|The ash and dust released from the stupendous 1883 volcano on the Indonesian island of Krakatoa was visible in the atmosphere, worldwide, for more than three years. And in 1964, the great Alaskan earthquake increased the elevation of more than 70,000 square miles on the western coast of North America by as much as 20 feet, and caused destructive tsunamis across the Pacific.
We all know that catastrophic earthquakes and volcanoes happen. We even know, more or less, where they are likely to strike. But they never fail to shock and amaze us with their destructiveness, and in their power to dislodge what we all take for granted: firm ground beneath our feet.
In this lay reader's introduction to the most spectacular and devastating of all geological events, Rolf Schick describes how earthquakes and volcanoes are related, and how they are an integral part of Earth's structure. Tracing the latest findings and theories in plate tectonics, he helps readers ask and answer the basic questions: What was it during the formation of Earth that led to these phenomena? Why do they occur in certain areas and not in others? How can we, within reason, protect ourselves from their devastation? And how far have we come, and how far can we go, in predicting when they will strike?
For the reader who wants a concise and accessible guide to what makes the ground shake and explode, this is the perfect introduction.
Rolf Schick is a retired Professor of Geophysics at the University of Stuttgart, Germany. His research focuses on earthquake seismology and physical volcanology. Rolf Schick is the founder of the international working group "Seismic Phenomena Associated with Volcanic Activity" at the European Seismological Commission. He contributed to numerous TV documentaries on seismological and volcanic activity worldwide.