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School Library JournalGr 9 Up
More than a simple discussion of the phenomena of the title, this compact but detailed work describes, clearly and accurately, many of the forces that create the Earth's surface features. This edition has approximately 1500 entries, including 200 new ones that provide expanded historical and geographic coverage, events up to 2006, and more on tsunamis. It opens with a necessarily complex, but excellent, essay on the science of plate tectonics, the foundation of modern geology. Next are alphabetical, cross-referenced entries of place names (with information on activity in all U.S. states, as well as expected entries on places like Vesuvius); scientific terms; notable events, such as "Banda Aceh: earthquake and tsunamis" (unfortunately not listed under "tsunami" in either the main encyclopedia or the index); and other short essays ("aviation and volcanoes"). The work benefits from details that are often omitted as too obvious; for example, it explains why the land under the oceans is lower that the rest (it is lighter and more susceptible to gravity). Entries are enhanced by numerous clear, black-and-white maps, diagrams, photographs, and tables. Appendixes include a chronology of earthquakes and volcanoes, with approximate death tolls; eyewitness accounts of major disasters, even describing Vesuvius in A.D. 79; and tables comparing the strengths of various eruptions and quakes. There are no other similar works. Textbooks covering the same information are too dense for this audience; other relevant works are too juvenile.
—Henrietta Thornton-VermaCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.