This handbook defines the discipline of historical seismology by detailing the latest research methodologies for studying historical earthquakes and tsunamis. It describes the various sources that reference seismic phenomena, discusses the critical problems of interpreting such sources, and presents a summary of the theories proposed throughout history to explain the causes of earthquakes. Incorporating examples from a broad geographic region (including Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, central Asia, and the Americas), the text presents numerous interpretations and misinterpretations of historical earthquakes and tsunamis in order to illustrate the key techniques. The authors also tie historical seismology research to archaeological investigations, and demonstrate how new scientific databases and catalogues can be compiled from information derived from the methodologies described. This is an important new reference for scientists, engineers, historians and archaeologists, providing a valuable foundation for understanding the Earth’s seismic past and potential future seismic hazard.
Part I. Defining Historical Seismology: 1. What is historical seismology?; 2. The importance of historical earthquake and tsunami data; Part II. Issues Concerning the Interpretation of Historical Earthquake and Ttsunami Data: 3. Written historical sources and their use; 4. Types of scientific sources; 5. Other types of sources; 6. Potential problems in historical records; 7. Determination of historical earthquakes: dates and times; Part III. Practical Guidelines for the Analysis of Historical Earthquake Data: 8. Planning the goals of the analysis of historical earthquakes; 9. Processing historical records; 10. From interpretation of historical records to historical seismic scenarios; 11. Traces of earthquakes in archaeological sites and in monuments; 12. Deriving earthquake source and shaking parameters from historical data; 13. Cooperation in historical seismology research; Index.