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After the Earth Quakes: Elastic Rebound on an Urban Planet 1st Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0195179132
ISBN-10: 0195179137
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Editorial Reviews


"After the Earth Quakes is definitely a worthy book to read. Since the authors manage to convey their message, as well as some basic seismological concepts, without a single equation, it is accessible to the general public, however it will be enjoyed most by seismologists and engineers because of its historic and geodynamics contents. This book should be read by all students of seismology so that they know the genesis of their science, and should be required reading for all functionaries in a wide range of policy making positions."--Pure and Applied Geophysics

About the Author

Susan Hough is a seismologist at the United States Geological Survey in Pasadena, California. She has served as an editor and contributor for many journals and is a contributing editor to "Geotimes Magazine." She is the author of three previous books, including "Earthshaking Science" (Princeton).

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (November 24, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195179137
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195179132
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 1 x 6.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,915,354 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Bruce Crocker on December 18, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Susan Hough, rising star of the southern California earthquake science scene, and Roger Bilham, professor extraordinaire from the University of Colorado Boulder, have given us a very different earthquake book in _After the Earth Quakes: elastic rebound on an Urban planet_. Hough and Bilham focus primarily on historical earthquakes for which no instrumental readings exist and for which researchers must use anecdotal and often flawed "felt reports" and pre-photographic damage surveys to reconstruct the events surrounding an earthquake. The authors show us how the seismic sciences advanced with each new devastating earthquake, starting with the great Lisbon earthquake [and tsunami and fire] of 1755. The book is more or less chronological through chapter 8 and then splays off like a complex fault zone into more topical chapters [tsunamis, Los Angeles]. The book is both optimistic - the use of the term elastic rebound metaphorically to refer to how humans usually react [positively and generously] after a destructive earthquake - and pessimistic - even though scientists long ago internalized the idea that Nick Ambraseys summarizes with the quote "Earthquakes don't kill people, buildings do!", urban humanity may bring on even bigger disasters by failing to enact or ignoring well-designed building codes [often after the cold calculations of a cost-benefit analysis].

In my opinion, by focusing on earthquake intensity [as measured on the modified Mercalli scale using "felt reports" and damage surveys], _After the Earth Quakes_ is a great companion piece to other earthquakes books that focus on geophysics and earthquake magnitude [as measured on the Gutenberg-Richter scale].
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