic journey."

From the Inside Flap
From prehistoric times to the fiery destruction of Pompeii in 79 A.D. and the more recent pyrotechnics of Mount St. Helens, volcanic eruptions have aroused fear, inspired myths and religious worship, and prompted heated philosophical and scientific debate. "Melting the Earth" chronicles humankind's attempt to understand this terrifying phenomenon and provides a fascinating look at how our conception of volcanoes has changed as knowledge of the Earth's internal processes has deepened over the centuries. A practicing volcanologist and native of Iceland, where volcanoes are frequently active, Haraldur Sigurdsson considers how philosophers and scientists have attempted to answer the question: Why do volcanoes erupt? He takes us through the ideas of the ancient Greeks - who proposed that volcanoes resulted from the venting of subterranean winds - and the internal combustion theories of Roman times, and notes how thinking about volcanoes took a backward, symbolic turn with the rise of Christian conceptions of Hell, a direction that would not be reversed until the Renaissance. He chronicles the 18th-century conflict between the Neptunists, who believed that volcanic rocks originated from oceanic accretions, and the Plutonists, who argued for the existence of a molten planetary core, and traces how volcanology moved from "divine science" and "armchair geology" to empirical field study with the rise of 19th-century naturalism. Finally, Sigurdsson describes how 19th- and 20th-century research in thermodynamics, petrology, geochemistry, and plate tectonics contribute to current understanding of volcanic activity. Drawing liberally from classical sources and firsthand accounts, this chronicle is not only a colorful history of volcanology, but an engrossing chapter in the development of scientific thought.

Dr. Sigurdsson has woven a superbly documented and wonderfully informative chronical of volcanic phenomena and theory. In Melting the Earth: The History of Ideas on Volcanic Eruptions, Sigurdsson introduces us to ancient philosophers and contemporary scientists alike. We learn of the Earth's volcanic dynamos: Thera, Etna, Vesuvius, (to mention a few)--from the events leading up to their explosive eruptions, environmental effcts.

Dr. Sigurdsson has compiled a true treasure a preeminent source book on the history of volcanic theory make for provocative reading, causing, awe and respect for this fearsome force of nature. Led by Dr. Sigurdsson's love of the subject and his apt narrative style, we come away educated, entertained, and hungry for more.

From the Back Cover
Several legends about the origin of fire attribute it to a volcanic source or a place deep in the Earth. In the fire myth of the Polynesian people of the Tonga Islands, the great primeval hero Maui resides deep in the netherworld and is the keeper of fire. Maui, the legend goes, sleeps in a deep cave and, when he turns while dreaming, and earthquake occurs on the land above. In the Samoan Islands dwelt the earthquake god Mafuie, who tended eternally burning fires in fiery subterranean ovens. Mafuie was said to blow into the oven, scattering hot stones and cinders about - a vivid evocation of a volcanic eruption .... Throughout the ages people have struggled with the puzzle - Why do volcanoes erupt? Underlying this is an even more fundamental question and a central theme of this book: What causes the Earth's rocks to melt?

About the Author
Haraldur Sigurdsson is Professor in the Graduate School of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island and the author of Caribbean Volcanoes: A Field Guide and editor-in-chief of Encyclopedia of Volcanoes. He was born in Iceland in 1939, where he was introduced to the volcanic activity of his home country at an early age. After his studies in geology at Queen's University, Ireland (BSc), research at the University of Iceland and graduate study at Durham University in England (PhD), he worked for four years at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad, on the monitoring of volcanic activity in the Lesser Antilles island arc. He has held an appointment as Professor of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island since 1974, working primarily on research of volcanism and the evolution of magmas in submarine ridges, island arcs and oceanic islands. He has also made important contributions to the study of the environmental effects of explosive volcanic eruptions, notably in connection with his work on Tambora volcano in Indonesia and its great eruption in 1815. His discovery of glassy tektites on the island of Haiti in the Caribbean provided proof that a great meteorite impact occurred on Earth at the time of the extinction of the dinosaurs. His passions are sea-kayaking and volcano art: the portrayal of volcanic eruptions in the arts.

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- Volcanoes of the Solar System
Charles Frankel
Availability: Usually ships within 24 hours.
Paperback (September 1996)
Cambridge Univ Pr (Trd); ISBN: 0521477700 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.58 x 9.73 x 7.48
Other Editions:

An overview on volcanic forces in our solar system
This book offers an introduction into the dynamic forces forming the surface of the planets. It is easy to read and offers a lot of information. I would recommend it to everyone who is interested in planetary geology.

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2. advanced reading
  -   Volcanoes. A Planetary Perspective (1993)
  -   Volcanoes of the world Simkin and Siebert (1999)
  -   Encyclopedia of volcanoes (1999)
  -   From Magma to Tephra   (1998)
  -   Volcanic Plumes (1997)
  -   Volcanic Ash (1985)

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Certainly one of the best !!
- Covers in detail all topics of volcanology and volcanic eruption styles and mechanisms in particular. Brilliantly written and easy to understand. 

- Volcanoes : A Planetary Perspective
by Peter Francis
Paperback (March 1993)
Clarendon Pr; ISBN: 0198540337



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THE reference source for volcanic activity during the past 10,000 years.

