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Volcanoby DK Publishing, Douglas Palmer
The breathtaking and dangerous explosion of a volcano speaks volumes about what happens below the Earth's crust. Dorling Kindersley Eyewitness Video: Volcanos put the viewer in a front row seat that would be impossible to survive-in the molten hot and toxic environment of an exploding volcano. While most of the time the Earth gives us the faÁade of being stable and calm, what happens beneath the Earth's surface is anything but. State of the art graphics and model recreations show us how our planet's molten core constantly undergoes pressurized changes, when this pressure forces its way up and out we have a volcano. Below the surface of the Earth, molten rock is called magma; once it reaches the open air we call it lava, and when it erupts it is deadly. Volcanoes create as well as destroy; volcanic ash yields riches of nutrients from deep within and often creates new, enriched land. Although it will be thousands of years before we vacation there, a new Hawaiian island is currently being formed from the volcanic activity in the area. Over the course of this half hour video, we learn that ten times more volcanoes exist under the sea, how long they can remain dormant and what types of life stand the best chance of surviving an eruption (guess again if you thought human beings). We are also taken along first-hand to witness volcanologists at work in a crater, and on a discussion of ancient religious beliefs surrounding eruptions. Famous eruptions such as Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD (as well as the destruction of Pompeii) and the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens are covered in depth. Other sciences can benefit from the study of volcanoes; in monitoring the renewal of life on St. Helensin the years after her explosion, scientists discovered bacteria that is possibly a close relative to the very first living things that ever existed on Earth. Volcanic eruptions are caused by the same global shifting that cause earthquakes, but like the tremblers there is little we can do to predict activity and eruptions. The Eyewitness Video series once again imaginatively takes us inside the inner-workings of our planet and gives us a new respect for the awesome power of nature.
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