Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Ring of Fire: An Encyclopedia of the Pacific Rim's Earthquakes, Tsunamis, and Volcanoes

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Ring of Fire: An Encyclopedia of the Pacific Rim's Earthquakes, Tsunamis, and Volcanoes

Article excerpt

Ring of Fire: An Encyclopedia of the Pacific Rim's Earthquakes, Tsunamis, and Volcanoes. By Bethany D. Rinard Hinga. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2015. 403 p. Acid free $89 (ISBN: 978-1-61069-296-0). E-book available (978-1-61069-297-7), call for pricing.

This work seems to be unique, or close to it, in its scope. The author discusses geological phenomena in the Pacific region from "historical, geographical, and geological perspectives" (xv) with an emphasis on earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes. Topics range from as overarching as plate tectonics to narrower but still broadly applicable topics such as definitions of hazard versus risk to specific sites and events. She uses "important stories" (xv) and myths to add interest. Because of all of the processes, events, and consequences it drives, the author notes that "the strongest theme presented herein is plate tectonics" (xvii).

Each of the approximately one hundred entries includes cross references and a list of further reading. The indexing is a little disappointing. As an example, the Fukushima Daiichi plant disaster, which was located in the Fukushima Prefecture in Japan is discussed reasonably thoroughly and is included in a timeline in the front matter. It is neither cross referenced from the Fukushima name nor indexed under that name. It is under the Sendai earthquake and tsunami.

The interdisciplinary approach taken by Hinga may have contributed to less scientific detail than some works. The Encyclopedia of Geology by Richard C. Selley, L. R. M. Cocks, and I. R. Plimer (Elsevier Academic, 2005), for example, generally presents a more scholarly style. The section on plate tectonics in Selley is about twice as long as the one in Ring of

Fire, focuses more on processes and technical details using precise scientific terminology, and is written in a more conservative style. An example is referring to plate tectonics as a "theory" based on "assumption[s]" where Hinga describes the plates and their behavior as "known." Hinga's narrative focuses largely on the history of the development of the theory and the individuals involved, with the process itself and the evidence supporting it playing a secondary role. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.