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Geological Hazards: Their Assessment, Avoidance and Mitigation

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Geological Hazards
Their Assessment, Avoidance and Mitigation
By Fred G. Bell
E & FN Spon (1999)
ISBN: 978-0-4191-6970-3

Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness

Geological Hazards: Their Assessment, Avoidance and Mitigation, by Fred G. Bell, offers students a through introduction into the study of geological hazards, both natural and manmade. The topics covered range from how to read Hazard Maps to erosion control and sabkha soil conditions. The text is divided into twelve thematic sections which are: Within each section are several subsections that discuss the basics of the topic being covered, the hazards posed by various conditions, and how to assess the potential damage that could be caused if specific conditions exist or arise in a given area. Besides discussing how to identify potential and likely hazards, this text also provides information that will help you learn how to avoid or mitigate the dangers posed by these geohazards. This information will be of particular value to students pursuing careers in geology and engineering.

This book is copiously illustrated and it includes a plethora of maps, charts, diagrams, and other useful illustrations that help to elucidate the text. As well, at the end of each section is a detailed list of references that can be used to further your study on a particular topic. Although this book can be used for a lower level, introductory course in environmental geology, it is much more suited to upper-level undergraduate students, and as a reference book for graduate students and professionals working in the field. If used as a textbook for geology and environmental engineering students, the student will be best served if they have taken at least one course in physical geology and an advance math course.

Overall, this is an excellent text. It provides enough basic information to allow someone who does not have a firm grasp of geology to understand the principles under discussion. At the same time it is detailed, and informative enough, to engage the minds of students and professionals alike. Besides detailing the various geological hazards that exist and the manmade activity that can cause or exacerbate a problem, Bell also offers workable solutions and scenarios that the reader can use to help plan for and solve problems in their area of expertise. Geological Hazards: Their Assessment, Avoidance and Mitigation will serve as a splendid addition to the classroom, and on the reference shelf.


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