The Million Death Quake: The Science of Predicting Earth's Deadliest Natural Disaster [NOOK Book]

Overview


For centuries, Californians and the Japanese have known that they were at risk of catastrophic earthquakes, and prepared accordingly. But when a violent 7.0 earthquake rocked Haiti in 2010, hardly anyone knew the island nation was even at risk for disaster, and, tragically, no one was prepared. Over 300,000 people died as buildings that had never been designed to withstand such intense shaking toppled over and crushed their inhabitants. Now, scientists warn that it won't be long before a single, catastrophic ...

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The Million Death Quake: The Science of Predicting Earth's Deadliest Natural Disaster

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Overview


For centuries, Californians and the Japanese have known that they were at risk of catastrophic earthquakes, and prepared accordingly. But when a violent 7.0 earthquake rocked Haiti in 2010, hardly anyone knew the island nation was even at risk for disaster, and, tragically, no one was prepared. Over 300,000 people died as buildings that had never been designed to withstand such intense shaking toppled over and crushed their inhabitants. Now, scientists warn that it won't be long before a single, catastrophic quake kills one million people - and that it is going to strike right where we least expect it. In this groundbreaking book, renowned seismologist with the British Geological Survey Roger Musson takes us on an exhilarating journey to explore what scientists and engineers are doing to prepare us for the worst. With riveting tales of the scientists who first cracked the mystery of what causes the ground to violently shake, Musson makes plain the powerful geological forces driving earthquakes and tsunamis, and shows how amazing feats of engineering are making our cities earthquake-proof. Highlighting hotspots around the world from Mexico City to New York this is a compelling scientific adventure into nature at its fiercest.


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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Could the earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010 have been predicted and 300,000 deaths prevented? Answering this pressing question with an informative but lackluster study, seismologist and geologist Musson says that prediction is still a challenge, but preventing deaths is within our reach. “Earthquakes don’t kill people, buildings do” is one chapter title. As cities grow into megacities with cheaply constructed buildings, the odds of a million-death earthquake increase. Musson explains the geological forces that cause earthquakes and the three criteria for measuring the risk of damage: hazard, the chance that shaking will occur in a given place; exposure, how much can be damaged from an earthquake; and vulnerability, a measure of how strong or weak buildings are in the stricken area. As cities continue to grow, planners must consider how buildings are constructed. Musson offers suggestions on how a building’s shape (irregular rather than square), materials (lighter rather than heavier), and engineering (testing design ideas with “artificial” earthquakes) can make it less likely to cause deaths. Musson counsels that it is everyone’s responsibility to prepare to respond by, for instance, knowing to turn gas off and remain outdoors and away from buildings after an earthquake. Illus. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
"Compulsively readable."—Slate

“People with no background in Earth sciences can understand every word of it; its author is the head of seismic hazard for the British Geological Survey and writes with authority; and, above all, it could help save lives…earthquakes don't kill people – their offices, factories, tenements and houses do. There could hardly be a more serious take-home message.”—The Guardian

"A lay-reader-friendly guide to seismology fundamentals, from early theories about earthquake origins to the workings of contemporary plate tectonics...Musson demonstrates why his expertise is much in demand in the wake of each new quake by keeping readers absorbed with clear explanations and colorful anecdotes about one of nature’s most calamitous forces."—Booklist

“An authoritative and accessible investigation of one of nature’s most destructive forces.”—Kirkus Reviews

"Roger Musson has written a sobering assessment of the global hazards posed by earthquakes. He gives us an eloquent grounding in seismology based on science and history and confronts the questions of prediction and survival with balanced honesty. Buy a copy of this essential book and read it again and again."—Brian Fagan, author of Elixir: A History of Water and Humankind and The Little Ice Age

"Geophysicist Roger Musson provides an insider’s view of seismology, from riveting accounts of historic earthquakes to the sobering modern reality that as global population grows, future earthquakes could cause unprecedented devastation.  But he also argues that lives can be saved — if we have the political will — through investment in earthquake engineering and real-time digital warning systems.  Essential reading for policymakers, planners, builders, investors, and all citizens of this tectonically vigorous planet."—Marcia Bjørnerud, author of Reading the Rocks

"A solid look at a shaky topic that shows why the whole world is earthquake country when it comes to disaster prevention."— David R. Montgomery, author of The Rocks Don't Lie: A Geologist Investigates Noah's Flood

"The Million Death Quake is an entertaining history of earthquakes, with both compelling stories of some of the deadliest disasters of all time and stories of how scientists very slowly came to understand what causes them.  The author provides very clear scientific explanations of earthquakes and of the reasons why we still cannot predict them.  Throughout the book Musson puts the entire subject in very human terms, emphasizing especially the important factor of population vulnerability.  Because we cannot predict earthquakes our only progress in reducing earthquake deaths has been through improved building construction.  But many densely populated cities lack such building improvements on a large enough scale, making possible the potential disaster that gives this book its title."—Bruce Parker, author of The Power of the Sea

"A crystal-clear primer on everything seismological...What makes earthquake disasters all the more harrowing is that in many cases the risks were known and heavy losses could have been avoided."—Clive Oppenheimer, author of Eruptions that Shook the World

