John P. Lockwood, Richard W. Hazlett: Volcanoes

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May 6, 2011 - Shortly after the publication of. Pyroclastic Rocks, the book Volcanic Successions was published [R. Cas, J. Wright, 1987 (1st edition), Volcanic.

Bull Volcanol (2011) 73:631–632 DOI 10.1007/s00445-011-0479-7


John P. Lockwood, Richard W. Hazlett: Volcanoes—Global Perspectives 1st edition (May 25, 2010), Wiley-Blackwell, Paperback: 552 pages, ISBN-10: 1405162503, ISBN-13: 978-1405162500 Károly Németh

Accepted: 10 March 2011 / Published online: 6 May 2011 # Springer-Verlag 2011

The book Pyroclastic Rocks [R. V. Fisher and H.-U. Schmincke, 1984, Pyroclastic rocks, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, New York. p. 472. ISBN 3-540-12756-9] was the first modern comprehensive summary of knowledge about volcanic processes. Shortly after the publication of Pyroclastic Rocks, the book Volcanic Successions was published [R. Cas, J. Wright, 1987 (1st edition), Volcanic Successions: Modern and Ancient: A Geological Approach to Processes, Products and Successions [Paperback], Chapman and Hall, London. p. 544. ISBN-10: 0412446405]. This book was intended to fill the gap between sedimentology and volcanology by providing a very detailed account of the interplay between primary and secondary volcanic processes. Complementing these two landmark books, in 1993, a simpler, and therefore easier to understand for nonspecialists, volcanology book was published. Volcanoes [P. Francis, 1993, Volcanoes: A Planetary Perspective [Paperback], Oxford University Press, USA. p. 456. ISBN-13: 978-0198540335] was a huge success, due to its easy to follow style that captured both a general readership, and graduate teaching program coordinators. This book has been revised and a new edition appeared in 2003 [P. Francis, C. Oppenheimer, 2003 (2nd Edition), Volcanoes [Paperback], Oxford University Press, USA. p. 536. ISBN-13: 978-0199254699]. Other excellent books that also targeted this general audience include the Encyclopedia of Volcanoes [B. Houghton, H. Rymer, J. Stix, S. McNutt, H. Sigurdsson, 1999 (1st Edition),

Editorial responsibility: J.D.L. White K. Németh (*) Massey University, CS-INR, Volcanic Risk Solutions, PO Box 11 222, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand e-mail: [email protected]

Encyclopedia of Volcanoes [Hardcover], Academic Press. p. 1417. ISBN-13: 978-0126431407] and Volcanism [H.-U. Schmincke, 2004, Volcanism [Hardcover], Springer. p. 401. ISBN: 978-3-540-43650-8]. These books, although excellent, have not been systematically designed with higher education courses on volcanism in mind. Books that do so are rare, with the few examples including Volcanic Textures [J. McPhie, M. Doyle, R. Allen, 1993, Volcanic textures: a guide to the interpretation of textures in volcanic rocks. [Paperback], Centre for Ore Deposit and Exploration Studies, University of Tasmania. p. 198. ISBN 978-0859015226] and Practical Volcanology [U Martin, K Nemeth, 2007, Practical Volcanology - Lecture notes for understanding volcanic rocks from field based studies, Budapest. p. 221. ISBN 978963-671-259-4]. There was an open niche for a volcanology book that could be used both for teaching purposes, and also by members of the general public who just want a better understanding of volcanic processes. John P. Lockwood and Richard W. Hazlett tried to fill this niche by producing a new book in 2010, Volcanoes— Global Perspectives, which has been designed both as a stand-alone textbook for under- and post-graduate studies in volcanology, and as a systematically set-out knowledgebased work for professionals and interested amateurs. The book covers three major subject areas: 1) global aspects of volcanism from a plate-tectonic and geodynamic point of view; 2) the major roles volcanoes play in the evolution of the environment; and 3) the interface between volcanism and human societies, with special emphasis on the increasing hazard that volcanism poses to the growing human population. These three layers of the book naturally guide the reader to understand the complex approaches needed to study volcanism, and also define its place in the natural environment while recognizing interactions with human societies.


