Volcanoes are essential elements in the delicate global balance of elemental forces that govern both the dynamic evolution of the Earth and the nature of Life itself. Without volcanic activity, life as we know it would not exist on our planet. Although beautiful to behold, volcanoes are also potentially destructive, and understanding their nature is critical to prevent major loss of life in the future.
Richly illustrated with over 300 original color photographs and diagrams the book is written in an informal manner, with minimum use of jargon, and relies heavily on first-person, eye-witness accounts of eruptive activity at both "red" (effusive) and "grey" (explosive) volcanoes to illustrate the full spectrum of volcanic processes and their products. Decades of teaching in university classrooms and fieldwork on active volcanoes throughout the world have provided the authors with unique experiences that they have distilled into a highly readable textbook of lasting value. Questions for Thought, Study, and Discussion, Suggestions for Further Reading, and a comprehensive list of source references make this work a major resource for further study of volcanology.