I became interested in volcanoes when I was around six. The trigger was an extraordinary movie on active volcanoes, “Les Rendez-Vous du Diable” (released as “Volcano” in the UK, where it won a British Academy award in 1962) in which lava lakes, lava flows, and Strombolian explosions could be seen as if you were looking into the torrid mouths of volcanoes (Fig. 1.1). Some of the shots were amazing: the intrepid volcanologist in short pants standing on the rim of Stromboli crater while incandescent lava bombs blasted out way above his head, propagating the...

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