Geography Case Studies

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Geography G.C.S.E Case Studies
Case Studies
Volcanoes ­ Mount St. Helens
Location
Peak in the Rocky Mountain fold mountain range in North America. West side of
America in Washington, USA.
Causes
The Juan de Fuca Plate, the oceanic crust moved eastwards and collided with the
North American plate, which is continental crust. The oceanic crust was forced
downwards into the mantle. The increase of temperature destroyed the crust,
creating magma. Pressure increased and the magma rose to the earth's surface.
Eruption
Mount St Helens is a composite volcano.
20 March ­ 4.2 Richter scale earthquake with smaller quakes following
27 March ­ Mount St Helens produces ash and steam
May ­ Northern side bulges
18 May ­ Ash and steam rises. Magnitude 5 earthquake made the bulge move,
causing a landslide. Eruption
19 May ­ Eruption stopped; ash cloud spread to central US, and drifted around the
globe for 2 weeks.
Effects
185 miles of highway destroyed
15 miles of railways and 27 bridge destroyed
4 billion feet of commercial timber damaged
Thick ash covered and destroyed many agricultural crops
Roads closed due to massive amount of traffic leaving the area
Total cost of damage - $1.1 billion
7000 big game animals perished, as well as birds and small mammals
Benefits
Light volcanic ash fertilised the crops, and the area now attracts holiday adventurers.
In the long term, good nutrients will be added to the soils.
Flooding in the Netherlands, 1995, an MEDC

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Geography G.C.S.E Case Studies
Causes
- Physical
In Europe, there was almost continuous rainfall in some parts from November 1994 ­
February 1995. Switzerland has 3 times the January average. The snow melted quickly
and earlier than usual in the Alps, and the ground became saturated. Further rain was
transferred to rivers as overland flow.
-Human
The Rhine has had riverside marsh removed, which once held back the flood water.
The river was straightened taking 50km of its course.…read more

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Geography G.C.S.E Case Studies
Local people dislike the noisy lorries
National Park officers want quarrying stopped to preserve the natural
landscape & ecosystems.…read more

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