Earth Sciences Series. Encyclopedia of Natural Hazards
Welcome to the homepage of Encyclopedia of Natural Hazards, a comprehensive reference work from Springer.
Natural hazards are familiar to most people. This familiarity may arise directly from personal experience of certain events or indirectly through video footage, published descriptions, still photo imagery or other means of information communication. Irrespective of the reasons behind one's basic familiarity with natural hazards, most people are not aware of the reasons why certain events occur, where they tend to occur, how they occur, the likelihood of occurrence, methods of avoidance or mitigation and the concomitant socio-economic consequences of the associated natural threats. Incidents such as earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, volcanic eruptions, cyclones, asteroid impacts and many other events frequently draw the attention of both specialists and the general public. Such happenings normally involve the actions and effects of highly visible and spectacular forces of nature that have the potential to significantly affect society through loss of life, destruction of infrastructure and various other direct and indirect impacts. In such cases natural hazards may become natural disasters.
The Earth has experienced all forms of natural hazards repetitively during its billions of years of history. The recognition that natural hazards have been the primary forces behind the formation of our planet's landscape and that such events will continue to modify the Earth's surface far into the future is a sobering realization. Scientists, governments and all individuals must improve their grasp of knowledge regarding natural hazards. Reducing the risks associated with natural hazards requires a better appreciation and understanding of the hazards themselves.
This encyclopedia addresses the main properties, characteristics and affiliated concepts of natural hazards. The volume aims to provide a comprehensive treatment and review of the basic elements of natural hazards. To this end, state-of-the art reviews and specific entries written by numerous leading experts in the field have been compiled in an effective format where terms, topics and phrases are presented alphabetically in an easily referenced manner. The up-to-date contributions provided by well-known authors present an exhaustive treatment of relevant issues and related subjects captured under the general umbrella of natural hazards. Unique to this encyclopedia is the inclusion of a number of broadly recent, historic and prehistoric "case study" events, such as Pompei and the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79, the 1908 Tunguska asteroid explosion and the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami.
(Editor in Chief)