Our earliest ideas about seismology developed in discrete steps following the study of major earthquakes. The first such step involved the studies following the Neapolitan earthquake of 1857 by Irish geophysicist, civil engineer, and inventor Robert Mallet (1810–1881), often called “the father of seismology.” Mallet’s interest in earthquakes was drawn following the 1839 Comrie earthquake swarm on the edge of the Scottish highlands (Wood, 1988). Mallet (1848) disagreed with Lyell (1830) over the explanation of a pair of obelisks that had been twisted in opposite directions without being overthrown by the devastating earthquakes that ruined Calabria in southern...

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