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The Illustrated History of Natural Disasters

By: Jan Kozak and Vladimir Cermak

241 pages, 37 black & white illustrations, 92 colour illustrations


Hardback | Jan 2010 | #184172 | ISBN-13: 9789048133246
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NHBS Price: £54.99 $71/€62 approx

About this book

This richly illustrated pictorial history of natural disasters has been composed from a large selection of images of a wide variety of sources, mostly private collections. These include reproductions of rare engravings, maps both old and new, sketches, and diagrams. The individual full-page reproductions give historical views on natural disasters, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, avalanches, landslides and rock falls. The illustrations are accompanied by text describing the geophysical and historical background of the disasters, the origin of each of the engravings and stories behind the events.

At the forefront of this book are the fascinating depictions of famous disasters that occurred from the 14th to the 19th centuries. These include those at Basel in 1356, Tokyo in 1650, Constantinople in 1762, as well as the eruption of Etna in 1669 and the San Francisco earthquakes of 1868 and 1909. The authors move on into the era of living memory too, covering a variety of more recent earthquakes with consequences still felt today.

The text of the book goes much further, introducing the reader to the development of the modern view on the dynamical manifestations of the Earth, its structure, and the internal forces that create the conditions for catastrophic events. This is complemented and enriched by maps together with selected larger plates illustrating the early conceptions of the Earth. Finally, the authors present a chronological record of the major milestones in the development of seismology.

From the reviews: "The Illustrated History of Natural Disasters, by geophysicists Jan Kozak and Vladimir Cermak, is a timely collection of pictorial records of earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis from antiquity to modern times. ! This events is well documented in the book which includes stories ! . helps us to understand that catastrophes are part of the history of humanity while reminding us of the vulnerability of the human species in the face of natures wrath." (Alexis Drahos, Nature, Vol. 465, June, 2010) "This work provides historical accounts and folklore supplemented with images that convey perspectives on nature and the role and fate of humans. Kozak and Cermak ! organized images primarily selected from Kozak's personal collection. ! Summing Up ! Earth and environmental history collections serving upper-division undergraduates and above." (L. S. Zipp, Choice, Vol. 48 (3), November, 2010) "What a surprising book! ! European earthquakes are the main focus of the study but volcanoes and significant tsunamis are also comprehensively discussed and illustrated ! . This is a timely review of this disaster given the choice of Lisbon by the International Association for Earthquake Engineering to host the 2012 World Conference on Earthquake Engineering. ! it will appeal to a wider audience those interested in the history of science and/or the conjunction of art and science." (Kevin McCue, The Australian Geologist, March, 2011)


Introduction.- Natural disasters in historical pictures.- Pictorial reproduction techniques.- Volcanoes, Earthquakes and Tsunamis.- From ancient myths, through medieval perceptions to present understanding.- Volcanoes.- Earthquakes.- Tsunamis.- Plate Tectonic Theory.- Vesuvius-Somma volcano, Bay of Naples, Italy.- Etna volcano, Sicily.- Stromboli volcano, Lipari, Tyrrhenian Sea.- Phleghraean Fields.- Santorin/Thira volcano, Greece.- Ferdinandea, a new submarine volcano.- Volcanism in Iceland.- Pico de Teide, Tenerife Island, Canary archipelago.- Mt. Pelee volcano, Martinique Orizaba volcano, Mexico.- Jorullo volcano, Mexico.- Pacaya volcano, Guatemala.- Cotopaxi volcano, Ecuador.- Chimborazo Mt., Ecuador.- Antujo volcano, Chile.- Kusatsu-Shirane Mt. 1660s eruption, Japan.- Volcanoes of Indonesia.- Gamkonoro Mt., Moluccas Islands.- Avacha volcano, Kamchatka, Far East Russia.- Volcanoes of the Hawaiian Archipelago.- Kiyev Earthquake, 1230.- Aix-de-Provence (France) Earthquake, 1708.- Basel Earthquake, 1356.- Rhodes (Greece) Earthquake, 1481.- Istanbul Earthquake, 1566.- Two earthquakes at Yedo (Tokyo), around 1650 (?) and 1855.- Earthquake at Port Royal (Jamaica) in 1692.- Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755.- Calabrian earthquakes of 1783 and later on.- Valona (Albania) earthquake, 1851.- Zagreb (=Agram) earthquake, 1880.- Two earthquakes In Italy: 1881 (Ischia) and 1883 (Casamicciola).- Imperia earthquake (French/Italian Riviera), 1887.- Earthquake at Shemakha, Azerbaijan, 1902.- Submarine explosion near the Juan Fernadez Island, 1835 (OR 1837).- Guadeloupe (Antilles) earthquake 1843.- Earthquake at San Jose (Costa Rica), 1868.- Mendoza (Argentina) earthquake, 1861.- Arequipa/Arica earthquake, 1868.- San Salvador earthquake, 1873.- Charleston earthquake (South Carolina, USA), 1886.- Hayward (California, USA) earthquake, 1868.- Great San Francisco Earthquake, 1906.- Two Calabrian earthquakes, 1905 and 1908.- Milestones of seismology.- References.- Index.

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