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Predicting the Unpredictable: The Tumultuous Science of Earthquake Prediction
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Predicting the Unpredictable: The Tumultuous Science of Earthquake Prediction

3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  14 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
An earthquake can strike without warning and wreak horrific destruction and death, whether it's the cataclysmic 2008 Sichuan quake in China that killed tens of thousands or a future great earthquake on the San Andreas Fault in California, which scientists know is inevitable. Yet despite rapid advances in earthquake science, seismologists still can't predict when the Big ...more
Hardcover, 260 pages
Published December 1st 2009 by Princeton University Press (first published 2009)
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Ryan Schultz
Dec 01, 2014 Ryan Schultz rated it really liked it
It was July 28, 1976, around 3:42 in the morning when the Tangshan earthquake hit. This particular earthquake claimed about 250,000 lives, and some believe that the true number of casualties was two or three times higher than this. This is one of many examples of earthquakes wreaking havoc on the human population, and thus making earthquakes one of earth’s biggest mysteries. Susan Hough discusses the evolution of predicting earthquakes in her book Predicting the Unpredictable; she puts the ...more
Rachel Swindler
Mar 18, 2010 Rachel Swindler rated it it was ok
This book is hard to rate because I picked it up looking for a specific answer to a question, not because I thought I would like it.

I was hanging out in the science library at OWU and this was on the featured book rack. Since there have been many bad earthquakes in the past couple of months, I've been very curious how earthquakes work and interact and, more importantly, if there is any way to prevent them.
This book answered the last question while going into the first questions a bit. I went int
...more
Ooi Ghee Leng
Jul 08, 2016 Ooi Ghee Leng rated it it was amazing
Susan Hough had written an extremely thought-provoking account on prediction research. Although she is mainly concerned with earthquake prediction, the same system of questions can be extended to other fields that require one to predict the next upcoming disaster. Are statistics enough, even when it is armed with full load of data?

There is a line we as people who are churning out these "models" should never cross. But the reality is, this line is thin, and grey. One cannot but remember that grea
...more
Troy Mattila
Jul 05, 2016 Troy Mattila rated it really liked it
Shelves: science
This is extremely well written, engaging, interesting, and, at times, funny. I went into this just hoping to learn about earthquakes, because I realized I knew nothing. I walked away impressed with the author (I wouldn't expect a seismologist to be able to write this well), a deeper respect for the scientific method, and the earthquake knowledge I had been hoping for. If you are looking for a book about earthquakes and worried about being bored, this won't disappoint you.
Jbfricks
Nov 26, 2011 Jbfricks rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-before-2014
There is some interesting history in this, but you really don't get much of a sense that there is much science in earthquake prediction. Perhaps that is the point, but the book takes over 200 pages to arrive at this frustrating conclusion.
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