Volcanoes in Human History: The Far-Reaching Effects of Major Eruptions / Edition 1

Volcanoes in Human History: The Far-Reaching Effects of Major Eruptions / Edition 1

by Jelle Zeilinga de Boer, Donald Theodore Sanders
     
 

ISBN-10: 0691118388

ISBN-13: 9780691118383

Pub. Date: 11/01/2004

Publisher: Princeton University Press

When the volcano Tambora erupted in Indonesia in 1815, as many as 100,000 people perished as a result of the blast and an ensuing famine caused by the destruction of rice fields on Sumbawa and neighboring islands. Gases and dust particles ejected into the atmosphere changed weather patterns around the world, resulting in the infamous ''year without a summer'' in

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Overview

When the volcano Tambora erupted in Indonesia in 1815, as many as 100,000 people perished as a result of the blast and an ensuing famine caused by the destruction of rice fields on Sumbawa and neighboring islands. Gases and dust particles ejected into the atmosphere changed weather patterns around the world, resulting in the infamous ''year without a summer'' in North America, food riots in Europe, and a widespread cholera epidemic. And the gloomy weather inspired Mary Shelley to write the gothic novel Frankenstein.

This book tells the story of nine such epic volcanic events, explaining the related geology for the general reader and exploring the myriad ways in which the earth's volcanism has affected human history. Zeilinga de Boer and Sanders describe in depth how volcanic activity has had long-lasting effects on societies, cultures, and the environment. After introducing the origins and mechanisms of volcanism, the authors draw on ancient as well as modern accounts—from folklore to poetry and from philosophy to literature. Beginning with the Bronze Age eruption that caused the demise of Minoan Crete, the book tells the human and geological stories of eruptions of such volcanoes as Vesuvius, Krakatau, Mount Pelée, and Tristan da Cunha. Along the way, it shows how volcanism shaped religion in Hawaii, permeated Icelandic mythology and literature, caused widespread population migrations, and spurred scientific discovery.

From the prodigious eruption of Thera more than 3,600 years ago to the relative burp of Mount St. Helens in 1980, the results of volcanism attest to the enduring connections between geology and human destiny.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691118383
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
11/01/2004
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
618,517
Product dimensions:
5.52(w) x 9.70(h) x 0.75(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword by Robert D. Ballard ix

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xv

Table of Conversion xvii

Chapter 1: Volcanism: Origins and Consequences 1

SIDEBAR: DATING OF VOLCANIC EVENTS

Chapter 2: The Hawaiian Islands and the Legacy of Pelee the Fire Goddess 22

Chapter 3: The Bronze Age Eruption of Thera: Destroyer of Atlantis and Minoan Crete? 47

Chapter 4: The Eruption of Vesuvius in 79 C.E.: Cultural Reverberations through the Ages 74

Chapter 5: Iceland: Coming Apart at the Seams 108

Chapter 6: The Eruption of Tambora in 1815 and "the Year without a Summer" 138

SIDEBAR: MOUNT TOBA: BIGGER THAN TAMBORA

Chapter 7: Krakatu, 1883: Devastation, Death, and Ecologic Revival 157

SIDEBAR: THE GHOSTS OF MERAPI

Chapter 8: The 1902 Eruption of Mount Pelee: A Geological Catastrophe with Political Overtones 186

SIDEBAR: MOUNT PELEE AND THE PANAMA CANAL

Chapter 9: Tristan da Cunba in 1961: Exile to the Twentieth Century 209

Chapter 10: Mount St. Helens in 1980: Catastrophe in the Cascades 228

Afterword 250

Glossary 251

Notes and References 261

Selected Bibliography 279

Index 281

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