Super Volcano: The Ticking Time Bomb Beneath Yellowstone National Park

Super Volcano: The Ticking Time Bomb Beneath Yellowstone National Park

3.2 7
by Greg Breining
     
 

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Despite growing evidence of geothermic activity under America's first and foremost national park, it took geologists a long time to realize that there was actually a volcano beneath Yellowstone. And then, why couldn't they find the caldera or crater? Because, as an aerial photograph finally revealed, the caldera is 45 miles wide, encompassing all of Yellowstone.

Overview

Despite growing evidence of geothermic activity under America's first and foremost national park, it took geologists a long time to realize that there was actually a volcano beneath Yellowstone. And then, why couldn't they find the caldera or crater? Because, as an aerial photograph finally revealed, the caldera is 45 miles wide, encompassing all of Yellowstone. What will happen, in human terms, when it erupts?

Greg Breining explores the shocking answer to this question and others in a scientific yet accessible look at the enormous natural disaster brewing beneath the surface of the United States. Yellowstone is one of the world's five "super volcanoes." When it erupts, much of the nation will be hit hard.

Though historically Yellowstone has erupted about every 600,000 years, it has not done so for 630,000, meaning it is 30,000 years overdue. Starting with a scenario of what will happen when Yellowstone blows, this fascinating study describes how volcanoes function and includes a timeline of famous volcanic eruptions throughout history.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

PW Web Excusive Online reviews

“Science writer and author Breining (Return of the Eagle) gives readers a solid introduction to modern volcanology in this look at ‘super volcanoes’ in general … and the Yellowstone caldera … Breining has done a public service by bringing these hazards to light with straight-forward writing and a well-organized text, clearly explaining complicated, violent geological processes without ignoring the awe-inspiring beauty of volcanic landscapes … Bolstered by clearly laid-out maps, Breining’s talent for elucidating complex phenomena makes this one of the best books on volcanoes a general reader can hope for.”

Choice, March 2008
Super Volcano
captures the essence, the excitement, and the deep and far-reaching influence of the world's greatest heat anomaly.  Breining writes for the layperson with enthusiasm and informality, bringing the subjects to life...A rare read! Highly recommended".

BOOK NEWS Inc, December 2007

“Using field research and interviews with geologists and a paleontologist, Breining, an environmental and travel writer, reveals the truth about the Yellowstone super volcano.”

Bookwormsez syndicated column, December 2007

“This book is fascinating and scary all at once and your recipients will gush over it.”

Review in Choice, March 1, 2008 (Circ.: 3,050 - Written for librarians. Contains critical, concise reviews of books suitable for college and university library collections)

 Fascination with Yellowstone grows and grows as we learn more about the history, the present situation, and the inevitable developments in near and distant future time. Super Volcano captures the essence, the excitement, and the deep and far-reaching influence of the world's greatest heat anomaly. Sections of this concise and easily readable book include 1) descriptions of volcanic activity, thermal springs, strange ecosystems, and earthquakes; 2) geological uniqueness and comparisons with other volcanic areas; 3) little-known and far-distant effects of Yellowstone eruptions of great relevance to humanity; 4) other super volcanoes in recent geologic time (Yellowstone is the fourth-largest known); and 5) prospects and circumstances of the next big blast from Yellowstone. Breining writes for the layperson with enthusiasm and informality, bringing the subjects to life with copious quotes from naturalists, field leaders, and volcanologists. Yellowstone and other super volcanoes are considered in terms of plate tectonics, evolution of scientific insights into the natural world, and--extremely important and underappreciated--impacts on the history and survival capabilities of humanity. A rare read! Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels. -- T. L.T. Grose, Colorado School of Mines

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781616738983
Publisher:
Voyageur Press
Publication date:
11/10/2007
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
291,303
File size:
4 MB

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
PW Web Excusive Online reviews

“Science writer and author Breining (Return of the Eagle) gives readers a solid introduction to modern volcanology in this look at ‘super volcanoes’ in general … and the Yellowstone caldera … Breining has done a public service by bringing these hazards to light with straight-forward writing and a well-organized text, clearly explaining complicated, violent geological processes without ignoring the awe-inspiring beauty of volcanic landscapes … Bolstered by clearly laid-out maps, Breining’s talent for elucidating complex phenomena makes this one of the best books on volcanoes a general reader can hope for.”