Kirkus Reviews
A British seismologist explains earthquakes. The rumbling and shaking of earthquakes puzzled people for centuries, writes Musson, chief spokesman at the British Geological Survey. Aristotle blamed the noise on roaring winds forced through subterranean caverns. The people of Lisbon, Portugal, racked by a massive quake in 1755, felt certain God was punishing the wicked. Shortly thereafter, working with limited data, scientists began to develop an understanding: British geologist John Michell posited that earthquakes transmitted on elastic waves; his colleague Charles Lyell found evidence of moving faults. Based on observations of the archetypal San Francisco quake of 1906, Johns Hopkins geologist Harry Fielding Reid accurately defined an earthquake as a violent movement of rocks that releases energy in the form of waves that spread outward at high velocity. Musson describes the evolving science of seismology, including the development of today's global seismological networks. Analyzing the most significant earthquakes of all time--Lisbon, San Francisco and Sumatra (2004)--he explains what we know about these "strange and uncanny things" and scientists' "persistent failure" at predicting them. Based on the growing population of urban areas, especially in developing nations, where buildings are not designed to withstand violent shaking, scientists are able to predict that a massive future quake will eventually result in 1 million deaths. In villages in seismically active areas, builders generally use available materials and follow traditional practices, which can lead to high death tolls. In earthquake-savvy cities, builders prevent collapses through reinforcement and other techniques. Musson urges national governments to mandate earthquake safety programs. In the meantime, he writes, the safest place to be during a quake is under a solid piece of furniture. An authoritative and accessible investigation of one of nature's most destructive forces.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781137106995
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 10/16/2012
  • Series: MacSci
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 1,252,042
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author


Roger Musson is the Head of Seismic Hazard and Archives at the British Geological Survey, where he is the chief spokesman to the media after any major earthquake, including The Guardian, The Sunday Post, and The Telegraph. He has written op-eds for The New York Times, is a regular contributor to Fortean Times, and was interviewed by Time magazine after the Haiti earthquake. He has appeared on a variety of documentaries, including the National Geographic Channel. Musson is also on the editorial board for the Journal of Seismology, the Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering, and Natural Hazards. He lives in Edinburgh, Scotland.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

A Note about Units xi

Hotspots and Rogue Earthquakes xiii

Part 1 Problems

1 Screaming Cities 3

2 What Is an Earthquake, Anyway? 19

3 Journey to the Center of the Earth 49

4 Tracking the Unseen 73

5 How Big? How Strong? 97

6 The Wave that Shook the World 119

Part 2 Solutions

7 Prevention and Cure 145

8 Next Year's Earthquakes 153

9 Twenty-Five Seconds for Bucharest 177

10 Earthquakes Don't Kill People, Buildings Do 195

11 The Probability of Disaster 219

12 Stay Safe 233

Notes 245

Index 251

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Customer Reviews

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( 8 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2014

    Raine's Bio

    Name; Raine October Kingsly
    <br>Age; 18
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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2014

    Jason's Bio

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    Weight- 198 lbs <p>
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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2014

    Juliets bio

    Name: Juliet. Age: 17 and a half. Height: 5'9. Weight: 127. Looks: she has slight muscles but is alot stronger than she looks. She has long dyed black emo/scenish hair (but its not off the wall outrageous.). She has light blue natural-looking contacts. She has snakebite peircings on her lip and a sleeve tattoo on he left arm and a tattoo on her back. Wears: usually a sweatshirt and jeans. Persona: shes rather antisocial at first but shes tough and will stand up for who needs it. Shes not afraid to show her strength but never atvertises it. Other: meet me at hdp result one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2014

    Jade-Bio

    Name: Jade Vetre | Gender: Female | Age: 17 | Weight: 120 (your weight requirements for females are unrealistic, btw) | Height: 5'8" | Appearance: She is muscular for a girl. She has pixie-cut brown hair, with a dyed green streak. She has several tattoos. She also has a scar on her upper arm. Hazel eyes.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2014

    Macie

    Name: Macie <br>
    Age: 17 <br>
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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2014

    Okay so

    I'm assuming bios go here. My name is maggie. I am 16 and weigh 105 pounds just because i'm kind of short. But I can hold my own. I have dark blonde hair and brown eyes. I didn't see requirments about tatoos and I have three but I wont go into details. Oh...I'm a girl. Duh. And ou can contact me at "maggs" result one. I think that's it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2014

    Rules and How to RP Here.

    Rules are simple, <br> ~No ra<_>ping <p> Pretty simple, right? Good. Keep that one rule. Things you are allowed to do are below. <p> &#48679 Cursing <br> &#48679 Some fighting, nothing deadly. Just work out arguments--gangs are family. (Lol. Let's just act like it.) <br> &#48679 Making out <br> Girls are allowed as long as they don't depend on us to do everythin. They have be act tough. <br> Smoking <p> Pretty much everything else you can do. Everything -wink. You don't have to, so don't be pressured. Seperate result, of course. <p> Requirements: <p> FOR &male <br> Must weight AT LEAST 130; at the MOST 200. No fat dudes, you have to be quick and lithe on you feet. (The high weight is reserves for muscle and buff.) <br> Age has to be 16+ Max age 21. <br> Don't come in with random hair dyes... like really. <p> FOR &female <br> Weight from 105-135. We want no deathly skinny girls, but not pudge. <br> Age 15+. Yes, 15. Max 21. <br> You are aloowed bold highlights, nothing super neon, no bright pink, greens, or yellows. Darjer highlights are preferred if you wish to have them. <br> Must be able to lift a full (as in, filled with something) 3 foot high trashcan with a circumfrance of 20 inches. Meaning diameter is 10 inches. <p> Flirting is welcome, all gangs have them. Max two scars, preferably in places you don't always look at. I.e face, neck. Have them in places like: i.e arms, legs, feet, hands. <p> Our territory is a penthouse, a big one. All sofa's are black leather, one three-seater couch is a soft and fluffy brown one. Walls are painted tan. Penthouse has 5 bathrooms, 10 bedrooms (you are welcome to roomie with a friend) , one full kitchen, one half kitchen. Two living rooms with flat screens, one party room, and one dining hall/room. ~J

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2013

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