Volcanoes, Earthquakes and Tsunamis

Rothery, David A. (2010). Volcanoes, Earthquakes and Tsunamis. Teach Yourself. London: Teach Yourself.

Abstract

Most volcanoes and earthquakes happen where they do because of how the Earth's outer layers behave. The outer rigid shell is broken into mobile plates, whose migration and interaction is referred to as 'plate tectonics'. Sporadic grinding action between plates as they move causes most of the large earthquakes. Interactions between plates are also responsible for producing molten rock (magma) and allowing it to rise to the surface where it can erupt through volcanoes, although not all volcanoes are related to plate boundaries. Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions have many consequences, which can be fatal to humans, destructive to property and harmful to the environment. At worst, a really bad eruption can change the climate of the whole globe.

Tsunamis are powerful waves in the ocean that can be devastating when they come ashore. Unlike most volcanoes and earthquakes, tsunamis are not direct consequences of plate tectonics. The most common tsunami trigger is submarine earthquakes, but they can also be set off by a volcanic eruption under, or next to, the sea. Thus volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis are part of the same story. By the time you have finished this book you will understand where, why and how they occur, how they are studied, what can be done to predict them, and to what extent people and property can be protected against their worst consequences.

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