Choice, March 2008
Super Volcano
captures the essence, the excitement, and the deep and far-reaching influence of the world's greatest heat anomaly.  Breining writes for the layperson with enthusiasm and informality, bringing the subjects to life...A rare read! Highly recommended".

BOOK NEWS Inc, December 2007

“Using field research and interviews with geologists and a paleontologist, Breining, an environmental and travel writer, reveals the truth about the Yellowstone super volcano.”

Bookwormsez syndicated column, December 2007

“This book is fascinating and scary all at once and your recipients will gush over it.”

Review in Choice, March 1, 2008 (Circ.: 3,050 - Written for librarians. Contains critical, concise reviews of books suitable for college and university library collections)

 Fascination with Yellowstone grows and grows as we learn more about the history, the present situation, and the inevitable developments in near and distant future time. Super Volcano captures the essence, the excitement, and the deep and far-reaching influence of the world's greatest heat anomaly. Sections of this concise and easily readable book include 1) descriptions of volcanic activity, thermal springs, strange ecosystems, and earthquakes; 2) geological uniqueness and comparisons with other volcanic areas; 3) little-known and far-distant effects of Yellowstone eruptions of great relevance to humanity; 4) other super volcanoes in recent geologic time (Yellowstone is the fourth-largest known); and 5) prospects and circumstances of the next big blast from Yellowstone. Breining writes for the layperson with enthusiasm and informality, bringing the subjects to life with copious quotes from naturalists, field leaders, and volcanologists. Yellowstone and other super volcanoes are considered in terms of plate tectonics, evolution of scientific insights into the natural world, and—extremely important and underappreciated—impacts on the history and survival capabilities of humanity. A rare read! Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels. — T. L.T. Grose, Colorado School of Mines

Meet the Author

Greg Breining writes about the environment, adventure, and worldwide travel for The New York Times, National Geographic Traveler, Sports Illustrated, Audubon, and other publications. His books include A Hard-Water World, Minnesota Yesterday & Today, Wild Shore, and Return of the Eagle, among others. Breining lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.  www.gregbreining.com

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Super Volcano: The Ticking Time Bomb Beneath Yellowstone National Park 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
TwinsfanLR More than 1 year ago
I got this book because I thought it would be really cool to learn about Super Volcanoes, turns out only chapter 1 and chapter 9 are really about Super Volcanoes. The rest of the book is a geology lesson or 'Volcanoes in Human History' Breining fills a majority of his book with information straight out of that book, which albeit interesting, is like I said not what i was looking for. You mine as well read the books listed below for what you get out of this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The majority of the book is a historical account of Yellowstone. I was expecting a little more on Yellowstone as a super volcano and the predicted effects of an eruption.
Mistress_Nyte More than 1 year ago
When I watch the movie 2012, starring John Cusack, I am highly entertained, but I am also highly aware that at least the portion of the script dealing with the Yellowstone super volcano is based on scientific fact. I am also aware that the portrayal of the explosion in the movie is nowhere near what it will probably be. This book offers a clear and well researched, yet very understandable and entertaining, view on the Yellowstone super volcano, as well as the history of the world's other super volcanoes. It brought to my attention that while many people tout that we are overdue for another eruption of Yellowstone, there is absolutely no guarantee that this will happen anytime soon. Simply because you cannot predict anything like this, and because there is too little data to accurately speculate on the timing of such an earth-shattering event. I went from one emotional high to another while reading this book. I was terrified - what should I do? Move out East, to be out of the danger zone of the eruption and its after-effects? Then I was complacent. Why should I bother doing that? Would it be better to live within that danger zone, so that I would die due to the immediate eruption, rather than face starvation or disease from the longer term effects of the eruption? I guess in the end, it comes down to an individual's own choice. And if one chooses to live in the fear of an event that probably will happen, but may never happen within the lifetime of that person, what kind of a life is that? If you are at all interested in geologic events, or volcanoes, or Yellowstone, or the history of the planet, or even Doomsday scenarios, I highly recommend this book. I enjoyed it a lot. I actually chose to read this over novels I am currently in the midst of, due to how interesting I found it to be. I was impressed, and I am very glad that this book ended up in my personal library.
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