Out of the Crater

Chronicles of a Volcanologist
Princeton University Press
  • erschienen am 28. August 2000
  • Buch
  • |
  • Softcover
  • |
  • 192 Seiten
978-0-691-07017-9 (ISBN)
Volcanologists venture to treacherous volcanoes the world over in the pursuit of their science. They work around craters of boiling magma and amidst smoke, flames, scorched rocks, and clouds of noxious gases--balancing personal risk against advancing knowledge about one of nature's most dangerous and unpredictable forces. Richard Fisher, a world-renowned volcanologist, has had more than forty years of experience in the field. In this book, he blends autobiography with clear, accessible science to introduce readers to the basics of volcanology and to the wonders of volcanoes that he has studied and learned to both fear and admire.

In the course of the book, we follow Fisher as he descends into the steaming crater of the Soufri re Volcano on the island of St. Vincent, as he conducts research on lava flows on the desolate south shore of the Island of Hawaii, and as he struggles to understand the explosion at Mount St. Helens. We learn about his pioneering work on pyroclastic flows and surges--the hurricanes of gases, molten lava, and volcanic debris that cause most of the death and destruction when volcanoes explode. He tells of solving a historic scientific problem at Mount Pelee, Martinique, where 29,000 people were killed in a pyroclastic flow in 1902. Fisher also offers a volcanologist's view of the explosion of Mount Vesuvius that devastated Pompeii and Herculaneum. He writes about the cultural rewards and challenges of conducting research in isolated areas of such countries as Argentina, Mexico, and China. And he discusses the early influences that steered him toward volcanology--including his army experiences as a witness to two atom-bomb explosions at Bikini atoll.

Out of the Crater is written in an inviting, nontechnical style. With its deft combination of personal stories and scientific information, it is an inspiring account of a remarkable life and a compelling examination of some of the most spectacular forces shaping the face of the Earth.
  • Englisch
  • Princeton
  • |
  • USA
  • Für höhere Schule und Studium
  • |
  • Für Beruf und Forschung
  • Broschur/Paperback
28 halftones
  • Höhe: 234 mm
  • |
  • Breite: 156 mm
  • |
  • Dicke: 10 mm
  • 301 gr
978-0-691-07017-9 (9780691070179)
Richard V. Fisher is Professor Emeritus of Geological Sciences at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he has taught and researched since 1955. In 1997, he was awarded the Thorarinsson Medal, the highest honor of the International Society of Volcanologists. Fisher is the coauthor, with Grant Heiken and Jeffrey B. Hulen, of Volcanoes: Crucibles of Change (Princeton). He also wrote Pyroclastic Rocks with H.-U. Schmincke and coedited Sedimentation in Volcanic Settings with G. A. Smith.
Contents ix Acknowledgments 3 Prologue 8 Chapter 1. Los Alamos, New Mexico Chapter 2. Bikini and the Atom Bomb 13 Chapter 3. The Beginnings of a Career 22 Chapter 4. Central Oregon: Tuff, Fossils, and Lava 28 Chapter 5. Puu Hou, Hawaii: Solitary Isolation 35 Chapter 6. Volcanoes and Water 46 Chapter 7. Mount Pele, Martinique 62 Chapter 8. Soufriere, St. Vincent 69 Chapter 9. Volcanoes in Europe 80 Chapter 10. Mount St. Helens 89 Chapter 11. Mount Vesuvius 104 Chapter 12. El Chichon, Southern Mexico 115 Chapter 13. Calderas 126 Chapter 14. Communist China 137 Chapter 15. Italy and Ignimbrite 156 Epilogue 170 Glossary 173 Index 177
"Interesting and entertaining reading... Fisher is a good writer and mixes tales of his travels, science, and personal anecdotes as well. The book is entertaining and an easy read... Perhaps the only regret is that the book is not a bit longer."--Steve Sparks, Nature "Good first-person descriptions of science are always welcome, and doubly so from scientists in fascinating fields... [Out of the Crater] reveals much about research in a tough environmental science where extensive fieldwork is the only road to enlightenment."--Martin Ince, New Scientist "R. V. Fisher is, without a doubt, one of the premier volcanologists of the latter half of the twentieth century. Fisher writes in a light and lucid prose... The result is an engaging, human and modest account."--David Pyle, Geological Magazine
"Once I began reading this book, I had a very difficult time putting it down. It is a well-written and lively account of Dr. Fisher's research during several decades of work, highlighting the interplay between scientific method and serendipity in the advancement of science. He presents the hazards of explosive volcanoes in a way that the general reader can easily understand."--Bart S. Martin, Ohio Wesleyan University

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