The book starts with an introduction that draws the reader’s attention to a group of interesting volcanic events that are certainly among those that many people will have heard of, such as eruptions at Hawaii. This forms a basis to give some historic background for the science of volcanism, which I found very interesting. The Introduction is followed by the “Big Picture” part, putting volcanism in a global geodynamic context by trying to explain why volcanoes are where they are and what forces trigger their eruption. This section utilizes the latest knowledge on the links between plate tectonics and volcanism, as well as current understanding of the physics and chemistry of the magmas. In this section, the reader can find easy-to-understand models to link this basic physical and chemical information on magma to repose intervals of volcanism and/or intrusive processes commonly overlooked in similar text books. The third major part of the book deals with volcanic eruptions and their products. What I found interesting here is that the authors re-introduced classification schemes many professionals may have forgotten. The historic perspective relating the volcanic eruption classification of Lacroix to the usage of the Volcanic Explosivity Index is particularly valuable in helping the reader understand the developments in logic and volcano information Volcanology’s last hundred years of evolution. I found it logically refreshing to have the classification of lava flows and explosive eruptive products near one another in this part of the book, indicating to the reader that such processes and their products together form the volcanic edifice and its surrounding, volcanically influenced, basin. This makes the book easy to refer to and helps the reader quickly identify major effusive versus explosive eruptive processes, and the mix of products they may be faced with in reality. This section prepares the reader very well for the subsequent part introducing the concept and classification of volcanic landforms. A separate chapter deals with large-volume eruptions, making it evident to the reader that such eruptions can have major landscapechanging powers, and that their eruptive products can be both extraordinarily voluminous and very extensive. The fourth part of the book utilizes the previously introduced information on volcanoes and provides a logical classification of volcanic landforms as either “positive” (constructional) or “negative”. This grouping of volcanic landforms, summarizing each known terrestrial volcano type, from large igneous provinces to maar volcanoes, provides a great opportunity to relate previously described volcanic effusive and explosive processes and their typical deposits to the resulting volcanic landforms in a range of sizes (volumes) and geometrical forms. The same part of the book contains a summary of the most common masswasting processes, such as lahars, volcanic debris avalanches and landslides. While I think this section of the

Bull Volcanol (2011) 73:631–632

book is clearly laid out and has a logical progression, I was expecting a bit more information about erosion processes of volcanic landforms, including a basic introduction to modern techniques, and some words on the preservation potential of volcanic landforms. Also this chapter could have been a bit more systematic and probably expansive in connecting volcanism with basin evolution, and therefore volcanology and sedimentology. This part of the book also provides a very brief summary of “Volcanoes Unseen and Far Away” which covers subaqueous, subglacial and extraterrestrial volcanism. Although this is a sound summary, I found it out of balance in comparison to the huge development in understanding explosive and effusive subaqueous and subglacial volcanism over recent years, and think this part of the book is certainly weaker than justified by the importance such volcanism. The fifth, final part of the book certainly takes a new approach, reflecting the dramatic and fast development of volcanology in the last decades. “Humanistic Volcanology” is an interesting title, capturing the role of volcanism on life, climate and human history. One of the very positive aspects of this book is the fairly detailed account it provides on volcanic hazards and risk and associated monitoring and mitigation techniques. This is without doubt one of the main areas where human societies can benefit from our increased understanding of volcanism. The summary of the economic aspects of volcanism provides a good link between volcanology and mining geology, giving the reader a basic background on the importance of volcanism in the generation of ore deposits that provide materials for our technological society. Overall, John P. Lockwood and Richard W. Hazlett have produced an excellent and clearly written book that is suitable not only for volcanologists, advanced undergraduate, or graduate students in earth sciences, but also for anyone with basic scientific skills and a desire to understand the role of volcanism in the Earth and Solar System, from continents to the deep sea, and the potential impact of volcanism on natural environments and human societies. I personally appreciate that the authors have shared much of their extensive practical expertise in volcanology. The numerous colour photographs taken by the authors, and original figures redrawn as colour cartoons or block diagrams, commonly simplified for better understanding, are highly valuable extras. The extensive referencing of each chapter, the list of questions relevant to certain sections of the book, the simple appendices on volcanism, and also the easy-to-follow structure, make this book perfect for any university lecturer who is developing a volcanology course. The “student-friendly” pricing of the book and its well-presented nature allow anyone to use it as course material. Overall I would highly recommend this work to anyone who wishes to understand volcanoes from a global perspective.