AQA - Geography GCSE A Case Studies (Physical Geography)

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  • Created on: 05-01-14 16:43

Likely Effects of a Supervolcano Eruption

- Yellowstone Supervolcano

- 87000 deaths predicted within area of eruption

- 10,000 km^2 land destroyed

- 15cm of ash covering buildings within 10,000 km

- Ash cloud rising 40-50 km into the atmosphere

- Flights suspended

- Constant snow cover in America and Asia for 3 years

  • Monsoon rains would fail
  • 40% of population suffering starvation
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Earthquake in MEDC : Kobe Earthquake

- 5:46am on 17th Jan 1995 at Nojima fault line

- Earthquake measuring 7.2 on Richter Scale

  • 6,500 dead
  • 40,000 seriously injured
  • 300,000 homeless
  • Huge damage to buildings (30% of Osaka to Kobe tracks left)
  • Hanshin Expressway destroyed
  • 1 million homes without water for 10 days
  • $220 billion worth of damage

- Responses

  • Emergency services searched for survivors in rubble
  • Hospitals working non-stop
  • Motorola gave telephone connections for free
  • New laws for building of earthquake proof buildings
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Earthquake in LEDC : The Sichuan Earthquake

- 12 May  2008, 2:28pm. Indian Plate collided with the Eurasian Plate along Longmenshan fault line.

-  7.9 on the Richter Scale, tremors lasting 120 seconds

  • 70,000 dead + 20,000 missing
  • 400,000 injured
  • 10 million homeless
  • 80% buildings collapsed due to cheap building materials
  • Lack of communications, limited access by roads due to landslides, and flooding
  • $75 million worth of damage

- Responses

  • 20 helicopters assingned to rescuse survivors
  • Provisions of shelter, water and food
  • £100 million of donations by the Red Cross
  • Debts of survivors written off
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Volcanic Eruption : Mt St Helens

- 8:32am, 18 May 1980

The were signs of an eruption in March 1980, so evacuation had been carried out

  • Magnitude: 5.1
  • Caused the biggest landslide ever recorded
  • All living organisms 27km to the north of volcano wiped out.
  • 57 dead

- Responses

  • Helicopters mobilised for search and rescue
  • Ash was cleared from roads within 3 days
  • Masks provided to locals to aid breathing
  • Housing reconstructed
  • Forest replanted + Road rebuilt
  • Over time, animals like elks returned
  • Much more fertile soils left behind
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Indian Ocean Tsunami

- 26 December 2004, when Indo-Australian Plate subducted beneath the Eurasian Plate

  • Earthquake measured 9.1 on Richter Scale
  • Highest wave : 25m
  • 220,000 dead ; 650,000 seriously injured ; 2 million homeless

- Responses

  • Vast area affected meant that rescue services could not help everyone
    • Diseases spread and wounds worsened
  • Fresh water + food and shelter provided
  • £372 million donations from UK
  • Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System set up in June 2006

- Specific Areas Afffected

  • Banda Aceh in Sumatra - people swept away
  • Two-thirds of the Maldives' low lying capital, Male, inundated
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The Andes

- Uses

  • Farming
    • Mountain slopes used for subsidence farming, such as potatoes
    • Terraces used to retain water and make farming easier. Most farming in the lower valleys
    • Using llamas to carry materials for irrigation and for meat, milk and wool
  • Mining
    • Range of important minerals - Tin from Peru and Bolivia ; Gold from Peru (Yanacocha goldmine)
    • Provides jobs
  • Hydroelectric Power
    • Steep slopes used to generate hydroelectric power, eg Yuncan project dams the Paucartambo and Huachon rivers
  • Tourism
    • Trails for hiking : Inca Trail ; Heritage Sites : Machu Picchu
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Tourism in the Alps: Chamonix

- Located in the north-westerly part of the Alps in France. 100,000 visitors every day 

  • Winter Attractions
    • Skiing + Snowboarding + Ice Climbing + Paragliding
    • Hotels, Restaurants, Heated swimming pools and Museums within Chamonix
  • Summer Attractions
    • Montenvers railway takes visitors to the Mer de Glace (glacier) with ice caves
    • 350km of hiking trails + Boating + Rock Climbing
    • Live music, cafes and flowers within Chamonix
  • Impact of tourists
    • Employment + Improvement of local facilities and town appearence
    • Noisy + Congested at times due to small roads.
    • Erosion of mountain footpaths
    • Shops become expensive for locals
    • Conflicts can arise beteen tourists and locals.
  • Management
    • Promotion of responsible tourism + Offers eco-friendly transport
    • Espace Mont-Blanc Initiative and Tomorrow's Valley Organisation
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Temperate Deciduous Forest: Epping Forest

- North-east of London; covers 2,500 ha (19km long x 4km wide)

