Fire and Mud: Eruptions and Lahars of Mount Pinatubo, Philippines
Fire and Mud is a comprehensive document of the awakening of a volcano after a 500-year sleep. Its 62 technical papers tell the scientific and human ... Show synopsis Fire and Mud is a comprehensive document of the awakening of a volcano after a 500-year sleep. Its 62 technical papers tell the scientific and human story of the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo and the events surrounding it. Second in size this century only to an eruption in Katmai, Alaska, in 1912, and ten times larger than the eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980, Pinatubo's eruption threatened the lives of a million people. A giant ash cloud rose 35 kilometers into the sky and hot blasts seared the countryside, a more serious disaster was averted by timely, accurate warnings. Philippine authorities were able to evacuate 60,000 people from the slopes and valleys, and the American military evacuated 18,000 personnel and their dependents from Clark Air Base below the mountain -- thus saving many thousands of lives and an estimated billion dollars in property and making this the most successful case of volcanic hazards mitigation in history. In this impressive volume, volcanologists and other experts from 10 countries explore the precursors, processes, and products of the eruption, as well as record-setting erosion and lahars (volcanic mudflows) that followed. Nearly half of what the eruption deposited on Pinatubo's slopes has now been eroded and dumped, in repeated rounds of terror, on villages at the foot or the volcano. The eruption also injected so much sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere that the global climate was cooled for about two years. Volcanologists and civil defense officials will consult this book for years to come as they seek to understand large eruptions and to protect communities at risk from long-dormant volcanoes. Scholars and students will find here aninterdisciplinary view of a fascinating, incredibly dynamic geologic system. Others with a modest technical background and interest in volcanoes will find many individual essays of interest.