Santorini, a volcanic island in the Aegean Sea, exploded violently around 1500 BC, wiping out the entire Minoan civilization. A volcanic-ash-rich mudflow swept down the slopes of Nevado del Ruiz in 1985, killing 23,000 people in Colombia. Oral and written histories are rife with tales of volcanic calamities that destroyed entire civilizations and killed thousands of people. But why do volcanoes occur and how do they work? Only recently have scientists started to understand the vulcanian forces of the earth's interior. From the 7,200-degree-Fahrenheit core to the fragmented crust of the earth's surface, Living Mountains explains all aspects of volcanology. With Kornprobst's lucid prose and Laverne's 46 vivid watercolors, readers can see and understand the workings of subduction zones and seafloor spreading, how different lavas form through the partial melting of the earth's various rocks, and why some volcanoes ooze fluid `a`a lavas while others explode 30,000-foot clouds of ash and incendiary lava bombs. Written for a general audience, Living Mountains provides a deeper understanding of some of the most powerful forces humans have ever witnessed.