The Encyclopedia of Volcanoes

2nd Edition

Editors: Haraldur Sigurdsson Bruce Houghton Steve McNutt Hazel Rymer John Stix
Hardcover ISBN: 9780123859389
eBook ISBN: 9780123859396
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 31st March 2015
Page Count: 1456
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Volcanoes are unquestionably one of the most spectacular and awe-inspiring features of the physical world. Our paradoxical fascination with them stems from their majestic beauty and powerful, sometimes deadly, destructiveness. Notwithstanding the tremendous advances in volcanology since ancient times, some of the mystery surrounding volcanic eruptions remains today. The Encyclopedia of Volcanoes summarizes our present knowledge of volcanoes; it provides a comprehensive source of information on the causes of volcanic eruptions and both the destructive and beneficial effects. The early chapters focus on the science of volcanism (melting of source rocks, ascent of magma, eruption processes, extraterrestrial volcanism, etc.).  Later chapters discuss human interface with volcanoes, including the history of volcanology, geothermal energy resources, interaction with the oceans and atmosphere, health aspects of volcanism, mitigation of volcanic disasters, post-eruption ecology, and the impact of eruptions on organismal biodiversity.

Key Features

  • Provides the only comprehensive reference work to cover all aspects of volcanology
  • Written by nearly 100 world experts in volcanology
  • Explores an integrated transition from the physical process of eruptions through hazards and risk, to the social face of volcanism, with an emphasis on how volcanoes have influenced and shaped society
  • Presents hundreds of color photographs, maps, charts and illustrations making this an aesthetically appealing reference
  • On-line supplement includes additional multimedia
  • Glossary of 3,000 key terms with definitions of all key vocabulary items in the field is included


earth system educators, students and amateur scientists as well as professional volcanologists interested in comprehending specialties outside their own expertise.

Table of Contents


The History of Volcanology

Part I. Origin and Transport of Magma

1. Melting the Earth’s Upper Mantle

Timothy L. Grove and Christy B. Till

2. Migration of Melt

Martha J. Daines and Matej Pec

3. Plate Tectonics and Volcanism

Peter C. LaFemina

4. The Composition and Origin of Magmas

Nick Rogers

5. Thermodynamic and Transport Properties of Silicate Melts and Magma

Charles E. Lesher and Frank J. Spera

6. Chemical Thermodynamics and the Study of Magmas

Mark S. Ghiorso and Guilherme A.R. Gualda

7. Volatiles in Magmas

Paul J. Wallace, Terry Plank, Marie Edmonds and Erik H. Hauri

8. Magma Chambers

Bruce D. Marsh

9. Rates of Magma Ascent and Storage

Brandon Browne and Lindsay Szramek

10. Magma Transport in Dikes

Helge Gonnermann and Benoit Taisne

11. Magma Ascent and Degassing at Shallow Levels

Alain Burgisser and Wim Degruyter

Part II. Eruptions

12. Earth’s Volcanoes and Their Eruptions: An Overview

Lee Siebert, Elizabeth Cottrell, Edward Venzke and Benjamin Andrews

13. Sizes of Volcanic Eruptions

David M. Pyle

14. Global Rates of Volcanism and Volcanic Episodes

Natalia Irma Deligne and Haraldur Sigurdsson

15. Primary Volcanic Landforms

Shan de Silva and Jan M. Lindsay

16. Calderas

Michael Branney and Valerio Acocella

Part III. Effusive Volcanism

17. Lava Flows and Rheology

Andrew J.L. Harris and Scott K. Rowland

18. Lava Dome Eruptions

Eliza S. Calder, Yan Lavallée, Jackie E. Kendrick and Marc Bernstein

19. Submarine Lavas and Hyaloclastite

James D.L. White, Jocelyn McPhie, and S. Adam Soule

20. Glaciovolcanism

Benjamin R. Edwards, Magnu´s T. Gudmundsson and James K. Russell



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About the Editor

Haraldur Sigurdsson

Haraldur Sigurdsson is emeritus professor at the Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island in the United States of America. He has worked on volcanic processes and the geochemistry of volcanic rocks for over fifty years. His studies have in part been focused on the impact of volcanic activity on human populations, especially his work on Vesuvius in Italy, Tambora in Indonesia, El Chichon in Mexico and studies of deadly gas bursts from Cameroon crater lakes. He has also studied the global environmental effects of meteorite impacts, such as the one that marks the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary. His books include Melting the Earth, accounting for the evolution of ideas about formation of magmas and the origin of volcanic eruptions. Haraldur is currently director of the Volcano Museum in Stykkisholmur, Iceland.

