Quakeland: On the Road to America's Next Devastating Earthquake

Dutton. Aug. 2017. 368p. notes. index. ISBN 9780525955184. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780698411463. NAT HIST
Seismic science is popularly focused on California and the region's San Andreas fault, but new research is showing that many faults (fractured rock as a result of movement) are not confined to the West Coast; in fact, they are quite numerous throughout the United States, including in places that were once considered fault-free such as New York and Oklahoma. As journalist Miles argues, this means that many of these "earthquake-free" areas, which were built up without any seismic codes, are not as well prepared should the Big One hit their region. By traveling to such places and focusing on the recent science, Miles takes a hard look at seismology's new findings and applications. In addition, not only is there current research on naturally occurring quakes, there is evidence of a rise in human-induced earthquakes from activities such as reservoir building, mining, and even fracking. Miles's fascinating volume is an eye-opener, demonstrating how this new knowledge impacts long-held beliefs about earthquakes, their occurrences, and their behavior.
VERDICT A cautionary look at how changes to the Earth, both natural and human-made, are transforming the scientific field as well as what those changes might hold for cities and individuals. A relevant topic that any reader will find compelling.
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