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Volcanoes in Human History: The Far-Reaching Effects of Major Eruptions

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

When the volcano Tambora erupted in Indonesia in 1815, as many as 100,000 people perished as a result of the blast and an ensuing famine caused by the destruction of rice fields on Sumbawa and neighboring islands. Gases and dust particles ejected into the atmosphere changed weather patterns around the world, resulting in the infamous year without a summer in North America, food riots in Europe, and a widespread cholera epidemic. And the gloomy weather inspired Mary Shelley to write the gothic novel Frankenstein.

This book tells the story of nine such epic volcanic events, explaining the related geology for the general reader and exploring the myriad ways in which the earth's volcanism has affected human history. Zeilinga de Boer and Sanders describe in depth how volcanic activity has had long-lasting effects on societies, cultures, and the environment. After introducing the origins and mechanisms of volcanism, the authors draw on ancient as well as modern accounts--from folklore to poetry and from philosophy to literature. Beginning with the Bronze Age eruption that caused the demise of Minoan Crete, the book tells the human and geological stories of eruptions of such volcanoes as Vesuvius, Krakatau, Mount Pelée, and Tristan da Cunha. Along the way, it shows how volcanism shaped religion in Hawaii, permeated Icelandic mythology and literature, caused widespread population migrations, and spurred scientific discovery.

From the prodigious eruption of Thera more than 3,600 years ago to the relative burp of Mount St. Helens in 1980, the results of volcanism attest to the enduring connections between geology and human destiny.

Synopsis:

When the volcano Tambora erupted in Indonesia in 1815, as many as 100,000 people perished as a result of the blast and an ensuing famine caused by the destruction of rice fields on Sumbawa and neighboring islands. Gases and dust particles ejected into the atmosphere changed weather patterns around the world, resulting in the infamous year without a summer in North America, food riots in Europe, and a widespread cholera epidemic. And the gloomy weather inspired Mary Shelley to write the gothic novel Frankenstein.

This book tells the story of nine such epic volcanic events, explaining the related geology for the general reader and exploring the myriad ways in which the earth's volcanism has affected human history. Zeilinga de Boer and Sanders describe in depth how volcanic activity has had long-lasting effects on societies, cultures, and the environment. After introducing the origins and mechanisms of volcanism, the authors draw on ancient as well as modern accounts--from folklore to poetry and from philosophy to literature. Beginning with the Bronze Age eruption that caused the demise of Minoan Crete, the book tells the human and geological stories of eruptions of such volcanoes as Vesuvius, Krakatau, Mount Pelée, and Tristan da Cunha. Along the way, it shows how volcanism shaped religion in Hawaii, permeated Icelandic mythology and literature, caused widespread population migrations, and spurred scientific discovery.

From the prodigious eruption of Thera more than 3,600 years ago to the relative burp of Mount St. Helens in 1980, the results of volcanism attest to the enduring connections between geology and human destiny.

Synopsis:

"Most people seldom think about volcanoes or the role they have played in human history. Jelle Zeilinga de Boer and Donald Theodore Sanders . . . examine the relationship between volcanoes and human history. . . . [Their] chilling examples show the profound impact volcanic eruptions have had upon humans. The incredible story has taken centuries to unfold and will surely continue to evolve."--Dr. Robert D. Ballard, President, Institute for Exploration, Mystic, Connecticut

"There is a growing awareness of the interplay between natural disasters and human societies, putting this book at the cutting edge of an important trend. It integrates science with societal issues in a way that is compelling and interesting. With its informative but nontechnical style, it should appeal to both scientists and nonspecialists."--Susan Hough, U.S. Geological Survey

About the Author

Jelle Zeilinga de Boer is the Harold T. Stearns Professor of Earth Science at Wesleyan University. His publications include work on the geodynamic evolution of the Appalachians, Costa Rica, Greece, Panama, and the Philippines. Donald Theodore Sanders has worked as a petroleum geologist, a science editor for encyclopedias, and an editor of corporate scientific publications. Before retiring from IBM, he created and edited that company's award-winning academic magazine "Perspectives in Computing". Zeilinga de Boer and Sanders are also the coauthors of "Earthquakes in Human History "(Princeton).

