The Big One Is Coming
  • Walter J. Karplus


The subject of catastrophic earthquakes really falls outside the scope of this book, as carefully defined earlier. First, earthquakes are definitely not global in character. They are local in their impact, each major quake affecting localities within a radius measured in tens of miles. Moreover, disastrous earthquakes are not particularly rare. Every year there are several killer quakes. By contrast, the seven catastrophes discussed in the preceding chapters are predicted to descend to a catastrophic extent upon people all over the world and are all exceedingly infrequent. Most have never happened at all, others only once or twice. Still, many people live in terror of earthquakes, earthquakes are regularly predicted by scientists and nonscientific prophets alike, and the earthquake Community competes aggressively with the exponents of other predicted catastrophes for public attention and public funds. Hence, this chapter.


Earthquake Prediction Tectonic Plate Major Earthquake Disastrous Earthquake Continental Drift 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

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  • Walter J. Karplus

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