‘Tectonic hazard profiles determine the way in which people and governments respond to hazards.’ Discuss. (Total 70 marks) Plan
Definition of tectonic hazard, plate movements, LEDCs, MEDCs, responses, people and governments (human responses) Hazard profile sections of report: magnitude, frequency, predictability Concepts and theories: models and diagrams
Case studies: LEDC Haiti earthquake, MEDC tsunami Japan, California, China Introduction
Tectonic activity varies due to geographical location and position of tectonic plate boundaries. The Earth's crust is made up of continental and oceanic plates, which move across the surface of the planet, meeting at plate boundaries. Plate tectonics cause volcanic activity, tsunamis and earthquakes.
Responses in terms of humans refers to the action taken to minimize the risk to human life and possessions. This response can range from an individual level to international level. They can be seen as modifying the event, modifying the vulnerability and modifying the loss. (See Figure 1)
This model shows the variations depending on the hazard and the range of physical factors which relate to the nature of the hazard.
Hazard profiling shows factors such as frequency and magnitude. The differences of a tsunami and earthquake are similar and yet they can have different effects in different locations depending on predictability and duration. (See Figure 2)
Although this shows the variation in physical factors, it doesn’t take into account the human factors such as preparedness and state of the economy. In this report, I will examine both of these factors to gain a balanced view in terms of responses, using a range of examples and case studies as evidence. It will focus on countries with varying levels of development and hazards so I can compare and contrast them to make my evaluation strong.
In order to complete a well rounded and researched report, secondary research from various sources were used and analyzed. Internet sites such as Wikipedia were useful to provide basic information about certain countries, such as population size, although they had to be used with caution as sometimes the information is not reliable and up to date. I also used geographical websites, news websites and textbooks to provide me with information and sample models & theorists for example the Degg model and Park model.
I carefully evaluated each source to eliminate any bias and to check the validity of the information. It can appear that the news sources are reliable, as they are of a journalistic nature. Websites such as the USGS and BGS provided fantastic and reliable statistics regarding the extent of world hazard modification and also individual case studies of various tectonic hotspots. They also provided links to relevant news and journals on the subject, which proved to be very useful. These sources allowed me to compile various case studies, including the Japan Tsunami in 1993 and the Haiti Earthquake in 2010. I also found current and up to date information from the BBC website. Information from government websites was treated with caution as figures may have been represented differently depending on the scenario of the country, making some results potentially un-reliable. Economic Development
Strong economic development allows for efficient responses as shown in Figure 1. Well run governments and investment in pre hazard responses e.g education for the country’s population are positive actions for coping with vulnerability.
The 2003 Californian earthquake with a magnitude of 6.5 only killed 3 people when a building collapsed in the middle of the city of Eureka, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Due to this area identified as a hotspot, the government were quick with regards to their ability to respond to these hazards. It’s very self sufficient when it comes down to helping the population and making sure they receive physical and medical help...
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