- Volcanoes of the World : A Regional Directory, Gazetteer, and Chronology of Volcanism During the Last 10,000 Years
by Tom Simkin, Lee Siebert

Hardcover 2nd edition (August 1999)
Geoscience Pr; ISBN: 0945005121


A collection of data by Smithsonian volcanologists summarizing 1,521 volcanos, including coordinates, heights, type, known eruptive histories, and behavioral characteristics. Each region is introduced with a detailed map and a discussion of its history and tectonic setting. Also organized in chronological order and fully cross-referenced. Includes an extensive region-by-region bibliography. Published by Geoscience Press, P.O. Box 42948, Tuscon, AZ 85733-2948. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.

Midwest Book Review
Smithsonian Institution volcanologists summarize 1,511 volcanoes active in the last 10,000 years, examining the technical specifications of the activity and providing a regional description of local terrain, history, and tectonics. The technical statistics and data herein will appeal to college-level collections strong in advanced sciences.

Wilson Library Bulletin, 06/1995
The Volcano Reference File maintained by the Smithsonian Institution forms the basis for this exhaustive directory-cum-history of volcanic activity world-wide. Its introductory sections explain how eruption data has been compiled from centuries-old historical records and evidence preserved in tree rings, ice cores, lake sediments, and other natural phenomena. The directory itself, organized by geographic regions, starts in Europe and works its way eastward to North America and then southward to Antarctica. A map at the beginning of each geographic section identifies volcanoes' locations; the directory situates each of the regions's volcanoes by latitude and longitude, identifies its type, and provides a historical record of each of its known or inferred eruptions. Small type packs in data on eruptions, including year of each eruption, start and stop dates of activity, and a table indicating effects on topography, nearby or surrounding ocean, and life. A chronology of eruptions reaches from prehistoric times to December 1993, and a gazetteer lists both volcanoes and their subsidiary features, such as cones, domes, and craters. A concluding bibliography, organized by region, makes this the most complete handbook of volcanic history and activity available. its absence from geoscie- nce collections will be as conspicuous as a crater.

Volcano Quarterly, 08/95
Here is everything you could possibly want to know about every volcano you ever heard of (and some you haven't) on this planet, at least. This data-packed update of the earlier edition catalogs 7900 eruptions of 1521 volcanoes active over the past 10,000 years. It also contains many more maps and illustrations than the first edition....

This is a no-nonsense reference book that should be on the shelf of any serious volcanophile, and in every geology or earth science library. If you can afford only one global volcano reference book, this should be it.

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Encyclopedia of Volcanoes
by Haraldur Sigurdsson, Haraldur Siguyrdsson (Editor), Bruce Houghton
Hardcover (October 1999)
Academic Pr; ISBN: 012643140X

Peter Francis, Prof. of Volcanology, Open University, Milton Keynes, UK
"The author list reads like a veritable Who's Who of modern volcanology. This will truly be the authoritative reference book on volcanology for a long time to come."

Charles A. Wood, Chair, Department of Space Sciences, University of North Dakota, Director of "VolcanoWorld" Website
"This is the most important book of the century. The Encyclopedia of Volcanoes is an 1100-page summation of the understanding of more than 100 leading specialists - what a marvelous scientific inheritance for the scientists and students of the next millennium."

Robert W. Decker, former President of the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior [IAVCEI] 1975-79
"This is a monumental work. The list of contributors is a Who's Who of volcanology."

Peter J. Wyllie, Prof. of Geology, CalTech, IUGG President, 1995-99
"For those who love volcanoes there is no longer any need to click-wait-click-wait-wait on the web, because all the information you need is here in one fat volume with nearly a hundred reviews by carefully selected experts."

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- From Magma to Tephra : Modelling Physical Processes of Explosive Volcanic Eruptions (Developments in Volcanology, 4)
by Armin Freundt (Editor), Mauro Rosi (Editor)
Hardcover (November 1998)
Elsevier Science Ltd; ISBN: 0444829598


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- Volcanic Plumes
by R. S. J. Sparks (Editor), M. I. Bursik, S. N. Carey, J. S. Gilbert
Hardcover - 590 pages (September 1997)
John Wiley & Sons; ISBN: 0471939013 ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.50 x 9.92 x 6.83

Explains the physical principles and dynamics underlying a major mechanism for transporting heat and matter from the Earth's interior to the surface environment. Intended to be accessible to scientists in a wide range of disciplines in addition to geologists, and to professionals working on volcanic risk assessment, hazard mitigation, and the effects of volcanic aerosols on climate and aircraft safety. The principles are elucidated quantitatively and applied to the main kinds of volcanic plume in the ocean and atmosphere. Mount St. Helens in 1980 and Mount Pinatubo in 1991 are among the examples used to explain how the eruption columns interact with the atmosphere, disperse, and deposit their ejecta and gases.

The publisher, John Wiley & Sons
Volcanic plumes, made up of material that has explosively erupted from a volcano, are of fundamental importance to volcanology because their deposits record the past activity of a volcano. They also pose a wide range of hazards to humans and can have significant environmental effects. This book integrates observation, theory, and experimental studies and contains recent research ideas and results. Covers topics such as underwater volcanoes.

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- Volcanic Ash (Los Alamos Series in Basic and Applied Sciences)
by Grant Heiken, Kenneth Wohletz
Hardcover (September 1985)
Univ California Press; ISBN: 0520052412 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.87 x 11.26 x 8.89

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3. books about Santorini

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page last moditied on 16 April, 2002.