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Seismic forces and state power: the creation of the Chilean Seismological Service at the beginning of the twentieth century

Seismische Kräfte und staatliche Macht: Die Schaffung des Chilenischen Seismologischen Dienstes am Beginn des 20. Jahrhunderts
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Valderrama, Lorena B.

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Abstract In 1906, the Valparaíso earthquake marked a breakthrough in earthquake observation in Chile. During the nineteenth century, seismic observation was mostly a matter of concern to foreign travelers and scientists. Meanwhile, after the 1906 earthquake, seismic knowledge began to have greater importance for the state. The study of all tremors in the country responded to the demand to mitigate the vulnerability of the country facing the threat of earthquakes. For this task, the government of Chile created the Seismological Service, a national network of observatories and seismic stations, but also of observers. These observers helped to produce local seismic knowledge, tracing which places in the country were most frequently exposed to earthquakes.
Keywords Chile; twentieth century; natural sciences; natural disaster; Andean Region; South America
Classification General History; Sociology of Science, Sociology of Technology, Research on Science and Technology
Free Keywords Valparaiso earthquake 1906; political history; Fernand Montessus de Ballore; hazard mitigation
Document language English
Publication Year 2015
Page/Pages p. 81-104
Journal Historical Social Research, 40 (2015) 2
Issue topic Climate and beyond: knowledge production about the earth as a signpost of social change
ISSN 0172-6404
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works