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Tsunamis and Other Natural Disasters: Magic Tree House Research Guide    by Mary Pope Osborne & Natalie Pope Boyce order for
Tsunamis and Other Natural Disasters
by Mary Pope Osborne
Order:  USA  Can
Random House, 2007 (2007)
Hardcover, Softcover
* * *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce provide answers to questions on acts of nature in their latest Research Guide. Tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanoes have their beginnings deep inside the earth and at the bottom of oceans. Weather conditions can also result in hurricanes and tornadoes.

For many centuries, scientists have researched why natural disasters occur more in some places than in others. Studies are continually made of the ocean floor, and about forty years ago, scientists determined 'that the ground we stand on is 'floating'.' That's right, the ground is actually moving! There are many types of volcanoes - dormant, and active, with different shapes - such as Shield Volcanoes, Cinder Cones, and Composite Volcanoes. Mount Fuji in Japan, a 'dormant composite volcano', is a mountain known for its natural beauty.

Seismologists study earthquakes with technological equipment called seismographs, which measure movements inside the earth. The moment magnitude scale is used to determine the strength of an earthquake and the level of danger, from readings of 'Minor: 3-3.9 to Great: 8 and larger'. The worst tsunami recorded to date occurred in December, 2004. It began with an earthquake in the Indian Ocean, reaching a magnitude of 9.3, and broke on the coasts of Thailand and Indonesia. High waves reached the coasts of southern India and East Africa many hours later, thousands of miles away.

Sal Murdocca's illustrations include a cut-away sketched globe which indicates the earth's different layers: crust, mantle, outer core, and inner core. Black and white photos are included in this research guide, specifically showing the aftereffects of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, and the town of Saint Pierre in 1902 after a disaster on the island of Martinique, West Indies, and the worst landslide recorded, in 1980 when Mount St. Helens (Washington State) erupted.

Magic Tree House® guides are filled with safety tips on what to watch for and what to do when a natural disaster occurs, and explain terms such as magma, epicenter, meteorites, and rifting. The authors provide references at the back of the book for further research, especially for student and teacher studies.

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