Table of Contents

Foreword by Robert D. Ballard ix

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xv

Table of Conversion xvii

Chapter 1: Volcanism: Origins and Consequences 1

SIDEBAR: DATING OF VOLCANIC EVENTS

Chapter 2: The Hawaiian Islands and the Legacy of Pelee the Fire Goddess 22

Chapter 3: The Bronze Age Eruption of Thera: Destroyer of Atlantis and Minoan Crete? 47

Chapter 4: The Eruption of Vesuvius in 79 C.E.: Cultural Reverberations through the Ages 74

Chapter 5: Iceland: Coming Apart at the Seams 108

Chapter 6: The Eruption of Tambora in 1815 and "the Year without a Summer" 138

SIDEBAR: MOUNT TOBA: BIGGER THAN TAMBORA

Chapter 7: Krakatu, 1883: Devastation, Death, and Ecologic Revival 157

SIDEBAR: THE GHOSTS OF MERAPI

Chapter 8: The 1902 Eruption of Mount Pelee: A Geological Catastrophe with Political Overtones 186

SIDEBAR: MOUNT PELEE AND THE PANAMA CANAL

Chapter 9: Tristan da Cunba in 1961: Exile to the Twentieth Century 209

Chapter 10: Mount St. Helens in 1980: Catastrophe in the Cascades 228

Afterword 250

Glossary 251

Notes and References 261

Selected Bibliography 279

Index 281

Product Details

ISBN:
9780691118383
Foreword:
Ballard, Robert D.
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Foreword by:
Ballard, Robert D.
Foreword:
Ballard, Robert D.
Author:
Jelle Zeilinga
Author:
Ballard, Robert D.
Author:
De, Boer
Author:
de Boer, Jelle Zeilinga
Author:
Zeilinga de Boer, Jelle
Author:
Sanders, Donald Theodore
Author:
de, Jelle Zeilinga
Author:
Jelle Zeilinga de Boer
Location:
Princeton
Subject:
Volcanoes
Subject:
Earthquakes & Volcanoes
Subject:
Earth Sciences - Seismology & Volcanism
Subject:
World - General
Subject:
Earth Sciences
Subject:
History of Science and Medicine, Philosophy of Science
Subject:
Geology-Earthquakes and Volcanoes
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
November 2004
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
English
Illustrations:
18 halftones, 22 line illus., 2 tables
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 16 oz

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Economics » General
History and Social Science » Western Civilization » General
History and Social Science » World History » General
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Zoology » Ornithology
Science and Mathematics » Geology » Earthquakes and Volcanoes
Science and Mathematics » Geology » General
Science and Mathematics » Physics » Meteorology

Volcanoes in Human History: The Far-Reaching Effects of Major Eruptions Used Trade Paper
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Product details 320 pages Princeton University Press - English 9780691118383 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , When the volcano Tambora erupted in Indonesia in 1815, as many as 100,000 people perished as a result of the blast and an ensuing famine caused by the destruction of rice fields on Sumbawa and neighboring islands. Gases and dust particles ejected into the atmosphere changed weather patterns around the world, resulting in the infamous year without a summer in North America, food riots in Europe, and a widespread cholera epidemic. And the gloomy weather inspired Mary Shelley to write the gothic novel Frankenstein.

This book tells the story of nine such epic volcanic events, explaining the related geology for the general reader and exploring the myriad ways in which the earth's volcanism has affected human history. Zeilinga de Boer and Sanders describe in depth how volcanic activity has had long-lasting effects on societies, cultures, and the environment. After introducing the origins and mechanisms of volcanism, the authors draw on ancient as well as modern accounts--from folklore to poetry and from philosophy to literature. Beginning with the Bronze Age eruption that caused the demise of Minoan Crete, the book tells the human and geological stories of eruptions of such volcanoes as Vesuvius, Krakatau, Mount Pelée, and Tristan da Cunha. Along the way, it shows how volcanism shaped religion in Hawaii, permeated Icelandic mythology and literature, caused widespread population migrations, and spurred scientific discovery.

From the prodigious eruption of Thera more than 3,600 years ago to the relative burp of Mount St. Helens in 1980, the results of volcanism attest to the enduring connections between geology and human destiny.

"Synopsis" by ,

"Most people seldom think about volcanoes or the role they have played in human history. Jelle Zeilinga de Boer and Donald Theodore Sanders . . . examine the relationship between volcanoes and human history. . . . [Their] chilling examples show the profound impact volcanic eruptions have had upon humans. The incredible story has taken centuries to unfold and will surely continue to evolve."--Dr. Robert D. Ballard, President, Institute for Exploration, Mystic, Connecticut

"There is a growing awareness of the interplay between natural disasters and human societies, putting this book at the cutting edge of an important trend. It integrates science with societal issues in a way that is compelling and interesting. With its informative but nontechnical style, it should appeal to both scientists and nonspecialists."--Susan Hough, U.S. Geological Survey

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