Books  Palaeontology & Geology  Geology  Volcanology 



By: Peter Francis(Author), Clive Oppenheimer(Author)

521 pages, 570 figs

Oxford University Press

Paperback | Dec 2003 | Edition: 2 | #141066 | ISBN: 0199254699
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £46.99 $62/€52 approx

About this book

The impact of volcanic eruptions on the Earth's environment has been the source of many a debate and the cause of extensive research activities by leading academics worldwide. The new edition of Peter Francis's Volcanoes preserves the particular strengths of the orignal in its accessibility, immense clarity, engaging humour and excellent illustrations.

Volcanoes updates the original by reflecting on new research findings and new eruptions (such as that on Montserrat) as well as including a new chapter on volcanic hazards, which looks at the complex and scientific and sociological issues surrounding risk mitigation. In updating the planetary perspective of the book new co-author Clive Oppenheimer provides us with an insight into studies of Mars and Jupiter.

Volcanoes is designed primarily for undergraduate students across a range of disciplines including geology, Earth sciences, geography, environmental sciences and planetary sciences, yet, is an equally valuable source for volcanologists, senior scientists in other disciplines and scientifically-trained volcano enthusiasts.

"Oppenheimer does not shy away from difficult concepts, and as part of a more modern treatment of magma vesiculation (bubble formation) he presents a skilful precis of Yuri Siezin's catastrophe theory model, whereby a slight change in the pressure driving up a conduit can trigger an enormous change in magma ascent velocity."
Times Higher Education Supplement, April 2004

"In my opinion Dr Oppenheimer has combined the original work with new material to produce a superb book which is a pleasure to read and at a modest price it should be on the book list of everyone interested in volcanology"
– Elizabeth Maddocks, OUGS Journal 25 (2) Symposium Edition 2004.

Review from the first edition

"the work is organized around the styles of volcanism found on the earth [...] the lay reader is skilfully guided around or over the technical hurdles without the storyline being lost and perseverance, when it is needed, is rewarded by many fascinating details about particular eruptions [...] the thoroughness and range of the coverage in the text make this an excellent adjunct to the reading list for even a postgraduate course in volcanology [...] Francis has succeeded in producing an extremely readable, entertaining, authoritative and informative work that should bring a better appreciation of modern volcanology to a wide audience."
– Lionel Wilson, University of Lancaster, Nature, Vol. 364, August 1993

"This is simply the best book I have seen on the science that underlies modern understanding of volcanology – and on top of that it is a pleasure to read [...] a coherent and lively overview of his field, from historical accounts of great eruptions to lavas on Mars and elsewhere [...] it is difficult to put down, principally because of Francis's lively style [...] His lucid style and individual [...] voice entices committed and casual readers alike. This is the book for all those who have wondered why and how volcanoes erupt as they do, and are prepared to think a little to find out [...] what makes this text so compelling is the sense of contact with research. Francis refers throughout to the scientists involved – what they saw and how they interpreted their observations."
– Sue Bowler, New Scientist, September 1993

"In an easy-to-read style, he has produced a scholarly work that is a suitable text both for earth and environmental science students and for those who wish to know more about this important natural process. The book is extremely well illustrated with high-quality drawings and photographs. This is a good follow-up to the author's earlier and highly successful book on the same subject."
Times Higher Education Supplement

"This is above all a very readable account of one of the Earth's fundamental geological processes and as such will appeal equally to students of geology and geography, nonspecialists, and the general reader. The book is magnificently illustrated and the author writes from first hand experience of research in this field."
Aslib Book Guide, Vol. 59, No. 3, March 1994

"targeted specifically to a popular audience. It went on to achieve considerable success, in part because of its accessible style, low price, and lack of competitors [...] Francis has written a highly personal discourse, focusing on those volcanoes and topics that most captivate him [...] it is Francis's subtle appreciation of how volcanoes work that really sets this book apart."
Science, Vol 263, 21 January 1994

"Graduates would find much new material of interest and plenty of references for further study."
OUGS Journal 16.1, Spring Edition 1995

"In part, reading this book is simply a pleasure, as Francis and Oppenheimer write very clear and precise, adding occasionally the odd joke [...] To the present writer, this book is the best work on volcanoes and volcanology [...] the clarity of the presentation makes this book very readable for the educated non-special [...] I thus conclude: simply the best!"
– Dr Ulrich Knittel,


1: The Basics: isotopes and green cheese
2: Keeping planets cool: volcanoes, hot-spots, and plate tectonics
3: Four classic eruptions
4: Magma - the hot stuff
5: Types of volcanic activity
6: Lava Flows
7: Pyroclastic eruptions: bubbles, bangs, columns, and currents
8: What goes up must come down: pyroclastic fall deposits
9: Pyroclastic currents from collapsing domes and transient eruptions
10: Pyroclastic currents and ignimbrites associated with plinian eruptions
11: Super-eruptions, super-volcanoes and calderas
12: Debris avalanches and flows: magic carpets and muck
13: Volcanoes as landscape forms
14: Submarine volcanism
15: Extraterrestrial volcanoes
16: Eruptions and climate
17: Volcano monitoring
18: Reducing volcanic risks

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The Late Peter Francis was Professor of Volcanology at the Open University and Clive Oppenheimer is a Lecturer in Geography at the University of Cambridge.

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