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Adventures in Volcanoland

Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781408714614

Price: £25

ON SALE: 4th April 2024

Genre: Earth Sciences, Geography, Environment, Planning

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Adventures in Volcanoland charts journeys across deserts, through jungles and up ice caps, to some of the world’s most important volcanoes, from Nicaragua to Hawaii, Santorini to Ethiopia, exploring Tamsin Mather’s obsession with these momentous geological formations, the cultural and religious roles they have played in the minds of those living around them at different times throughout history, and the science behind their formation and eruptions.

Volcanoes help to make and shape our world, bursting forth from inside of the earth and, in many places, looming over us. Present since the earth’s beginning they continue to maintain its life support systems and, their extraordinary chemistry may even have created the ingredients needed for life to kick start.

In some places volcanoes are even beginning to provide us with part of the energy we need to curb our use of fossil fuels. They have fascinated humans for millennia, their eruptions charted throughout history, seeming to show us how the earth has been living, breathing and changing for billions of years.

Why exactly are these geological mammoths found where they are? What can they teach us about our environment, the Anthropocene and the ecological disaster that is climate change? Are there volcanoes on other planets, and what might they tell us about whether we could one day live there if we exhaust our own habitat? How can we predict if or when volcanoes might explode?

Adventures in Volcanoland is an enthralling mix of travel, science and environmental writing for fans of Robert MacFarlane and Raynor Winn.


A powerful new voice erupts onto the scene of popular science. Mather is the perfect guide to take you on a journey through time and place to explore the fascinating science of volcanoes. Bubbling with a wonderful combination of personal insights and intriguing science
Marcus du Sautoy, author of Around the World in 80 Games
A collision of high adventure and vital science. You cannot find a more inspiring introduction to nature's most awesome power. Written with beauty, wit and clarity by one of the world's most brilliant Earth scientists, it puts volcanoes centre stage in the eternal drama of geology, climate and life
Professor Clive Oppenheimer
Adventures in Volcanoland is a real treasure, a fascinating, beautiful book on volcanology that is also the story of Mather's fascination with volcanoes and her own globe-trotting career on the front lines of scientific enquiry. Reading it feels like an adventure; it moves fearlessly across scales that range from the molecular to the celestial, and spans both intellectual history and cutting-edge scientific enquiry. Danger, sublimity, devastation and rebirth course through its pages, and Mather is a glorious guide to this extraordinary subject. She shows us the joys and trials of fieldwork, teaches us to read the secret meanings of volcanic landscapes, and gifts us with new understanding of the power of volcanoes to shape both the physical world and the inner world of our imagination
Helen Macdonald, author of H is for Hawk
Mather combines a personal story with an era-spanning scope, turning esoteric information into a colorful, engaging account