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Tectonic Landscapes

4.1 Location and characteristics of tectonic activity

a) World distribution of earthquakes and volcanoes.

Tectonic Plates:

o North American
o South American
o Caribbean
o Nazca
o Juan de Fuca
o Cocos
o Pacific
o Scotia
o Antarctic
o African
o Arabian
o Eurasian
o Indo-Australian
o Philippine…

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o Heat is moved from the core to the upper mantle by
o Giant convection cells move around the lithospheric plates
above them by frictional drag.
o Plates move centimetres per year.

Two types of lithospheric plates:

o Oceanic crust

5-10km thick.
Denser than continental crust.
Constantly renewed and…

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In the case of two oceanic plates converging, the
denser plate is subducted.

o Collision zone (continent to continent)

Sediments build up in the sea, separating India from
100 million tears ago the Indian and Eurasian plates
started to converge.
The two continental plates are about the same density,…

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Can be used to measure earthquake vibrations
anywhere (if seismometer in place).
Ranges from 1 to 10.
A linear scale.

Key terms

o Focus

The point underground where the earthquake starts ­
it is here where the greatest release of energy occurs.

o Epicentre

This is the point on the…

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o Social reasons

Lack of choice (either because of poverty or because
most of their country is tectonically active, e.g. Japan)
Technology ­ increased confidence due to earthquake
proof buildings and disaster management plans in
Some never having experienced an earthquake in their
lifetime think the chances of them…

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o The North Anatolian Fault slipped between 2 and 5 metres.
o The Arabian plate is pushing the Turkish micro plate
westwards alongside the Eurasian plate and the African plate.
o The North Anatolian Fault is a slipping zone. Izmit is on this
fault line.


o Effects on people…

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Volcanic eruptions

o Prediction

Look for magmatic quakes (made as magma rises) ­
measured by seismometers.
Look for changes in gas composition ­ sulphur and
carbon dioxide.
Look for changes in land height, such as bulging ­ tilt
meters, satellite relay, geostationary measuring
Phreatic eruption ­ steam explosion whereby…

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Well trained emergency services
Planning restrictions (e.g. not building on fault line
Earthquake proof building design

Computer controlled counter weights on roof to
counteract shock waves.
Rubber shock absorbers between foundations
and building.
Automatic shut off switches for electricity and
gas etc.
Reinforced lift shafts with tensioned cables.


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