Plate tectonics ALL case studies.

A document containing all plate tectonics case studies I learnt including:

  • Pinatubo, Philippines 1991
  • Ejafjallajökull, Iceland 2010

  • Port-au-Prince, haiti 2010

  • L'Aquila, Italy 2009

  • Japan 2011 tsunami

  • Boxing day Indian ocean tsunami 2004

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Plate tectonics:
Pinatubo, Philippines 1991:
Nature of the volcanic hazard:
· Destructive margin (Eurasian ­ continental, Philippine ­ oceanic)
· The volcano had been dormant since the 14th century
· Lots of sediment on top of the volcano which made it very explosive as the
magma had to blast through it
· Rhyolitic lava so didn't flow far but was very explosive
· Released vast amounts of ash
· Many pyroclastic flows and lahars (lahars killed 77 people)
· 800 died in total
· 2 million effected
· 200 000 became homeless
· Many lost their livelihoods (mainly agricultural area)
· Total losses estimated at $715 million
· 80000 hectares of farmland buried by ash
· Large areas covered by ash
· 80000 hectares of farmland destroyed
· Over 1 million farm animals died
The response was quite successful it is estimated that between 5000 and 20000 lives were
saved by evacuation. Most of the death toll however is due to deaths from diseases in the
refugee camps.
Ejafjallajökull, Iceland 2010:

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Nature of the volcanic hazard:
· Constructive margin
· Also a hot spot
· 1st eruption basaltic lava 2nd a little more andesitic
· 2nd eruption released large amounts of ash because as the magma rose it was
blocked and so built up a lot of pressure when this was finally released ash was
blasted into the sky
· As magma came into contact with the cold air and glacial ice turning it into
fragmented ash shards.…read more

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Port-au-Prince, Haiti 2010
Nature of the seismic hazard:
· Haiti lies on the boundary of the Caribbean and North American plates.
· Conservative/ transform plate boundary.
· 7.0 magnitude.
· Very shallow earthquake 13km deep.
· Port-au-Prince (2 million population) was vulnerable because the geology of the
area is prone to liquefaction.
· It is the poorest country in the western hemisphere.
· 316,000 people died.
· 1.5 million made homeless.
· 3 million effected.
· 60% of government building damaged.…read more

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Due to the issues at the airport aid was backing up and not being distributed, this
led to small incidences of violence and looting.
Secondary responses:
· Money was pledged by organisations and governments to assist in rebuilding, but
only slow progress had been made after one year.
· After one year, there were still 1,300 camps.
· `Cash for work' programs are paying Haitians to clear rubble.
· Small farmers are being supported ­ so crops can be grown.
· Schools are being rebuilt.…read more

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Short Term:
· Money was provided by the government to pay rent, gas and electricity bills were
· Cranes and diggers were used to remove rubble.
· Ambulances, fire engines, the army were sent in to rescue survivors.
· International teams with rescue dogs were sent to look for survivors.
· Camps were set up for the homeless, food and water and medical care was
provided.…read more

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Japan 2011:
Nature of the hazard:
· Japan is located at the meeting point of 3 tectonic plates, The Eurasian, Pacific
and Philippines.
· Destructive margin.
· Japan gets 30% of the world's earthquakes every year.
· There was a magnitude 7.2 earthquake on the 9th of March, 2 days before the
8.9-9.0 magnitude earthquake of the 11th.
· This particular earthquake was due to the build-up of pressure as the Pacific plate
subducted under the Eurasian plate.…read more

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The island of Honshu was moved 2.4 m east and shifted the Earth on its axis by
estimates of between 10 cm and 25 cm.
· 3 nuclear meltdowns at the Fukushima power plant.
· This cause contamination of the sea and land, and force the evacuation of local
Primary responses:
· Local emergency units were sent out to cool down the nuclear reactors of the
Fukushima power plant.…read more

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People were swept away in the waters, which arrived rapidly and with little
· Thirteen countries were affected, the worst being Indonesia.
· Diseases in refugee camps killed 150,000.
· Up to 5 million people lost homes, or access to food and water.
Impacts on tourism and fishing industries.
Fishing equipment and ships damaged economy local severely (66% of fleet
Destruction of infrastructure (harms all industries).
Estimated $123 worth of damage.
Destruction of many ecosystems e.g.…read more


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