AQA Geography A2 Plate tectonics listening notes

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Plate Tectonics Case Studies
Volcanic case studies
Mount Pinatubo
This caused the most atmosphere disturbance since Krakatau due to the vast amount of ash
Where: Philippines, East Asia
Plate boundary: Philippine plate sub-ducts beneath the Eurasian plate
When: 19,91, 7th to 15th June
Type of volcano: Composite or stratovolcano due to Andesitic lava present.
Last eruption: 13,80
Volcanic Explosivity Index: 6
April 2nd: Volcano started having small eruptions along a 1.5 kilometre fissure, these
continued for a couple months with the surrounding areas being dusted with volcanic ash
and there being hundreds of small earthquakes every day. First evacuation of 5000 people
May 13th to 28th: Rapid increase in the amount of Sulphur Dioxide so there is rising magma
in the volcano, by the 28th May this has decreased a lot which would mean that the magma
had been blocked.
June 5th: The First eruptions with magma happened, there was also a high alert sent out that
there could be a major eruption within the next two weeks.
June 7th: There had been a large lava dome form which caused a evacuation area of 20km
from the volcano and 20 thousand people evacuated
June 15th: The big eruption lasted for nine hours, which caused an ash plume which was 7km
high. A tropical storm called Yunkya caused the ash to mix with the water vapour which
caused lahars down river valleys. There was a 10 up to 30 inches of ash covering a 2 thousand
kilometres radius from the mountain.

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After June 15th: A large amount of sulphur dioxide to be released (15 to 30 million tons), this
mixed with water and oxygen to become sulphuric acid to fall as rain which is harmful to
people.…read more

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Some people moved away from the area
Mount Saint Helens
This is the most devastating and costliest volcanic eruption in the history of the United
States of America.
Where: North America, In the state of Washington
When: March 20thto May 18th 1980
What plate boundaries: Subduction zone Juan de fucia plate sub ducts beneath the North
American plate
Last Eruption: 18,57
Volcanic Explosivity Index: 5
What caused it: From March 20th earthquakes of magnitude greater than 4.…read more

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There was a lateral blast due to plug being removed, which reached 17miles north of the
volcano which had temperature of up to 350°c
Lahars came from the Columbia and the Cowlitz River which affected up to 300km of the
Pyroclastic flow covered an area of 6 miles and reached 5 miles from the volcano which was
about 700°c at speeds of up to 130 kilometres an hour
Ash reached a height of 12 miles and fell in 11 states as far as 430…read more

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Lots of ash had to be removed with an estimated weight of 1 million tonnes and cost $2.…read more

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Communications There was severe damage to the
communications infrastructure with all TV and
telecommunications cut off
Disease There was also diseases easily spread through
the country with as severe outbreak of Cholera
after the earthquake
There were make shift shanty towns built for the millions of homeless
Due to the masses of bodies there where mass graves built for all the bodies or they were
Orphanages was destroyed so families in the US adopted 400 children from Haiti
The Dominican republic sent cook…read more

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There was a big outbreak of fires all over the city which caused most deaths
there were also over 1,300 aftershocks. There was also some liquefaction.
Impact Description
People killed Over 6300
Injured 40 thousand
Infrastructure Roads blocked by debris and the Hanshin
Expressway, motorway built on stilts
toppled over. Railways were also buckled and
station damaged so bullet train was out of
service.…read more

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There were more seismographs and other machines installed in order to better keep
track of how the earth was moving, so they would be better prepared next time.
The highway had rubber blocks to help absorb the shock installed
Buildings were built further apart so less likely to collapse onto each other.
Many people moved away from a city to a area less prone to earthquakes
Many old buildings collapsed so newer earthquake proof buildings were built in their
place.…read more


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