Large Ecosystem Perturbations

Geological Society of America Special Paper

Book 424
Geological Society of America
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Publisher
Geological Society of America
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Published on
Jan 1, 2007
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Pages
125
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ISBN
9780813724249
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Language
English
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Genres
Science / Environmental Science
Science / Life Sciences / Biology
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This content is DRM free.
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"This volume brings together a sampling of research addressing issues of continental intraplate earthquakes, including a core of papers from special sessions held at the spring 2004 Joint Assembly of the American and Canadian Geophysical Unions in Montreal. Papers address the broad related topics of the science, hazard, and policy issues of large continental intraplate earthquakes in a worldwide context. One group of papers addresses aspects of the primary scientific issue--where are these earthquakes and what causes them? Answering this question is crucial to determining whether they will continue there or migrate elsewhere. A second group of papers addresses the challenge of assessing the hazard posed by intraplate earthquakes. Although it may be a very long time before the scientific issues are resolved, the progress being made is helping attempts to estimate the probability, size, and shaking of future earthquakes, and the uncertainty of the results. A third group of papers explores the question of how society should mitigate the possible effects of future large continental intraplate earthquakes. Communities around the world face the challenge of deciding how to address this rare, but real, hazard, given the wide range of other societal needs. Continental intraplate earthquakes will remain a challenge to seismologists, earthquake engineers, policy makers, and the public for years to come, but significant progress toward understanding and addressing this challenge is now being made."--Publisher's website.
"This volume brings together a sampling of research addressing issues of continental intraplate earthquakes, including a core of papers from special sessions held at the spring 2004 Joint Assembly of the American and Canadian Geophysical Unions in Montreal. Papers address the broad related topics of the science, hazard, and policy issues of large continental intraplate earthquakes in a worldwide context. One group of papers addresses aspects of the primary scientific issue--where are these earthquakes and what causes them? Answering this question is crucial to determining whether they will continue there or migrate elsewhere. A second group of papers addresses the challenge of assessing the hazard posed by intraplate earthquakes. Although it may be a very long time before the scientific issues are resolved, the progress being made is helping attempts to estimate the probability, size, and shaking of future earthquakes, and the uncertainty of the results. A third group of papers explores the question of how society should mitigate the possible effects of future large continental intraplate earthquakes. Communities around the world face the challenge of deciding how to address this rare, but real, hazard, given the wide range of other societal needs. Continental intraplate earthquakes will remain a challenge to seismologists, earthquake engineers, policy makers, and the public for years to come, but significant progress toward understanding and addressing this challenge is now being made."--Publisher's website.
In 1980, the science world was stunned when a maverick team of researchers proposed that a massive meteor strike had wiped the dinosaurs and other fauna from the Earth 66 million years ago. Scientists found evidence for this theory in a “crater of doom” on the Yucatán Peninsula, showing that our planet had once been a target in a galactic shooting gallery. In Cataclysms, Michael R. Rampino builds on the latest findings from leading geoscientists to take “neocatastrophism” a step further, toward a richer understanding of the science behind major planetary upheavals and extinction events.

Rampino recounts his conversion to the impact hypothesis, describing his visits to meteor-strike sites and his review of the existing geological record. The new geology he outlines explicitly rejects nineteenth-century “uniformitarianism,” which casts planetary change as gradual and driven by processes we can see at work today. Rampino offers a cosmic context for Earth’s geologic evolution, in which cataclysms from above in the form of comet and asteroid impacts and from below in the form of huge outpourings of lava in flood-basalt eruptions have led to severe and even catastrophic changes to the Earth’s surface. This new geology sees Earth’s position in our solar system and galaxy as the keys to understanding our planet’s geology and history of life. Rampino concludes with a controversial consideration of dark matter’s potential as a triggering mechanism, exploring its role in heating Earth’s core and spurring massive volcanism throughout geologic time.

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