Hardcover: 432 pages
Publisher: Routledge (30 Mar 1995)
Monitoring active volcanoes is a comprehensive text which addresses the importance of volcano surveillance in the context of forecasting eruptive activity and mitigating its effects. The spectacular and climactic eruption of Mount St Helens in May 1980 heralded not only the worst series of volcanic disasters since the early years of this century but also an increase in the level and quality of scientific research aimed at understanding better how volcanoes function and how their detrimental effects on society can be mitigated. A critical element in the achievement of these goals lies in the development and operation of volcano monitoring techniques and procedures aimed at providing a greater understanding of the nature of volcanic "plumbing" systems, and the ability to generate better-constrained predictions about the form and timing of future eruptive behaviour.
All the techniques currently in use in volcano monitoring around the world are systematically discussed in the book, including not only the traditional core of seismic and ground deformation monitoring, but also more innovative techniques involving, for example, the recording of microgravity and micromagnetic variations, and the changing compositions of volcanic gases and liquids. The increasingly important role of Earth observation satellites is stressed, particularly with regard to the recently acquired capabilities for measuring surface deformation, recognising thermal anomalies, and monitoring gas and ash plumes from space-based platforms. Incorporating the most up-to-date research, "Monitoring active volcanoes" provides an invaluable insight into how and why volcanoes are monitored. As such, it constitutes essential reading for not only professional volcanologists and geophysicists but also postgraduates in these fields, and for all Earth scientists with an interest in one of the planet's most enigmatic and destructive phenomena.