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland

Bruce Houghton

Bruce Houghton is the Gordon MacDonald Professor in Volcanology at University of Hawaii at Manoa and Hawaiian State Volcanologist and a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand. He is also Science Director at the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center at University of Hawaii. Previously he had a career of twenty five years as a volcanologist in New Zealand, culminating in leading the scientific response to the 1995-96 eruption of Ruapehu volcano. Bruce has published over 220 research papers in international journals and has worked in Alaska, Chile, El Salvador, Greece, Hawaii, Iceland, Italy, Germany, Nicaragua, Thailand and New Zealand.

Affiliations and Expertise

National Disaster Preparedness Training Center, University of Hawaii, Manoa, HI, USA

Steve McNutt

Steve McNutt is a Professor in the School of Geosciences at the University of South Florida (USF). He has worked on volcanic processes using seismology, infrasound, and lightning instruments for over 35 years. He worked half time for the Alaska Volcano Observatory from 1991-2012 and was closely involved in monitoring efforts for eruptions at Spurr, Pavlof, Shishaldin, Augustine, Okmok, Kasatochi, and Redoubt volcanoes. He coordinates seismology research at USF, and presently supervises 3 graduate students and a Post-Doc. His research interests include: 1) studies of source and propagation effects for volcanic tremor, low-frequency events, and explosion earthquakes; 2) volcanic hazards assessments in Alaska, California, and Central America; 3) the mechanical behavior of volcanoes, including periodicity of eruptions, and the effects of earth tides, sea level variations, and tectonic stresses on triggering eruptive activity; 4) volcano infrasound; and 5) volcanic lightning. From July 1999 to July 2007 he served as Secretary-General for the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior.

Affiliations and Expertise

University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA

Hazel Rymer

Hazel Rymer is presently the Dean and Director of Studies in the Faculty of Science and Profesor of Environmental Volcanology. Hazel has developed and championed the use of microgravity as a tool for monitoring active volcanoes. She has used this method to identify sub-surface processes at calderas in a state of unrest and at persistently active volcanoes and this has given geoscientists considerable insight into the range of mechanisms responsible for initiating and sustaining volcanic activity. The technique Hazel pioneered is now the standard method for gravity monitoring on volcanoes; it remains the only way to quantify the sub-surface mass changes that occur before, during and after eruptions.

Affiliations and Expertise

Open University, Milton Keynes, UK

John Stix

John Stix has studied active volcanoes for 26 years, specializing in volcanic gases, eruption mechanisms, and the impact of volcanic activity. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in volcanology, natural hazards, and environmental geology. He also is involved in field courses, where he exposes students to hands-on observations of natural processes such as volcanic eruptions and floods. He has been involved in many training courses and workshops in Canada, the US, and Latin America to teach volcanology. He has collaborated extensively with colleagues in Colombia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Ecuador in volcano studies and volcanic hazards. From 2003 to 2010 he was the Editor-in-Chief of the Bulletin of Volcanology, the leading international journal related to the study of volcanoes and volcanism. He is currently part of an international team to drill into an active silicic magma body beneath Krafla volcano in Iceland.

Affiliations and Expertise

McGill University, Montreal, Canada


2016 PROSE Awards - Honorable Mention, Earth Science: Association of American Publishers, Encyclopedia of Volcanoes


"There are many figures, tables, photographs, and charts, many of them in color in this well-produced second edition...I would recommend this volume to anyone interested in volcanoes and their activity." --The Leading Edge

"...provides an in-depth and scientific overview of volcanoes including how they are formed and monitored, but it also examines such unique topics as volcanoes in art and volcano tourism...the most comprehensive referenced book on volcanism that I've ever come across." --Tundraco