Super Volcano

The Ticking Time Bomb Beneath Yellowstone National Park

By Greg Breining
(Voyageur Press, Hardcover, 9780760329252, 256pp.)

Publication Date: October 2007

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback

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Despite growing evidence of geothermic activity under America's first and foremost national park, it took geologists a long time to realize that there was actually a volcano beneath Yellowstone. And then, why couldn't they find the caldera or crater? Because, as an aerial photograph finally revealed, the caldera is 45 miles wide, encompassing all of Yellowstone. What will happen, in human terms, when it erupts?

Greg Breining explores the shocking answer to this question and others in a scientific yet accessible look at the enormous natural disaster brewing beneath the surface of the United States. Yellowstone is one of the world's five "super volcanoes." When it erupts, much of the nation will be hit hard.

Though historically Yellowstone has erupted about every 600,000 years, it has not done so for 630,000, meaning it is 30,000 years overdue. Starting with a scenario of what will happen when Yellowstone blows, this fascinating study describes how volcanoes function and includes a timeline of famous volcanic eruptions throughout history.

About the Author

Greg Breining writes about the environment, adventure, and worldwide travel for The New York Times, National Geographic Traveler, Sports Illustrated, Audubon, and other publications. His books include Minnesota Yesterday & Today, Wild Shore, and Return of the Eagle, among others. Breining lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Praise For Super Volcano

PW Web Excusive Online reviews

“Science writer and author Breining (Return of the Eagle) gives readers a solid introduction to modern volcanology in this look at ‘super volcanoes’ in general … and the Yellowstone caldera … Breining has done a public service by bringing these hazards to light with straight-forward writing and a well-organized text, clearly explaining complicated, violent geological processes without ignoring the awe-inspiring beauty of volcanic landscapes … Bolstered by clearly laid-out maps, Breining’s talent for elucidating complex phenomena makes this one of the best books on volcanoes a general reader can hope for.”

Choice, March 2008
Super Volcano
captures the essence, the excitement, and the deep and far-reaching influence of the world's greatest heat anomaly.  Breining writes for the layperson with enthusiasm and informality, bringing the subjects to life...A rare read! Highly recommended".

BOOK NEWS Inc, December 2007

“Using field research and interviews with geologists and a paleontologist, Breining, an environmental and travel writer, reveals the truth about the Yellowstone super volcano.”

Bookwormsez syndicated column, December 2007

“This book is fascinating and scary all at once and your recipients will gush over it.”

Review in Choice, March 1, 2008 (Circ.: 3,050 - Written for librarians. Contains critical, concise reviews of books suitable for college and university library collections)

 Fascination with Yellowstone grows and grows as we learn more about the history, the present situation, and the inevitable developments in near and distant future time. Super Volcano captures the essence, the excitement, and the deep and far-reaching influence of the world's greatest heat anomaly. Sections of this concise and easily readable book include 1) descriptions of volcanic activity, thermal springs, strange ecosystems, and earthquakes; 2) geological uniqueness and comparisons with other volcanic areas; 3) little-known and far-distant effects of Yellowstone eruptions of great relevance to humanity; 4) other super volcanoes in recent geologic time (Yellowstone is the fourth-largest known); and 5) prospects and circumstances of the next big blast from Yellowstone. Breining writes for the layperson with enthusiasm and informality, bringing the subjects to life with copious quotes from naturalists, field leaders, and volcanologists. Yellowstone and other super volcanoes are considered in terms of plate tectonics, evolution of scientific insights into the natural world, and--extremely important and underappreciated--impacts on the history and survival capabilities of humanity. A rare read! Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels. -- T. L.T. Grose, Colorado School of Mines

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