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Awesome Forces Massively Revised

Awesome Forces Massively Revised

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One of Te Papa Press’s bestselling titles is being re-launched this month. First published in 1998, ‘Awesome Forces: The Natural Hazards that Threaten New Zealand’ edited by Geoff Hicks and Hamish Campbell, has received substantial updates to take into account the many developments in science and events from around the world that have occurred in the last 14 years.

This new, massively revised, edition is being published with support from GNS Science and EQC and uses hundreds of up-to-date illustrations and photographs relating to all aspects of natural disasters.

“The geography of our country means that all of us are likely to encounter at least one of these natural hazards in our lives here,” says publisher Claire Murdoch. “which makes this book particularly relevant to New Zealanders. Plus we’ve been able to include all-new information on climate change, and the social and emotional impact of disasters, which helps make ‘Awesome Forces’ a fascinating read and an essential resource.”

Geologist and palaeontologist Hamish Campbell sets the scene in the book by considering New Zealand’s place on the globe. Then follow chapters by Graham Leonard and Bruce Houghton on volcanism; Kate Clark, Alan Hull and Russ van Dissen on earthquakes; Eileen and Mauri McSaveney on landslides; Willem de Lange on tsunami; Jim Salinger on weather and climate change; are followed by a section on the human side of hazards by Emma Doyle, David Johnston and Sarb Johal, which brings the book to a close.

‘Awesome Forces’ is also the title of a long-term exhibition at Te Papa, on level 2, and a full set of online teacher resources that relate to the exhibition are available through the Te Papa website. Entry to the exhibition is free.

Informative, generously illustrated, and written by leading New Zealand scientists, ‘Awesome Forces: The Natural Hazards that Threaten New Zealand,’ is available to purchase from bookshops nationwide or online at


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