Cover image for Earthquakes : science and society
Earthquakes : science and society
Brumbaugh, David S.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Upper Saddle River, NJ : Prentice Hall, [1999]

Physical Description:
x, 251 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm.
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QE534.2 .B78 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Non-quantitative and carefully illustrated, unique in both organization and approach, this three-books-in-one book introduces the scientific, historical, and personal safety aspects of earthquakes. Significantly broad in perspective on the subject, this book provides the basic scientific facts about earthquakes, explaining how the study of earthquakes has progressed through time, offering details on the development of earthquake instruments, and covering immediately practical aspects such as personal safety, building and living in areas prone to earthquakes, and earthquake geography. For a variety of careers in Geology, Environmental Science, Forestry, or Urban Planning professions.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Brumbaugh writes primarily for an undergraduate introductory course on earthquakes for nonscience majors. Brumbaugh writes clearly and makes very good use of boxes to highlight specific subjects. Complex subjects are explained simply; Brumbaugh's explanation for seismic moment is the most comprehensive and easily understandable that this reviewer has read. Standard reference diagrams found in other earthquake texts are included, and a good review of the history of the development of plate tectonics is offered. In the section on the earth's interior, it is surprising to find missing some new seismic determinations published in the last few years. At the 670-km boundary, some subducted slabs flatten out along the boundary while others penetrate it, and the likelihood is that the core-mantle boundary region is a "graveyard" for these subducted slabs. This is new and fascinating information about the earth's interior structure and behavior, and it is too bad it was not included. Information on mantle plumes is also missing. Brumbaugh has succeeded in his goal of creating a good undergraduate work for nonscience majors, but one may question whether the book has enough depth to fully serve as a resource. General readers; lower-division undergraduates. J. G. Patterson; Concordia University

Table of Contents

Prefacep. viii
Part I Earthquake Basicsp. 1
1 Earthquakes: Myths, Legends, and Logicp. 1
Myths, Legends, and Gods: Early Ideas on the Origin of Earthquakesp. 1
The Natural World and Earthquakesp. 6
The Age of Reason: The Eighteenth Centuryp. 7
The Elastic Rebound Theoryp. 11
Summaryp. 13
2 Measuring Earthquakesp. 17
Intensity of Ground Shakingp. 17
Development of Early Mechanical Seismographsp. 24
Seismographs and Earthquake Wavesp. 35
Digital Networks and Arraysp. 45
Summaryp. 46
3 Faults and Earthquakesp. 49
An Introduction to Faults and Faultingp. 49
Not all Faults are Alikep. 49
Fault Surfaces and Processesp. 52
Fault Behavior and Timep. 58
Faults and Topographyp. 62
Hidden Faultsp. 64
Summaryp. 68
Part II Earthquake Data Analysis and its Contributions to Sciencep. 71
4 Earthquake Size and Locationp. 71
Introductionp. 71
Earthquake Locationp. 71
Earthquake Depthp. 77
Earthquake Sizep. 79
Summaryp. 83
5 The Earthquake Processp. 87
Introductionp. 87
An Important Clue: First Motion of the Groundp. 87
The Fault-Plane Solution: A Most Powerful Toolp. 90
Focus Versus Fault: Earthquake Modelingp. 94
Fault-Plane Solution Versus Earthquake Modelingp. 99
The Hidden is Revealedp. 99
Summaryp. 102
6 Plate Tectonicsp. 104
Introductionp. 104
Puzzles and Piecesp. 104
The Appeal of Continental Drift: The Mountain that came to Mohammedp. 106
The Engine that Couldn'tp. 109
Convection and a Mobile Seafloorp. 110
Magnets, Poles, and Submarines: The Great Discoveryp. 111
Earthquakes and Plate Tectonicsp. 114
Summaryp. 118
7 Journey to the Center of Earthp. 123
Introductionp. 123
Caves and Hollow Places Below: Ideas About Earth's Interiorp. 123
Solid as a Rockp. 124
A Layered Earth: P-Wave Echoesp. 126
Structure of Earth's Interiorp. 130
X-Rays into Earth: Through a Glass Darklyp. 133
Summaryp. 137
Part III Earthquakes, Earthquake Geography, and Safetyp. 139
8 Great Historic Earthquakesp. 139
Introductionp. 139
Kourionp. 140
Baselp. 142
Shansip. 144
Jamaicap. 145
Lisbonp. 146
New Madridp. 149
Sonora, Mexicop. 151
San Franciscop. 151
Tokyop. 154
Chilep. 155
Alaskap. 158
Perup. 161
Mexico Cityp. 162
Summaryp. 163
9 Earthquakes in the United Statesp. 165
Introductionp. 165
The Western United Statesp. 165
The Eastern United Statesp. 178
Summaryp. 183
10 Earthquake Predictionp. 185
Introductionp. 185
Snakes, Yaks, and Cockroachesp. 185
New Madrid: A False Alarmp. 186
Earthquake Prediction: The Long and Short of Itp. 187
Short-Term Prediction: Precursors, Successes, and Failuresp. 191
The Role of Rock Properties in Controlling Precursorsp. 192
Parkfield: The Earthquake Prediction Experimentp. 195
Fossil Earthquakes: Rocks Tell Talesp. 197
California and the Big Onep. 199
Emergency Preparednessp. 199
Summaryp. 201
11 What to Do Before, During, and After an Earthquakep. 203
Introductionp. 203
Earthquake Hazardsp. 203
Preparation Before an Earthquakep. 205
During an Earthquakep. 209
After an Earthquakep. 209
Case Histories: Luck Plays a Partp. 209
Summaryp. 212
12 Building for Earthquake Safetyp. 213
Introductionp. 213
The Basics: What is a Building?p. 214
The Role of Design in Safetyp. 220
Ornamental Design and Chimneysp. 221
Mobile Homesp. 224
Summaryp. 224
Appendix A Government Emergency Services and Geoscience Organizationsp. 227
Appendix B Computer-Based Earthquake Informationp. 232
Appendix C Suggested Readingsp. 233
Illustration Creditsp. 235
Glossary of Termsp. 239
Indexp. 245