Defining the Pacific: Opportunities and Constraints

Defining the Pacific: Opportunities and Constraints

Hardback The Pacific World: Lands, Peoples and History of the Pacific, 1500-1900, 1

Edited by Paul W. Blank, Edited by Fred Spier, Series edited by Professor Dennis O. Flynn, Series edited by Professor Arturo Giraldez


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  • Publisher: Variorum
  • Format: Hardback | 384 pages
  • Dimensions: 172mm x 246mm x 36mm | 821g
  • Publication date: 1 December 2002
  • Publication City/Country: Aldershot
  • ISBN 10: 0754606473
  • ISBN 13: 9780754606475
  • Edition: New edition
  • Edition statement: New edition
  • Illustrations note: Includes 10 b&w illustrations
  • Sales rank: 1,710,569

Product description

This volume lays the physical and conceptual groundwork for the Pacific World series, exploring both the constraints imposed and the opportunities offered to humanity by the physical environment of the Pacific region. Organized from the perspectives of "Big History" and macro-geography, the volume presents a series of major studies and surveys by authors from a range of disciplines. It opens with perspectives on the ocean, and closes with questions of human settlement, diffusion, and trans-Pacific contacts. Geologists write of the origins of the Pacific, its geological structure, and the problem of tsunamis; climatologists and oceanographers discuss the El Nino Southern Oscillation and the ocean waters; biologists and biogeographers find patterns in the life of the Basin - as is shown, all these have their impact on the potential of the region for human use and settlement. Finally, geographers, anthropologists, and archaeologists deal with the peopling of the Pacific islands, the settlement of the Americas, and the incidence and importance of pre-modern links across the Pacific.

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Author information

Paul W. Blank, Humboldt State University, USA and Fred Spier, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands Contributors: Jerry H. Bentley, O.H.K. Spate, Ben Finney, Otis W. Freeman, Christopher Scotese, D.B. Rowley, David G. Howell, David L. Jones, Everett D. Jackson, Kumizi Iida, Lynn D. Talley, Gerard J. Fryer, Rick Lumpkin, David B. Enfield, J. Wyatt Durham, Jared Diamond, Peter S. Bellwood, Knut R. Fladmark, Ruth Gruhn, George F. Carter.

Review quote

'The purpose of this volume is [...] to praise classic scholars and introduce them to a fresh audience. For this service they deserve the gratitude of a new generation of readers.' Bulletin of the Pacific Circle

Table of contents

Contents: Introduction; Perspectives on the Pacific: Sea and ocean basins as frameworks of historical analysis, Jerry H. Bentley; The Pacific as an artefact, O.H.K. Spate; The other one-third of the globe, Ben Finney; Geographic setting of the Pacific, Otis W. Freeman; Geology, Geophysics, and the Evolution of the Pacific Basin: Development of the circum-Pacific Panthalassic Ocean during the early Paleozoic, Christopher R. Scotese; Reconstructions of the circum-Pacific region, D.B. Rowley; Terrane analysis: a circum-Pacific overview, David G. Howell and David L. Jones; Linear volcanic chains on the Pacific plate, Everett D. Jackson; Some remarks on the occurrence of Tsunamigenic earthquakes around the Pacific, Kumizi Iida; Oceanography, Climatology, Biogeography: Oceanography, Lynn D. Talley, Gerard J. Fryer and Rick Lumpkin; Historical and prehistorical overview of El Nino/Southern Oscillation, David B. Enfield; Paleogeographic conclusions in light of biological data, J. Wyatt Durham; Biogeographic mosaics in the Pacific, Jared Diamond; Human Settlement, Diffusion, and Early Trans-Pacific Contacts: The peopling of the Pacific, P. S. Bellwood; Routes: alternative migration corridors for early man in North America, K. R. Fladmark; Linguistic evidence in support of the coastal route of earliest entry into the New World, Ruth Gruhn; Movement of people and ideas across the Pacific, George F. Carter; Index.