Volcanoes of North America (Paperback)

By Israel C. Russell

Barlow Press, 9781406774955, 384pp.

Publication Date: March 15, 2007

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VOLCANOES OF NORTH AMERICA INTRODUCTION IN the present volume the Western Hemisphere is considered as being divided into two portions namely, North and South America. Central America is included in the northern division for the reason that the student of volcanic phenomena finds a break in the volcanic belts which follow the western borders of the two con tinents, at the Isthmus of Darien. The series of active and recently extinct volcanoes forming the major part of the Windward islands, sepa rating the Caribbean Sea from the Atlantic, will not be considered, as it is most intimately associated with the geography and geology of South America. Although Iceland is more closely connected geographically with America than with Europe, its political association with the Old World, and the fact that it has frequently been described by European travellers, make it convenient to omit it from the present discussion. Among the leading physical features of the southern prolongation of the Noith American continent compris ing Mexico and the Central American republics, are numerous still steaming and recently extinct volcanoes, some of which have had their birth since the Spanish conquest. This region also furnishes examples of violent volcanic eruptions, one of which is probably second, in vi INTRODUCTION reference to intensity, among similar events witnessed by civilized man. Many phases of volcanic phenomena occur in the western portion of the United States. The lofty volcanic moun tains of northern California, Oregon, and Washington are among the most beautiful examples of their class to be found in the world. To the eastward of these giant peaks, whose fiery glow has been replaced by the sheen of snow-fields and glaciers, lies a vast lava-covered re gion, the only known parallel of which, in the extent and thickness of the once molten rocks, occurs in north western India. In Alaska volcanic energy is still active, and more than a-pcre of volcanoes have been in eruption since the voyages of Bering in 1725-30. It is the character and history of this vast volcanic belt, reaching from the tropical shores of Costa Rica to the western extremity of the bleak and inhospitable Aleu tian islands, that the attention of students of geology and geography is here invited. The object of this book is to make clear the princi pal features of volcanoes in general, and to place in the hands of students a concise account of the leading facts thus far discovered, concerning the physical features of North America which can be traced directly to the in fluence of volcanic action. It is hoped that the accounts of volcanic eruptions here brought together and the discussions of the accom panying topographic changes, will lead the reader to con sult some of the numerous books to which reference is INTRODUCTION Vll made., and thus obtain, in many instances, more detailed information than it is practicable to include in a book of the character of the one here presented. While the facts described and discussed in the following pages were derived in many instances from personal observation, much is of necessity compiled from the writings of others. In all cases, I think, acknowledgments are made of the sources from which information has been borrowed. The numerous foot-notes inserted will ena ble the reader to verify the accuracy of those portions of the book which are essentially compilations. ISRAEL C. RUSSELL. UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN, May 25, 1897...