AQA Geography - Jan 2011 Exam Plate Tectonics and Weather and Climate, Section A

AQA geography January 2011 exam paper section A questions. Recieved full marks.

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Geography Exam Practice ­ Jan 2011
Plate Tectonics
1) Study figure 1, a map showing a variety of tectonic features in the Philippines.
Comment on the degree to which the area of the Philippines might be subject to tectonic hazards
(7 marks)
This area of the Philippines is subject to a number of different tectonic hazards. One hazard is that the island
is surrounded by ocean trenches. This shows that they are near a destructive plate boundary as the trenches
are when the plates sub duct and then can cause earthquakes when this happens. The trench is caused when
the plate sub ducts and then leaves a gap under the ocean floor. Another tectonic hazard that this area may
experience is volcanoes. On the map there are a number of volcanoes shown such as Pinatubo, Mayon and
Ragang. These are tectonic hazards as they erupt when the plates move and bring up hot mantle from the
crust and therefore then cause there to be lava, another tectonic hazard. Another hazard that is shown on
this map is that there are fault lines. This is a conservative plate boundary where the plates slide past each
other. This is a tectonic hazard because when they move past each other they can get stuck on pieces of
rock and this causes the plates to stop moving. Pressure builds up and then it releases, causing an
earthquake. This makes it a hazard because they can cause major destruction and kill people and destroy
their lives and businesses in the area in which it happened.
2) Outline the formation of hot spots and explain their relationship to plate movement (8 marks)
Hot spots are formed over an especially hot part of the mantle in the Earth's core. The mantle is hot molten
rock that has the consistency of jam. This rock is very hot, however some parts become even hotter and
then they manage to burn through the crust on to the Earth's surface. This mantle reaches the surface and
then it sets to create a new island/ new land as it sets as solid rock. In terms of plate movement, this can
cause a chain of islands, for example in Hawaii. The hot spot remains in the same place but the plate moves
because of convection under the crust in the Earth's core. The plates then move along and when the molten
rock comes out of the hot spot it sets to create another island. This carries on and makes chains of islands,
like in Hawaii.
3) With reference to two volcanic events that you have studied from contrasting areas of the
world, compare the nature of the volcanic hazard and its impact (10 marks)
Across the world there are many volcanic events all over the world across many different countries. There
are volcanic events in contrasting areas of the world, in both MEDCs and LEDCs.
One case study from an MEDC is the Hawaiian island eruptions. These eruptions are very small and mild
and they do not cause any damage. There has also not been one major eruption from the Hawaiian
volcanoes because the people that live there make sure to live far enough away from them so that they are
not affected by the lava. The type of eruption is called Hawaiian because they are unique and gentle, with the
lava just running down the side. Hawaiian eruptions have caused no damage to their economy or lives
because they have no damage from their eruptions. These eruptions can happen a number of times each day
and there are no problems with the locals with this as they know how to deal with the effects of the lava and
eruptions. There is also not a death toll for Hawaii as no one has died from the lava and eruptions because
they know to stay away and also because of the nature of the eruption being so gentle.

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A case study from another part of the world, an LEDC, is in Nevado Del Ruiz. This eruption happened on
the 3rd November 1985. This eruption caused a number of different primary effects such as toxic gas, ash
and pyroclastic flows. There was a large death toll of up to 23,000 people due to a secondary effect called
lahars. Lahars are caused by ash mixing with water and making the consistency of concrete.…read more

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One direction they get an air mass from is from the north.
This is called an arctic maritime wind because its origin is from the North Pole and it brings very cold
weather. As it travels over water it brings wet weather such as rain and snow. This air mass is more
common in winter as it is cold and brings the cold weather associated with winter. There is also polar
continental wind.…read more


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