Studies in Volcanology: The Legacy of George Walker

Thor Thordarson
Geological Society of London, 2009 - 413 Seiten
Professor George Patrick Leonard Walker was one of the fathers of modern quantitative volcanology and arguably the foremost volcanologist of the twentieth century. In his long career, George studied a wide spectrum of volcanological problems and in doing so influenced almost every branch of the field. This volume, which honours his memory and his contributions to the field of volcanology, contains a collection of papers inspired by, and building upon, many of the ideas previously developed by George. Many of the contributors either directly studied under and worked with George, or were profoundly influenced by his ideas. The topics broadly fall under the three themes of lava flows and effusion, explosive volcanism, and volcanoes and their infrastructure.

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This book is IAVCEI Special Publication No. 2. It honours the memory and contributions of Professor George Patrick Leonard Walker, one of the fathers of modern quantitative volcanology, through a collection of papers inspired by, and building upon, many of the ideas previously developed by Walker. Following an introduction on Walker’s contribution to the field of volcanology, the papers of this volume are logically divided into subsections on “Features and emplacement modes of lava flows” (4 papers), “Processes, styles and hazards of explosive volcanism” (8 papers), and “Infrastructures and processes of volcanic provinces and volcanoes” (5 papers, plus 1 pictorial summary). The introduction by R.S.J. Sparks clearly shows how George Walker, despite his relatively limited mathematical background, revolutionized the science of volcanology through detailed field observations with an emphasis on quantitative measurements. Therefore, in many ways the introduction serves as an introduction to modern volcanology itself.
The editors of this book have done an excellent job in compiling a number of insightful papers on volcanological phenomena. In terms of research themes addressed, the section on lava flows is dominated by two very detailed studies from Surtsey, but these do have some wider implications. The section on explosive volcanism provides a very balanced overview of different eruption styles and methods of investigation, with examples taken from many parts of the world. The section on volcanic provinces begins with a theoretical study, followed by a global perspective, but then is again dominated by three papers dealing with Iceland. The relatively large number of studies on Icelandic topics clearly reflects George Walker’s lifelong interest in Icelandic geology. However, most papers are based on very detailed observations and do not require advanced mathematical or numerical skills to be useful to the reader. Therefore, the volume should be of interest to advanced undergraduates and graduate students of volcanology. Intriguingly, “Studies in Volcanology” shows that a detailed understanding of many processes can be gained by employing purely volcanological methods, without much use of data derived through advanced geochemical or geophysical analytical methods. As such, this volume will also be excellent reading material for professional geochemists and geophysicists with interests in volcanic systems, because it will provide them with another dimension of relevant observations. My high recommendations for this book are probably best articulated by stating that there is no doubt George Walker himself would have enjoyed reading the papers in this comprehensive and beautifully illustrated volume.
A more detailed review has been published under


Features and emplacement modes of lava flows
Harris A J L Rowland S K Effusion rate controls on lava flow length and the role of heat
Thordarson T Sigmarsson O Effusive activity in the 19631967 Surtsey eruption
Sigmarsson O Thordarson T Jakobsson S P Segregations in Surtsey lavas Iceland
Processes styles and hazards of explosive volcanism
Sable J E Houghton B F Wilson C J N Carey R J Eruption mechanisms during
Clarke A B Phillips J C Chojnicki K N An investigation of Vulcanian eruption
Wadge G Assessing the pyroclastic flow hazards from dome collapse at Soufriere Hills
Marti J Geyer A Folch A A genetic classification of collapse calderas based on field
Infrastructures and processes of volcanic provinces and volcanoes
White J D L Bryan S E Ross P S Self S Thordarson T Physical volcanology of
Hjartarson A Central volcanoes as indicators for the spreading rate in Iceland
Gudmundsson A Friese N Andrew R Philipp S L Ertl G Letourneur L
Burchardt S Gudmundsson A The infrastructure of Geitafell Volcano Southeast Iceland
Rowland S K Sparks R S J A pictoral summary of the life and work of George Patrick

J N Gravley D M Leonard G S Rowland J V Volcanism in the central

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