The main objective of the book is to offer a vision of the dynamics of the main disasters in South America, describing their mechanisms and consequences on South American societies. The chapters are written by selected specialists of each country. Human-induced disasters are also included, such as desertification in Patagonia and soil erosion in Brazil. The receding of South-American glaciers as a response to recent climatic trends and sea-level scenarios are discussed. The approach is broad in analyzing causes and consequences and includes social and economic costs, discussing environmental and planning problems, but always describing the geomorphologic/geologic involved processes with a good scientific substantiation. This is important to differentiate the book from others of a more 'social' impact that discuss risks and disasters with emphases mainly on economy and simple impacts.