Geography Fact Files

Case studies, descriptions, pictures

Earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, landslides, wildfires, droughts, floods, cyclones/hurricanes

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  • Created by: jameelach
  • Created on: 30-09-16 12:43
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Jameela Chowdhury 13A6
An earthquake is the shaking and vibration of the Earth's crust due to movement of the
Earth's plates (plate tectonics). Earthquakes can happen along any type of plate
Earthquakes occur when tension is released from inside the crust. Plates do not always
move smoothly alongside each other and sometimes get stuck. When this happens
pressure builds up. When this pressure is eventually released, an earthquake tends to
The Earth's crust is broken up into pieces called plates. Heat rising and falling inside the
mantle creates convection currents generated by radioactive decay in the core. The
convection currents move the plates. Where convection currents diverge near the
Earth's crust, plates move apart. Where convection currents converge, plates move
towards each other. The movement of the plates, and the activity inside the Earth, is
called plate tectonics.
The point where two plates meet is called a plate boundary. Earthquakes and volcanoes
are most likely to occur either on or near plate boundaries.

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Jameela Chowdhury 13A6
A tsunami is a huge wave, usually caused when an earthquake, volcano or landslide
happens on the ocean floor, which can eventually crash onto the shoreline. water is
displaced. This water forms the start of the tsunami. Tsunamis occur most often in the
Pacific Ocean and Indonesia because the Pacific Rim bordering the Ocean has a large
number of active submarine earthquake zones.…read more

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Jameela Chowdhury 13A6
Boxing Day Tsunami 2004
On 26 December 2004 a tsunami occurred in the Indian Ocean. It was the result of the
Indio-Australian Plate subducting below the Eurasian Plate. It was caused by an
earthquake measuring more than magnitude 9. The earthquake caused the seafloor to
uplift, displacing the seawater above.
Areas affected
Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, Maldives, and Somalia
250,000 people died. One-third of the dead appeared to be children.…read more

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Jameela Chowdhury 13A6
Widespread damage of the infrastructure, shortages of food and water, and economic
Even beach resorts in parts of Thailand which were completely untouched by the
tsunami were hit by cancellations.…read more

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Jameela Chowdhury 13A6
Volcanic Eruptions
Volcanoes form when magma reaches the Earth's surface, causing eruptions of lava
and ash. Volcanic eruptions can happen at destructive and constructive
boundaries, but not at conservative boundaries. When magma reaches the Earth's
surface it is called lava. When the lava cools, it forms rock. Some volcanoes happen
underwater, along the seabed or ocean floor.
1. Magma rises through cracks or weaknesses in the
Earth's crust.
2. Pressure builds up inside the Earth.
3.…read more

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Jameela Chowdhury 13A6
Landslides occur when the stability of the slope changes from a stable to an unstable
condition. A change in the stability of a slope can be caused by a number of factors, acting
together or alone.…read more

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Jameela Chowdhury 13A6
A wildfire or wildland fire is an uncontrolled fire in an area of combustible vegetation that
occurs in the countryside area. Other names such as brush fire, bush fire, forest fire may be
used to describe the same phenomenon depending on the type of vegetation being burned,
and the regional variant of English being used.…read more

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Jameela Chowdhury 13A6
Droughts occur when a long period of abnormally dry weather leads to a severe water
shortage. Droughts are also often caused by the activity of humans and can have devastating
Human activities that can help trigger droughts include:
Deforestation and soil erosion: Widespread cutting down of trees for fuel reduces the soil's
ability to hold water - drying out the ground, triggering desertification and leading to
drought.…read more

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Jameela Chowdhury 13A6
A flood occurs when a river bursts its banks and the water spills onto the floodplain. Flooding
tends to be caused by heavy rain: the faster the rainwater reaches the river channel, the
more likely it is to flood. The nature of the landscape around a river will influence how
quickly rainwater reaches the channel.
The following may encourage flooding:
A steep-sided channel - a river channel surrounded by steep slopes causes fast surface
run-off.…read more

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Jameela Chowdhury 13A6
Cyclones/Hurricanes…read more


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