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Tsunami: read all about it

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Posted: Tuesday, March 22, 2011 11:15 pm

At the juncture of ocean science, earth science, plate tectonics, seismology, and computer modeling systems is the study of tsunamis. Surrounding the potentially catastrophic events are the technical, social and political issues of disaster preparedness, response and recovery, and the human relationship to the world’s killer waves. As our hearts go out to our Pacific neighbors in Japan in the aftermath of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami this week’s Book Buzz provides a list of tsunami resources available through your local public library.  Get informed with books in print, eBooks, audiobooks, or films. Materials are available for adults, teens, or children. And alongside informational non-fiction are some hot tsunami thrillers. Become familiar with the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center website at www.ptwc.weather.gov. From facts and figures to poetry and drama, and from memory to monitoring and predicting, you can read all about it at your neighborhood library.

Encyclopedia of Earthquakes and Volcanoes

By David Ritchie and

Alexander E. Gates

551.203 Ri

This reference book features more than 1000 A-to-Z entries that document the history, characteristics and causes of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. It also includes information on key environmental issues, organizations, and individuals who have left their mark on the fields of volcanology and seismology. For more on volcanoes see Volcano: Iceland’s Inferno and the Earth’s Most Active Volcanoes edited by Ellen J. Prager that summarizes the earth’s major volcanic areas, or Volcanoes in Human History: The Far-Reaching Effects of Major Eruptions by Jelle Zeilinga de Boer that examines the relationship between volcanoes and human history.

Hawai‘i Coastal Hazard Mitigation Guidebook

By Denis J. Hwang

H 551.36 Hw

The purpose of this guidebook is to reduce risk to coastal development by planning for natural hazards such as erosion, flooding tsunamis and hurricanes. It builds on concepts covered in the FEMA Coastal Construction Manual but covers to a greater degree proper siting of development to reduce exposure to coastal hazards. Stages for implementation of technical standards include state district classification, local planning, zoning, subdivision and infrastructure improvements, disclosure during lot purchase, home construction and options for remedial actions. See also Living on the Shores of Hawai‘i: Natural Hazards, The Environment, and Our Communities by Charles Fletcher et. al. or the Crisis Preparedness Guide put out by the Hawai‘i Visitor’s Bureau.

Raging Planet: Earthquakes, Volcanoes, and the Tectonic Threat to Life on Earth

By Bill McGuire

551.22 Mc

This analysis of the global tectonic instability that puts every single one of us at risk from some of nature’s most powerful forces reads as a journey to the center of the earth. It is illustrated with photographs, graphics and charts that highlight facts and figures. From another perspective try Why the Earth Quakes: The Story of Earthquakes and Volcanoes by structural engineers Batthys Levy and Mario Salvadori or look at the section on tsunamis from Ocean Science 101 by Jennifer Hoffman, an illustrated guide for the unscientific to the vast regions that cover nearly three-quarters of our planet. This book describes the past, present and possible future of the oceans, highlights new technologies and breakthroughs in ocean science research. Locally, try Hawai‘i: Land of Volcanoes, with stunning photography by Douglas Peebles, in which author Jan TenBruggencate looks at the geology, oral and written histories and issues of Hawai‘i’s volcanoes.


By Walter C. Dudley

and Min Lee

H 551.3702 Du

Historical eyewitness accounts of the Hilo tsunamis of 1946 and 1960 combine with dramatic photographs set in a framework of our scientific understanding of wave generation and an explanation of the Tsunami Warning System used to forecast and measure tsunamis. Also by Walt Dudley, see Tsunamis in Hawai‘i. For historical accounts of other tsunamis look for Wave of Destruction: The Story of Four Families and the History’s Deadliest Tsunami by Erich Krauss or Not Quite Paradise: An American Sojourn in Sri Lanka by Adele Barker.

Tsunami: The Underrated Hazard

By Edward Bryant

551.47024 Br

The last twenty years has seen a large number of tsunami events impacting the world’s coastlines. The author describes the nature and process of these tsunamis, outlines field evidence for detecting the presence of past events and describes particular events linked to earthquakes, volcanoes, submarine landslides and meteorite impacts. If you have an eReader, check out the eBook Tsunami! by Walter I. Gonzales. You can download it free with your library card from the Hawai‘i State Public Library System website.

Tsunami: Killer Wave

Produced by National

Geographic Society

Documentary DVD

Travel the Pacific Rim to track underwater earthquakes that spawn tsunamis and watch as residents of this seismically volatile region brace for the next killer wave. You may also be interested in The Wave that Shook the World, a NOVA television episode available in DVD, Tsunami: The Aftermath produced by HBO which follows the stories of survivors whose lives were transformed by the tragic Christmas Eve tsunami from Indonesia or He’e Nalu: But Never Try to Surf a Tsunami produced in Hawai‘i by the Pacific Tsunami Center.

Tsunami Man: Learning about Killer Waves with Walter Dudley

By Anthony D. Fredericks

H363.349 Fr

In this primer on tsunamis featuring a scientist as a good role model, the author gives teens and tweens an inside look at the life of a working scientist who uses his knowledge for the common good. For younger children try Tsunami Alert! By Niki Walker or Tsunamis by David and Helen Orme.

For adult fiction featuring tsunamis try Deep Black, Death Wave by Stephen Coonts and William H. Keith, Maelstrom by Peter Watts, or Memorial by Bruce Wagner. For teens and tweens try Night of the Howling Dogs by Graham Salisbury or The Killing Sea by Richard Lewis. And for younger kids look for the Hawai‘i tale The Tsunami Quilt: Grandfather’s Story by Anthony D. Fredericks or Escaping the Giant Wave by Peg Kehret..

• Carolyn Larson, head librarian at Lihu‘e Public Library, brings you the buzz on new, popular and good books available at your neighborhood library. Book annotations are culled from online publishers’ descriptions and published reviews.

© 2015 Thegardenisland.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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