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The Great Quake: How the Biggest Earthquake…
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The Great Quake: How the Biggest Earthquake in North America Changed Our… (urspr publ 2017; utgåvan 2017)

av Henry Fountain (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
17016120,252 (3.81)9
"In the tradition of Erik Larson's Isaac's Storm, a riveting narrative about the biggest earthquake in recorded history in North America--the 1964 Alaskan earthquake that demolished the city of Valdez and obliterated the coastal village of Chenega--and the scientist sent to look for geological clues to explain the dynamics of earthquakes, who helped to confirm the then controversial theory of plate tectonics. On March 27, 1964, at 5:36 p.m., the biggest earthquake ever recorded in North America--and the second biggest ever in the world, measuring 9.2 on the Richter scale--struck Alaska, devastating coastal towns and villages and killing more than 130 people in what was then a relatively sparsely populated region. In a riveting tale about the almost unimaginable brute force of nature, New York Times science journalist Henry Fountain, in his first trade book, re-creates the lives of the villagers and townspeople living in Chenega, Anchorage, and Valdez; describes the sheer beauty of the geology of the region, with its towering peaks and 20-mile-long glaciers; and reveals the impact of the quake on the towns, the buildings, and the lives of the inhabitants. George Plafker, a geologist for the U.S. Geological Survey with years of experience scouring the Alaskan wilderness, is asked to investigate the Prince William Sound region in the aftermath of the quake, to better understand its origins. His work confirmed the then controversial theory of plate tectonics that explained how and why such deadly quakes occur, and how we can plan for the next one"--… (mer)
Medlem:lamour
Titel:The Great Quake: How the Biggest Earthquake in North America Changed Our Understanding of the Planet
Författare:Henry Fountain (Författare)
Info:Crown (2017), Edition: 1st, 288 pages
Samlingar:Lästa men inte ägda
Betyg:****
Taggar:Alaska Earthquake, 1964, Earthquakes

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The Great Quake: How the Biggest Earthquake in North America Changed Our Understanding of the Planet av Henry Fountain (2017)

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On March 27, 1964, one of the strongest earthquakes ever recorded hit Alaska killing 131 people. The majority of those killed were swept out to sea by the resulting tsunamis. Fountain begins by giving us a brief history of the development of Alaska and a history of the geology of the area. He also gives the background on the development of the various communities that were damaged by the earthquake as well as the background of the individuals whose experiences during the disaster will be described.

A major portion of this volume is given over why is the Pacific Ocean so prone to earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis. Fountain explains plate tectonics and continental drift and the background on the individuals who finally figured it out.

Extremely readable as Fountain makes the science understandable and interesting. ( )
  lamour | Nov 29, 2020 |
I received an ARC from the publisher for a fair and balanced review.

On March 27, 1964 an Earthquake, measuring 9.4 on the Richter scale, struck Alaska. The Great Quake tells the story of that event. Weaved into the book is an excellent narrative history of geology,
geophysics, Alaskan History and biography of individuals who experienced the quake. Writer Henry Fountain does a very good job of taking us through the events leading up to, during and after the earthquake. The ARC indicates that photos will be included. There are two excellent maps of the regions effected by the quake. Fountain also has included good footnotes and ideas for further reading on the subjects mentioned in the book. An excellent book for arm-chair geologists, travelers, and explorers. ( )
  Steve_Walker | Sep 13, 2020 |
3.5 Stars

Read all my reviews on http://urlphantomhive.booklikes.com

When I was eleven years old, the big Sumatra earthquake and following tsunami on Boxing day shook the world with its devastating power. However, it also shook my interest into geology and tectonics. So when I came across The Great Quake: How the Biggest Earthquake in North America Changed Our Understanding of the Planet I was immediately curious.

I have to admit that I was completely unaware of this earthquake, although its significance became clear very quickly, with the new techniques that had been developed recently even if the human and material loss was relatively low due to it happening in a scarcely populated area.

Henry Fountain gives a rather complete overview of the different aspects surrounding the 'great quake', looking at it from many different points of view. However, I thought rather a lot of the book was filled with human interest stories which somehow made it feel a little overdramatic. It also took a long time to get to the actual quake and its aftermath. However, I thought it was an interesting book and I would definitely recommend it to those interested in earth quakes and geology.

Thanks to Blogging for Books for providing me with a free book in exchange for an honest review! ( )
  Floratina | Dec 7, 2019 |
This is an excellent book describing the events of March 27, 1964 in south central Alaska, from multiple points of view. The author does a great job of setting the stage for what life was like in several of the locations that were severely impacted by the 9.2 magnitude earthquake, introducing a number of individuals that were involved. Not only does he describe the quake and resulting tsunami, but the aftermath not only to the communities and people, but to our understanding of what caused the event.

The multiple threads of the story, going back to the initial proposal of "continental drift," make each chapter a new adventure and voyage of discovery, culminating in a summary of what we understand today, and the status of some of the places and individuals, fifty plus years later.

I experienced the 1964 earthquake personally, 285 nautical miles due north of the epicenter in Fairbanks, having just turned 13 the day before. Trees swayed, pipes rattled, and the extended shaking told us it was something big. But it took a few hours before reports by radio came in to relay the magnitude of the event and devastation. This book allows one to zoom into the specific places that were impacted and get a ring-side-seat view of what happened. It also, however, zooms out and in a hard to put down fashion, tells the bigger story of how the event helped advance our understanding of earth building processes.

My thanks to Henry Fountain for sharing this story with us! ( )
  tgeorge2348 | Aug 10, 2019 |
The Great Quake combines several stories: a narrative of the Great M9.2 Alaska earthquake and tsunami, and their effects on people and communities across southern Alaska; a history of the science of seismology; and a biography of George Plafker, a field geologist who developed new insights into the causes of the quake, and made major contributions to the understanding of plate tectonics.

This is a compelling read, and a reminder of how little was known about seismology just 50 years ago. The descriptions of the quake and the tsunami provide hints of what the Pacific Northwest may experience when we have our own "big one", due any day now. ( )
  oregonobsessionz | May 22, 2018 |
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"In the tradition of Erik Larson's Isaac's Storm, a riveting narrative about the biggest earthquake in recorded history in North America--the 1964 Alaskan earthquake that demolished the city of Valdez and obliterated the coastal village of Chenega--and the scientist sent to look for geological clues to explain the dynamics of earthquakes, who helped to confirm the then controversial theory of plate tectonics. On March 27, 1964, at 5:36 p.m., the biggest earthquake ever recorded in North America--and the second biggest ever in the world, measuring 9.2 on the Richter scale--struck Alaska, devastating coastal towns and villages and killing more than 130 people in what was then a relatively sparsely populated region. In a riveting tale about the almost unimaginable brute force of nature, New York Times science journalist Henry Fountain, in his first trade book, re-creates the lives of the villagers and townspeople living in Chenega, Anchorage, and Valdez; describes the sheer beauty of the geology of the region, with its towering peaks and 20-mile-long glaciers; and reveals the impact of the quake on the towns, the buildings, and the lives of the inhabitants. George Plafker, a geologist for the U.S. Geological Survey with years of experience scouring the Alaskan wilderness, is asked to investigate the Prince William Sound region in the aftermath of the quake, to better understand its origins. His work confirmed the then controversial theory of plate tectonics that explained how and why such deadly quakes occur, and how we can plan for the next one"--

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