Earthquake Management

Earthquake Management: Prediction, Protection and Prevention.

Refers to AQA A2 Geography (Plate Tectonics and Assosiated Hazards)

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  • Earthquake Management
    • Prediction
      • The Theory of Plate Tectonics enables us to identify at-risk areas
        • Produce a hazard zone map to be acted on by local/ national planners
        • Look at geological information and ground stability
      • There are some fairly unreliable prediction methods a few hours before an earthquake occurs
        • Monitoring Groundwater Levels
        • Release of Radon Gas
        • Unusual Animal Behaviour
      • Earthquake prediction along the San Andreas Fault
        • Fault can be monitored with local magnetic fields measured
        • Close studies can indicate the point along a fault line when the next quake may be due, through a study of a pattern of seismic events.
          • A study of the fault between 1969-89 reveled a 'seismic gap' in the area of Loma Prieta.
            • An earthquake was suffered here in October 1189. This magnitude 7.1 quake killed 63.
              • It was not totally unexpected, but it was not possible to predict precisely, hence why prediction methods are limited.
    • Prevention
      • Thought by many to be IMPOSSIBLE
      • Some have begun feasability studies to prevent plates catching when the slide (no success!)
    • Protection
      • Hazard Resistance Structures
        • Buildings use strong materials such as reinforced concrete.
        • Special founadtions to absorb earthquake energy.
        • Collapsable Lower Level (Ususally a Car Park) in Japan.
      • Education
        • Earthquake Drills on Anniversary of Kobe Earthquake in Japan,
        • Encorage family to have three days water supply, food, first aid.
      • Fire Prevention
        • 'Smart Meters' to cut off the gas in the event of an earthquake
        • Seismic information transmitted to gas companies in Tokyo, so employees can switch of major pipelines, reducing fires.
      • Emergency Services
        • Computer Programs in California to state where emergancy services should be sent first.
        • Specialist training/ equipment
      • Land Use Planning
        • Construction laws in some quake-prone countries e.g. Japan have increased in recent years. Newer buildings are stricter and more liekly to withstand earthquakes.
        • Schools/ hospitals in new risk areas.
        • Sufficient open space for safe areas in an earthquake.


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