Restless Earth Case Studies

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The Alps

The Alps are fold mountains that span across Europe, going through countries including France, Germany, Italy, Austria and Switzerland.

Problems with surviving in this environment include:

  • Relief - High mountains and steep slopes means little flat land
  • Climate - Temperature drops one degree per one hundred metres
  • Soils - Stoney, thin and infertile
  • Accessability - Traveling between valleys is tricky!

Humans have adapted their lifestyles in orderto thrive in this environment:

  • Summer tourism is based in the beautiful mountain scenery
  • Winter tourism is based on the ski slopes
  • The steep valleys are used for HEP
  • Terracing is a farming technique where steps are cut out of the mountain to make room for my livestock and crops. They also hold more water creating more fertile soil.

Link to these cards: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/g/revision-cards/aqa-geography-a-unit-one-case-studies

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Soufriere Hills Volcano

The Soufriere Hills Volcano erupted in 1995 and 1997. It is located on the Montserrate island in the Caribbean on a destructive margin. 

Effects (Primary, Secondary)

  • Twenty people killed
  • Two thirds of homes and farmland destroyed
  • 5000 people evacuated
  • Rebuilding costs
  • Tourist industry disrupted 

Responses:

  • Evacuation
  • Emergency help, emergency services and the army called in
  • UK aid to help rebuild infrastructure
  • Volcano observatory built
  • Attempts to reattract tourists
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2004 Boxing Day Tsunami

The Asian 2004 Tsunami affected a huge number of countries, from Sri Lanka to India, from Somalia to Sumatra. 

Effects

  • Over 220,000 killed (including 166,000 from Indonesia)
  • Over 2,000,000 displaced
  • Over 500,000 homes destroyed 
  • Massive economic impact
  • Hospitals, such as those in Sumatra, tried to react but quickly became overloaded. Bodies were left piled up in hospital corridors until mass graves had been dug. 

Responses

  • Disasters Emergency Committee spent over £40,000,000 on rebuilding projects
  • Internationally, over US$14 billion was donated
  • An early warning system was put in place
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Kobe, Japanese Earthquake, 1995

On 17th January 1995, a 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck Kobe. This was due to a movement in the Eurasian, Pacific and Philippines plate.

Effects:

  • 350,000 injured
  • Buildings and bridges collapsed despite the 'earthquake proof' design
  • Buildings destroyed by fire from gass leaks
  • 316,000 left homeless

Responses

  • People were evacuated
  • Emergency rations dispatched
  • Rescue teams searched for ten days
  • Many moved away out of fear
  • Jobs were created because of amount of rebuilding needed.
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Kashmir, Pakistan, 2005

One 8th October 2005, an earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale caused havoc in Pakistan. This was as a result of the Eurasian and the Indian plates colliding.

Effects

  • Buildings collapsed
  • 79,000 people killed
  • Landlsides and huge cracks opened in the ground
  • Broken sewage pipes contaminated water supplies
  • People died of cold during the follwoing harsh winter

Responses

  • The army and emergency services arrived to help search and rescue
  • Tents were given out by charities
  • Aid workers arrived to treat the injured
  • Buildings and regulations were changed
  • Schools and hospitals were rebuilt
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