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“The extent to which tectonic processes represent hazards depends on when and where they are experienced. Discuss”

Throughout this essay I will be discussing my view on the extent to which I think tectonic processes represent hazards depending on when and where they are experienced. My view is that the hazards caused by tectonic processes such as volcanoes and earthquakes are very much likely to have a bigger impact socially, environmentally and economically depending on where they had occurred and when. In the next few paragraphs I will discuss how the factor ‘WHEN’ tectonic processes occur represents hazards. Firstly, the time of day will have a big impact on the hazard. If the hazard occurs during the morning or afternoon rush hour, then there will be more impacts socially than if the hazard was to occur in the evening. For example, the Haiti earthquake in 2010 struck at lunchtime, which meant the city Port-au-Prince was packed with people eating in restaurants, eating outside, in homes. Because of this many people died due to buildings collapsing which increased the impact of the hazard.

Secondly, the type of season the tectonic process occurred in will have a huge impact on the effects of the hazard. In the summer, far more people are likely to be outside than inside and abroad in a hot country than a cold one. This means that if a tectonic process like an earthquake struck, the coasts would bring the tide in and many tourists and travellers that were on the beach could be injured. If the season is in the winter, and a tectonic process struck, the impacts would be huge. This is because the high levels of rain and colder temperatures make it harder for short term responses (such as aid, food and water) to be delivered to those who need it, which can be the difference between life and death. Thirdly, the position of the government at the time in which a tectonic process occurs can impact the hazard effects. For example, depending on whether the government was in a corrupt/poor or strong state would affect the amount of response needed or sent out. For example, as Haiti is in the less economically developed stage, it needed many countries to respond to the appeal for air. Haiti needed pledged funds and dispatched rescue and medical teams, engineers and support for those affected. If the government was in a strong and reliable state, then it would have an even faster response rate as it wouldn’t have to rely on other countries, which meant that the medical teams could have arrived to the injured quicker, and as a long term response the country would not have to be in high amounts of dept to other countries.

In the next few paragraphs I will discuss how the factors ‘WHERE’ tectonic processes occur represent hazards. To give an insight to where tectonic processes occur, it’s useful to know that fault lines are the guidelines we follow to know where hazards may occur; they are where tectonic plates slowly move towards or away from each other. This movement can have a lot of geographical effects, which vary depending on whether the plates move towards each other or away from each other: When plates move towards each other, they can push each other upwards, creating mountain ranges such as part of the Caribbean island’s Haiti and the Himalaya. One plate can also start sliding over the other plate, pushing the other plate down. The area in which this happens is called a subduction zone, this is defined as an area in which two plates collide.  Firstly, plates that collide when one is sliding over another, is usually the oceanic plate (the top of the ocean floor) and the continental plate (the top of which is mostly land which lies above sea level). When this happens, the oceanic plate is pushed down by the continental plate, forming a very deep trench relatively close to the shoreline. This oceanic plate's crust, which is slowly being pushed further downwards, is then melted by the heat from the mantle (a layer of...
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