Eruption! Volcanoes and the Science of Saving Lives

Eruption! Volcanoes and the Science of Saving Lives
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Tom Uhlman

After more than a century of peaceful dormancy, the volcano Nevado del Ruiz in Columbia, South America, erupted. Blistering clouds of searing volcanic gases and ash flash-melted huge amounts of snow, launching a towering wall of hot mud toward the village of Armero. People ran - but they couldn't outrun the onslaught, and 23,000 perished.

More than a billion people - one out of every five people in the world - are threatened by volcanic eruptions like Nevado del Ruiz. Countless cities, towns, homes, and schools all over the globe reside in the shadow of more than 1,500 potentially dangerous volcanoes - 160 in the United States alone. Given the constant danger, is there any way to know when a volcano will erupt and how violent will it be?

The volcanologists Andy Lockhart and John Pallister want to know the answers to those questions, and they're willing to risk their lives to find them. Andy and John lead a small group of scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey known as the Volcano Disaster Assistance Program (VDAP). Join these scientists on the flanks of steaming, quaking, ash-spewing volcanoes all over the world - from Colombia and the Philippines to Chile and Indonesia - as they struggle to predict eruptions and prevent tragedies. This gripping addition to the acclaimed Scientists in the Field series brings you along with the volcanologists as they helicopter onto active volcanoes to install equipment, climb into blast ones to collect ash samples, and endure suspense as they wait to find out if their predictions are right...or wrong.

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