After the Earth Quakes

Author: Susan Elizabeth Hough
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0195179137
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Earthquakes rank among the most terrifying natural disasters faced by mankind. Out of a clear blue sky-or worse, a jet black one-comes shaking strong enough to hurl furniture across the room, human bodies out of bed, and entire houses off of their foundations. When the dust settles, the immediate aftermath of an earthquake in an urbanized society can be profound. Phone and water supplies can be disrupted for days, fires erupt, and even a small number of overpass collapses can snarl traffic for months. However, when one examines the collective responses of developed societies to major earthquake disasters in recent historic times, a somewhat surprising theme emerges: not only determination, but resilience; not only resilience, but acceptance; not only acceptance, but astonishingly, humor. Elastic rebound is one of the most basic tenets of modern earthquake science, the term that scientists use to describe the build-up and release of energy along faults. It is also the best metaphor for societal responses to major earthquakes in recent historic times. After The Earth Quakes focuses on this theme, using a number of pivotal and intriguing historic earthquakes as illustration. The book concludes with a consideration of projected future losses on an increasingly urbanized planet, including the near-certainty that a future earthquake will someday claim over a million lives. This grim prediction impels us to take steps to mitigate earthquake risk, the innately human capacity for rebound notwithstanding.

Disaster Deferred

Author: Seth Stein
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 023152241X
Format: PDF
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Known as the New Madrid seismic zone, the Midwestern rift between two geologic plates on the continental US has led many people to believe in strong likelihood of an imminent and hugely destructive earthquake in the Midwest. After the San Francisco earthquake of 1905 the biggest and most damaging earthquake in US history was the one in New Madrid, Missouri in 1811-1812. This New Madrid story has been written about and debated for years in advanced scientific communications and in the popular media. Yet, there has never been an accurate and approachable telling of the real science and the hazard preparation policy that is warranted in light of the science. With the 200th anniversary of the New Madrid earthquake coming up in 2011 and numerous predictions of doom in the media there will be a lot of interest in this topic. After Hurricane Katrina the whole topic of disaster preparation has become a major issue in scientific media and the public eye. Seth Stein is THE author to tell this story. He is a major figure in US Geosicence and a leading seismologist. He was actively involved in doing the research on the New Madrid Rift Zone. He writes beautifully and has a knack for telling stories about how science is done - the give and take of different hypotheses and the scientific leg work to test these ideas all get a clear and engaging exposition in what the author calls a "Discover Magazine" style. How the science gets played out in a policy arena and how the media can distort sound science to create a good story are also important features of the book. Along the way this book presents a solid dose of real science - the basics of earthquake science and seismology are given a very lively treatment here all within the context of a fascinating tale that features science, history, psychology and public policy.

Earthshaking Science

Author: Susan Elizabeth Hough
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691050102
Format: PDF, ePub
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A research seismologist from one of North America's most active earthquake zones sifts through the facts and misinformation about earthquakes, filling in blanks surrounding plate tectonics history while considering such topics as earthquake predictability and the technologies of the past half century.

Denial of Disaster

Author: Gladys C. Hansen
Publisher: Cameron & Company
ISBN: 9780918684332
Format: PDF, ePub
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With beautiful laser scanner duotones and 365 previously unpublished photographs, this is a fascinating study of the "great quake" in San Francisco in 1906--and of the likelihood of a similar quake today.

Richter s Scale

Author: Susan Elizabeth Hough
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400884446
Format: PDF, ePub
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By developing the scale that bears his name, Charles Richter not only invented the concept of magnitude as a measure of earthquake size, he turned himself into nothing less than a household word. He remains the only seismologist whose name anyone outside of narrow scientific circles would likely recognize. Yet few understand the Richter scale itself, and even fewer have ever understood the man. Drawing on the wealth of papers Richter left behind, as well as dozens of interviews with his family and colleagues, Susan Hough takes the reader deep into Richter's complex life story, setting it in the context of his family and interpersonal attachments, his academic career, and the history of seismology. Among his colleagues Richter was known as intensely private, passionately interested in earthquakes, and iconoclastic. He was an avid nudist, seismologists tell each other with a grin; he dabbled in poetry. He was a publicity hound, some suggest, and more famous than he deserved to be. But even his closest associates were unaware that he struggled to reconcile an intense and abiding need for artistic expression with his scientific interests, or that his apparently strained relationship with his wife was more unconventional but also stronger than they knew. Moreover, they never realized that his well-known foibles might even have been the consequence of a profound neurological disorder. In this biography, Susan Hough artfully interweaves the stories of Richter's life with the history of earthquake exploration and seismology. In doing so, she illuminates the world of earth science for the lay reader, much as Sylvia Nasar brought the world of mathematics alive in A Beautiful Mind.

Living with Earthquakes in California

Author: Robert S. Yeats
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780870714931
Format: PDF
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Combining cutting-edge research with practical safety information, Living with Earthquakes examines the major faults that threaten Northern and Southern California and Nevada; explores topics ranging from earthquake forecasting and catastrophe insurance to the risks of tsunamis and soil liquefaction; reviews the current level of earthquake preparedness and disaster response; and suggests actions that citizens can take to protect their families and homes."