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Catastrophes!

Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Tornadoes, and Other Earth-Shattering Disasters

Donald R. Prothero

Publication Date
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Devastating natural disasters have profoundly shaped human history, leaving us with a respect for the mighty power of the earth—and a humbling view of our future. Paleontologist and geologist Donald R. Prothero tells the harrowing human stories behind these catastrophic events.

Prothero describes in gripping detail some of the most important natural disasters in history:

• the New Madrid, Missouri, earthquakes of 1811–1812 that caused church bells to ring in Boston
• the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that killed more than 230,000 people
• the massive volcanic eruptions of Krakatau, Mount Tambora...

Devastating natural disasters have profoundly shaped human history, leaving us with a respect for the mighty power of the earth—and a humbling view of our future. Paleontologist and geologist Donald R. Prothero tells the harrowing human stories behind these catastrophic events.

Prothero describes in gripping detail some of the most important natural disasters in history:

• the New Madrid, Missouri, earthquakes of 1811–1812 that caused church bells to ring in Boston
• the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that killed more than 230,000 people
• the massive volcanic eruptions of Krakatau, Mount Tambora, Mount Vesuvius, Mount St. Helens, and Nevado del Ruiz

His clear and straightforward explanations of the forces that caused these disasters accompany gut-wrenching accounts of terrifying human experiences and a staggering loss of human life.

Floods that wash out whole regions, earthquakes that level a single country, hurricanes that destroy everything in their path—all are here to remind us of how little control we have over the natural world. Dramatic photographs and eyewitness accounts recall the devastation wrought by these events, and the people—both heroes and fools—that are caught up in the earth's relentless forces.

Eerie, fascinating, and often moving, these tales of geologic history and human fortitude and folly will stay with you long after you put the book down.

Reviews

Reviews

If you want to learn more about these disasters than just what's in the news headlines, this is the book for you.

During a time when global climate change is becoming an increasing concern and details of global catastrophes arrive on our computer screens as they unfold elsewhere, Prothero’s book is a useful guide to the mechanisms and effects of some of nature’s most frightening events.

Fascinating reading, if somewhat terrifying... Prothero explains the geologic and meteorological forces behind disasters, emphasizing the science with examples of real-world events, giving us a three-dimensional view of not only the natural processes involved but the human and monetary toll, as well.

This book... has the bases covered. Prothero is an engaging writer.

Recommended.

About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
360
ISBN
9780801896927
Illustration Description
80 b&w photos, 37 line drawings, 16 color plates
Table of Contents

Preface
Prologue: Catastrophism and Uniformitarianism
1. Earthquakes: The Earth in Upheaval
2. Tsunamis: The Sea Rises Up
3. Volcanoes: Hell's Cauldron
4. Landslides: Gravity Always Wins
5. Floods: Raging

Preface
Prologue: Catastrophism and Uniformitarianism
1. Earthquakes: The Earth in Upheaval
2. Tsunamis: The Sea Rises Up
3. Volcanoes: Hell's Cauldron
4. Landslides: Gravity Always Wins
5. Floods: Raging Waters
6. Hurricanes, Cyclones, and Typhoons: Nature on the Rampage
7. Tornadoes: Funnels of Death
8. Blizzards: White Death
9. Ice Ages: Frozen Planet
10. Greenhouse Planet: Too Hot to Handle?
11. Mass Extinctions: When Life Nearly Died
12. Can We Survive Nature—and Our Own Folly?
Bibliography
Index

Author Bio
Donald R. Prothero
Featured Contributor

Donald R. Prothero, Ph.D.

Donald R. Prothero is a professor of geology at Occidental College and coeditor or author of many books, including Horns, Tusks, and Flippers: The Evolution of Hoofed Mammals, published by Johns Hopkins; The Evolution of Perissodactyls; and Bringing Fossils to Life: An Introduction to Paleobiology.