Hawaiian Volcanoes, written by Clarence E. Dutton as part of the 1883 Annual Report of the U.S. Geological Survey, is the first comprehensive study of volcanism in Hawai`i. In addition to being of both scientific and historical interest today, it is a fine example of natural history writing. It takes the form of an entrancing nineteenth-century "roadside geology" of the Big Island and much of Maui, combining Dutton's clear, elegant writing style with his eye for color and line and meticulously accurate observations of Hawai`i's people and landscape, as well as its geological phenomena.
A new foreword discusses the importance of Dutton's ground-breaking report and its influence on subsequent research on Hawai`i's volcanoes. The present volume also includes a colorful biographical sketch of Dutton, a discussion of his assignment to Hawai`i, and a list of his principal writings.
Clarence E. Dutton (1841-1912) graduated from Yale College, where he excelled in mathematics and literature but showed no special talent for geology. In 1862 he entered the Union Army and befriended Major John Wesley Powell, who later selected Dutton to join his U.S. Geological Survey team in the Rocky Mountains. Dutton spent several seasons in and around the Grand Canyon before being assigned to Hawai'i in 1882. William R. Halliday, M.D., has long had major interests in history and geology in addition to his work in surgery and rehabilitation medicine.