Understanding the Power of EarthquakesBook - 2017
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What are fault lines? Why are they significant enough that a whole book would be written about them?
The earth’s surface crust actually consists of tectonic plates with cracks between the plates. Those cracks are called “fault lines”. As the tectonic plates move about – very, very slowly – they sometimes collide. This collision is an earthquake … and the earth’s fault lines often determine where earthquakes are most likely to occur. This is why fault lines are important.
Scientists believe that millions of earthquakes actually happen each year around the earth. Most are too small to be felt or detected. However, some are so large that they cause immense damage.
Where did the largest earthquake occur? It was in southern Chile, in 1960, and it caused a huge tsunami and a volcanic eruption. Incredibly, the aftershocks continued for years.
There are plenty of intriguing “did-you-know’s” in this book. For example, did you know that shallow earthquakes are often more destructive than deeper earthquakes? Did you know that quakes can create mountains and even volcanoes, that we have written records of earthquakes happening 3000 years ago, and that earthquakes also happen on other planets?
Author Johanna Wagstaffe is a seismologist and meteorologist who has always had an interest in earthquakes. She can also be seen regularly on CBC. Her book (which includes various illustrations, maps and graphs) provides clear explanations and descriptions of how and why earthquakes happen, and it will appeal to readers with an interest in such disasters and in science in general.
** Recommended for ages 8 to 12 years of age.
** Reviewed by Sally Hengeveld, librarian, Stratford Public Library.
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