  • Wide variety of environments such as woodland, grasslands and marshes
  • Early Uses and Managment
    • Hunting; Collecting wood; Grazing
    • Pollarding; Made a conservation site to prevent people buying it
  •  
  • Recent Management
    • 1,500 ha designated as an SSSI
    • Provision of facilities for tourists like car parks and toilets to limit damage to forest
    • Controlling some forms of recreation to limit damage
    • Preserving ancient trees by pllarding (1,000 trees repollarded since 1981)
    • Preserving animals living there
    • Encouraging grazing to maintain soil fertility
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Deforestation of a tropical rainforest: Malasiya

- Located south-east Asia. 63% of Malasiya is tropical rainforest

  • Dangers
    • 150,000ha of forest lost every year
    • Clear felling of trees leads to total destruction of rainforest
    • $2bn Bakun Dam project resulted in the flooding of 1000s of hectares of rainforest
      • 250 km^2 of virgin rainforest cut down
      • 9,000 indigenous people forced to move from the area but not supplied with rehousing
    • Areas of rainforest cleared for mining, leading to pollution of land and rivers
    • Drilling has started in Borneo, as well as deforestation for palm oil plantations
    • Land cleared for countryside population
    • Fires are common due to "slash and burn" methods
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Desert in LEDC: Thar Desert, Rajasthan, India

  • Economic Uses
    • Susidence farming of basic crop, as well as hunters
    • Irrigation and Commercial Farming
      • Indira Gandhi Canal - 650km long - irrigates 3,500 km^2 of land in Jodhpur and Jaisalmer, allowing commercial farming of wheat and provides drinking water to people in the desert
    • Mining Industry
      • Rajasthan has a good supply of kaolin and gypsum
      • At Jaisalmer, the Sanu limestone, the main source of limestone for Indian steel works
      • Rock marble quarried near Jodhpur
    • Tourism
      • Desert safaris on camels at Jaisalmer.
  • Problems and Management
    • Growing population leads to the destruction of land and ecosystems
    • Salinisation has occured due to excessive irrigation + Soil erosion due to over grazing
    • Desert Development Program started to preserve ecological balance of the desert and stabilising sand dunes
    • The Thar Desert National Park has been created to protect 3,000 km^2 of land
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Desert in MEDC : Sonoran Desert, Arizona, USA

- 300+ mm of rainfall every year

  • Air conditioning is used to deal with heat, preventing the need to convert the land
  • Good water supply can be used for irrigation and drinking supplies
  • Clean air and open spaces allows tourist sites to be built to generate money

- Manara, a town in the Sonoran Desert

  • Population of 30,000
  • In 1920, a new irrigation system allowed the commercial farming of cotton, wheat and barley
  • Since 1990s, farming has decline and replaced by housing and a heritage park has been opened
  • The town has become a wealthy business community and hosts golfs Matchplay Championship
  • Management
    • 1998, Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan initiated to conserve resources
      • Led to the creation of buffer zones of ecological significance
      • Provides home design recommendations to conserve energy and water
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Khumbu Glacier, Nepal

- Starts on the Western corrie on the slopes of Mt. Everest

- Largest glacier in Nepal - 4km long

  • Since 1980, the glaciers have been retreating. The process increased in 1995
  • Between 1976 and 2007, scientists found that the Khumbu glacier retreated by 18m a year

- Melting glaciers causes rivers flowing through Nepal and India can flood

- In 2010, cameras were set up in Mount Everest to monitor glaciers for 2 years.

  • This will allow scientists to plan for the future of Nepal
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Management of Malaysia Rainforest

  • Management
    • National Forestry Act - banning of sale of raw timer ; timber processing to reduce demand for raw timber; increase awareness of forests
    • Selective Management System - A system in which scientists decide which trees should be felled and in which direction. After felling, the trees are replanted and allowed to grow
    • Permanent Forest Estates - ban commercial activity in virgin rainforest areas
    • Forest Stewardship Council - promotes the purchase of wood from sustailable sources, rather than rare hardwood
    • Ecotourism - allows locals to make a living without damaging the environment
    • Debt Relief - Paying countries to maintain rainforests or cutting their debts in exchange for rainforest maintainence
    • Carbon Sinks - Large forests maintained to reduce CO2 in the air. Eg Gola Forest in Sierra Leone (supported by European Commission and the French government)
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Fragile Environment : Abondance, France

  • The resort has had over 15 years of unreliable snowfall. 
  • People are considering: Developing other forms of winter sports or add summer activities to make the resort availiable all year round.
  • New developments:
    • High Alps are being built on to make more resorts
    • Roads, housing and ski lifts are damaging habitats and the ecosystem
    • Trees are cut down (they bind the soil), which can make avalanches more likely
    • Footpath erosion can leave scars on the landscape.
    • Increasing visual and noise pollution reduces the attractiveness of the resort
  • In Austria, the Gepatsch Glacier is being opened for skiing
  • Cable cars are being used to transport skiers upland
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