Book review: Volcanoes of Europe (2nd edition), by Dougal J Jerram, Alwyn Scarth and Jean-Claude Tanguy
Jon Trevelyan (UK)
In this second edition, Dougal Jerram has revised and updated the 2001 version, first published by Alwyn Scarth and Jean-Claude Tanguy. This is to reflect modern research and understanding of Europe’s volcanoes of the last 10,000 years (active, dormant and extinct). This means that Scotland’s ancient volcanoes are not covered, but more recent (in geological terms) eruptions, like that at Santorini at around 3,600 years ago and ongoing volcanic activity, are covered in detail.
Europe is defined somewhat arbitrarily as not including Turkey and the Caucuses, but to include (among others) Iceland, Svalbard and the Azores, notwithstanding that some of these are on the North American and African plates, respectively. This isn’t really a problem, because, as always with Dunedin, the book is beautifully presented, with full colour photos and diagrams, together with text boxes (introducing some of the scientists involved in the ongoing study of the volcanoes, and historical and other facts about particular volcanoes) and a glossary of the more obscure terms used.
The guide introduces the reader to the general geology of volcanoes, including (among many other topics) igneous rock types, different sorts of eruptions, extraordinary volcanic plumbing systems and the plate tectonics aspects of European volcanoes. It then moves on to cover specific volcanoes in Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Iceland, Norway, France and Germany – as they are today and how they have shaped our past, their environmental aspects and their contemporary activity. In addition, consideration is given to the effect on people who live in their shadows, benefitting economically from their fertile soils and mineral wealth, but threatened with destruction by their violence.
The book is written for students, and also amateur and professional earth scientists. In fact, anyone who lives in Europe and/or is interested by this fascinating subject will be interested in the guide.
Douglas Jerram is the direct of DougalEARTH Ltd and holds a Professor II position at the Centre for Earth Evolution at the University of Oslo. He has also frequently appeared on television as an expert presenter, together with writing “Introducing Volcanology – A guide to Hot Rocks” (also published by Dunedin), which I reviewed in Issue 29 of this magazine.
Volcanoes of Europe (2nd edition), by Dougal J Jerram, Alwyn Scarth and Jean-Claude Tanguy, Dunedin Academic Press Ltd, Edinburgh (2013), 118 pages (hardback), ISBN: 978-1780460420