Volcanoes: The Science Behind Fiery Eruptions

Volcanoes: The Science Behind Fiery Eruptions

by Alvin Silverstein, Virginia B. Silverstein, Laura Silverstein Nunn
     
 

Mount St. Helens, a volcano in Washington State, had been quiet for 123 years. But in 1980, small earthquakes shook the mountain and steam burst through its snow-capped peak. On May 18, 1980, the volcano erupted, shooting out an enormous cloud of ash, gases, rock, and lava. The eruption killed 57 people, destroyed thousands of homes and acres of wildlife. Although

Overview

Mount St. Helens, a volcano in Washington State, had been quiet for 123 years. But in 1980, small earthquakes shook the mountain and steam burst through its snow-capped peak. On May 18, 1980, the volcano erupted, shooting out an enormous cloud of ash, gases, rock, and lava. The eruption killed 57 people, destroyed thousands of homes and acres of wildlife. Although scientists can examine warning signs to predict eruptions, volcanoes remain a dangerous natural disaster. Volcanoes: The Science Behind Fiery Eruptions explores the formation of volcanoes, what causes them to erupt, the various types of volcanoes, and how scientists study them.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Amy S. Hansen
Part of "The Science of Natural Disasters" series, this book explores volcanoes, which are endlessly fascinating. They may be quiet and docile for centuries, or they may spew smoke and ash constantly. Either way, volcanoes are outside of humankind's control. We cannot get them to erupt less or more. They simply are. What we can do, the authors explain, is learn more about them to begin to predict when the eruptions will happen. The authors walk readers through the basic geology of volcanoes before getting into what happens when the volcano erupts. "Have you ever shaken a can or bottle of soda before opening it? Like the magma under Earth's surface, soda is a mixture of liquid and gas under pressure. When you open the soda container, the pressure on the gas (carbon dioxide) drops suddenly; the gas expands rapidly, and bubbly soda explodes out, all over everything. That is a lot like what happens when a volcano erupts." Other chapters address what happens when volcanoes erupt underwater and how to stay safe near volcanoes. The writing is clear and accessible to middle elementary students, and the photos give dramatic images of what happens during an eruption. Backmatter includes chapter notes, a glossary, lists of more resources, and an index. Reviewer: Amy S. Hansen
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7–Five or six short chapters in these matter-of-fact books outline the essential facts of each phenomenon in clear language. The titles open with an account of a famous event–for example, Earthquakes re-creates the scene inside San Francisco’s Candlestick Park and farther afield when the Loma Prieta quake struck during the 1989 World Series. The texts go on to cover the science, to describe in general terms what happens during an event, and to offer safety advice. These latter sections discuss both personal safety and what scientists are doing to predict these phenomena. Scientific explanations are accompanied by plentiful color diagrams that will help students to grasp causes and effects. Sidebars on most spreads feature “It’s a Fact” statistics and other data, and question-and-answer boxes covering such puzzles as why Tornado Alley is so afflicted. There is some overlap in topics among the books–tsunamis are relevant in Earthquakes and Volcanoes, for example, but the coverage of them is not the same. Photos of disasters are necessarily dated and therefore grainy at times, but they are effective, and are sometimes turned into helpful, lively diagrams by the addition of such features as wind-direction arrows.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780766029729
Publisher:
Enslow Publishers, Incorporated
Publication date:
08/01/2009
Series:
The Science Behind Natural Disasters Series
Pages:
48
Product dimensions:
6.70(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

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