VOLCANO A Visual Guide

Some combination of visiting Mt. Rainier National Park last week and reading about all the devastation and destruction flowing from Hurricane Ike down in the Gulf Coast got me to thinking about the fact that I live pretty close to an old volcano that may well one day go all Vesuvius on us.    Which is perhaps why VOLCANO  A Visual Guide  By Donna Donovan O’Meara caught my eye while shelving in the 550’s last week.

While O’Meara’s writing is crisp and accessible and only occasionally reminded me of my eighth grade "Earth Science" class or the Geology 101 course I took at LSU (in egad, the fall semester of 1982), the pictures are clearly the star attraction in this book.   And what pictures.   Amazing shots of active lava flows and of many different and different types of volcanoes all over the world.   The final chapters even explore and provide photos of volcanic activity on the Moon, Venus, Mercury and Mars.    While volcanoes can and do at times cause tremendous destruction, they are, O’Meara argues,  essential to making the planet fit for human habitation.   O’Meara envisions a day when our scientific understanding of these fiery caldrons increases to a point where we can reliably predict when and where explosive and destructive eruptions will occur, enabling us to live a bit more peaceably with volcanoes.   VOLCANO  A Visual Guide    Recommended