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BHSU professor publishes chapter in volcanoe encyclopedia

A chapter titled “Lava Domes and Coulees” co-authored by Dr. Steve Anderson, associate professor of geology at Black Hills State, will appear in the latest edition of the 1,400-page Encyclopedia of Volcanoes.

Written in collaboration with Dr. John Fink, Arizona State University, the chapter focuses on recent and historic eruptions that have formed a variety of thick, viscous lava flows that typically accompanied large-scale explosive eruptions, including flows at Mount St. Helens, Soufriere Hills (Monserrat), Mount Unzen (Japan) and Mount Merapi (Indonesia).

Anderson said, “The encyclopedia contains more than 80 separate peer-reviewed articles from the most prominent researchers in each sub-discipline of volcanology, and is designed to provide information for the specialist and general reader alike.”

He also noted that eight of his favorite “aesthetic” lava-dome photos are included in the chapter.

According to a description of the encyclopedia at, “Volcanoes are unquestionably one of the most spectacular and awe-inspiring features of the physical world. Our paradoxical fascination with them stems from their majestic beauty and powerful, if sometimes deadly, destructiveness.

Notwithstanding the tremendous advances in volcanology since ancient times, some of the mystery surrounding volcanic eruptions remains today. The Encyclopedia of Volcanoes summarizes our present knowledge of volcanoes. Through its thematic organization around the melting of the earth, it provides a comprehensive source of information on the multidisciplinary influences of volcanic eruptions - both the destructive and the beneficial aspects.”

Peter J. Wyllie, professor of geology, Cal Tech, said in an review, “For those who love volcanoes there is no longer any need to click-wait-click-wait-wait on the web, because all the information you need is here in one fat volume with nearly a hundred reviews by carefully selected experts."

Anderson recently returned from a one-year teaching sabbatical at the University of Arizona and is currently teaching and serving as chairman of the BHSU science department.

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