An interactive computer atlas of environmental risks in South Carolina
South Carolina is constantly threatened by environmental hazards-natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods as well as hazards that are the result of human activity such as hazardous materials spills, radioactive releases, and air, water, and land pollutants. Between 1990 and 1995, South Carolina experienced 136 tornado touchdowns that caused two deaths, 102 injuries, and more than $42 million in damage. The Palmetto State is also one of the most seismically vulnerable states in the East, averaging ten earthquakes a year. In addition, the state's industrial facilities produced more than 260,000 tons of hazardous waste in 1995. The South Carolina Atlas of Environmental Risks and Hazards is a computer-based resource for understanding environmental threats like these.
Each section of the atlas provides a general description of one environmental hazard and offers practical preparedness information. Detailed explanations and extensive maps and graphs illustrate the historic and geographic patterns of hazards that affect the state. Fascinating photographs reveal the damage that environmental hazards pose to life and property.
The hazards of everyday life are also included. For example, the atlas has sections on motor vehicle accidents, crime, and house fires. A final section examines global hazards and how South Carolina fits into the national and international environmental context. Links throughout the atlas enable readers to consult additional resources, World Wide Web sites, and data tables.
University of South Carolina Department of Geography Hazards Research Lab is a research and training center that integrates geographical information processing techniques with hazards management. Its founding director, Susan L. Cutter, is a professor and the chair of the Department of Geography. Lab members Deborah S. K. Thomas, Micah Cutler, Michael S. Scott, and Jerry T. Mitchell also contributed to the project.
"Coverage is limited to South Carolina, but students from other states will see what can be done with a mapping program and state-specific data …"—Choice