Monday, May 30, 2005

Useful guide while visiting volcanoes

For Rosaly Lopes, watching a volcano spout smoke or staring into a bubbling pit of lava is the best adventure on earth.

Lopes, who studies volcanos around the globe and throughout the solar system for NASA, wrote "The Volcano Adventure Guide" because people were always asking her for advice on visiting volcanos.

The book explains the science and history of volcanos but also provides practical information about visiting volcanos in Hawaii, Iceland, Greece, Costa Rica, the Caribbean, the continental United States and Italy. Lopes explains how to stay safe, where to hike for the best views, and even lists other attractions nearby.

In Italy, volcanos range from Mount Vesuvius, which has been dormant since 1944, to Stromboli, which has small eruptions every 20 minutes or so that are relatively safe to see from nearby. American sites include Mount St. Helens and Mount Rainier in Washington.

"The Volcano Adventure Guide," a hardcover published by England's Cambridge University Press, is $50.

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