Case Studies

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  • Created by: emmamshan
  • Created on: 27-04-16 12:36

Coastal flooding: USA (MEDC) Hurricane Katrina

Katrina was a Stage 4 storm. Waves reached over 6 meters.


 -  New Orleans was most affected as it is under the sea level  -  levees protecting New Orleans didn't cope with the strength of the storm  -  many of the poorest people remained in the city due to the badly organized evacuation plan  -  many robberies happened during and after the evacutation  -  people used the stadium as shelter which was unhygenic  -  shortages in food and water  -  1 million people became homeless  -  1,200 people drowned  -  oil facilities damaged causing a rise in petrol prices in the UK and USA


-  authorities judged for their way of handling the situation  -  evacuation process replanned in order to speed it up  -  50 billion dollars given to reconstruct by the government  -  rules made by the natural guard to restore unsafe living environment

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Over-Populated area: Nigeria (LEDC)

In 1999, the natural increase in Nigeria, was 3% above the world average
140 million

- Lack of education - High birth rate - Low death rate - High infant mortality rate


- Unemployment - Overcrowded cities - Poor health care - Strain on natural resources - High rate of contamination - Child labor - High crime rate


- Two child policy - family planning - promote education

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Densely Populated Area: Indonesia (LEDC)

50% of the population lives on the main island of Java causing overpopulation in Jakarta, the capital.

  • send people to Kalmantan, a neighboring island, where people would receive free food and land
    Negative things about this solution:
  • Once they left, they couldn't come back to Java - Rainforest had to be cut down in Kalmantan, causing the ground to lose its fertility - the tribes living in the forest were forced to either move or change lifestyle - loss in local culture - pollution
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Volcanic Eruption: USA (MEDC) Mount St. Helens

Mt. St. Helens had been dormant for 150 years. Erupted on May 18th, 1980, causing a 5.0 mag. earthquake.

Mt. St. Helens sits on a destructive plate boundary where the Pacific plate subducts under the North American plate.


 -  61 deaths  -  Spirit Lake destroyed  -  250 km² of forest destroyed  -  250 km fishing rivers destroyed  -  crops destroyed  -  no animals in blast zone survived


 -  volcano more carefully monitered  -  people were rehoused  -  roads and bridges repaired  -  tourism increased, boosting local economy  -  ash deposits improved soil fertility (better crops)

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River: Morpeth, River Wansbeck 2008


-  steep relief  -  Limited flood defences  -  150mm of rainfall in the catchment  -  Drainage system backed up  -  Building on the floodplain over the past 40 years  -  Soil saturated from wet summer  -  Very short lag time due to impermeable soils and steepness of catchment  -  Long term deforestation for farming  -  Morpeth is built inside a meander


- 400 people evacuated  -  problem in warning system, one whole district wasn't warned  -  over 1000 homes affected  -  rescue boats not stored properly so had to use the RSPCA's boat.


- creation of upstream reservoir 

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Food shortages: Sudan and South Sudan (LEDCs)


  • Civil War
  • Drought

The countries have been suffering from food shortages for decades.

Around 70,000 people have died from hunger and related diseases.

The UN stopped vital food deliveries as it was too dangerous fro drivers and aid workers (due to the Civil War).

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Place with Low rate of Population Growth: France

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Agricultural area: Cambridgeshire, UK (MEDC)

One of the most agricultural areas in Europe.

Used for farming because:

Physical factors:

  • flat land,
  • well drained soil,
  • warm summer (~18°C)

Human factors: 

  • good access to markets
  • large area for farmland - easy access for machines
  • investment by large companies
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International Migration: Mexico to USA

Illegal migration is a huge problem, so the US border is patroled by guards.

Push effects vs Pull effects:

low wages vs well paid jobs
40% unemployment vs many job opportunities (with low wages)
poor eduaction vs good education
poor medical facilities vs excellent medical facilities

Impact on USA vs Impact on Mexico

border patrol is expensive vs emigrants send ~6 billion$/year to Mexico 
cultural and racial issues vs many men migrate causing population imbalance
Mexican culture enriches border states (USA only)
Mexican migrants benefit from US economy (USA only)

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Rate of High Natural Population Growth: Kenya (LED

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Place of high population dependency: Japan (MEDC)

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Earthquake: Japan (MEDC) on March 11th, 2011

-  Destructive plate boundary: Pacific plate subducted under North American plate  -  200 km of rock slipped and flicked upwards, creating a tsunami
-  stocks fell  -  6,000 injured, 13,000 deaths, and 13,000 missing  -  1.4 million homes without water  -  power outage  -  major release of radioactive materials
-  tsunami warning only 3 minutes after earthquake  -  100,000 japanese soldiers sent out for search and rescue  -  exclusion zone defined around Fukushima  -  reconstruction

The japanese government is among the best prepared in the world for disasters.

They were prepared for the earthquake, but not the tsunami.

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Sparsely Populated Area: Australia (MEDC)

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Under-Populated area: Australia (MEDC)

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Energy Supply in an area: China (MEDC) 3 Gorges Da

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Economic dev. w/ environ. risks: Kenya (LEDC)

Masai Mara National Reserve Safaris

  • Trash is not disposed of correctly - animals scavenge in trash
  • Many tourists in the same area at the same time - trampled ground and desertification due to jeeps and people passing so many times over the same place.
  • Traditional tribes and villages kicked out of their lands.
  • Excessive amount of people and Jeeps scare the animals

Mombasa Beaches

  • Tourists walk on the coral.
  • Unregulated swimming areas.
  • Unmanaged beaches and marine wildlife.
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Coastal Management: Holderness Coast, UK (MEDC)

Erosion caused by: 

 weak geology  -  powerful waves  -  removal of material (naturally and due to human activity)

Mike Needley

-  Ringborough Farm  -  cliff on the edge of the property is eroding very quickly  -  many other businesses affected by this, mainly homes and parks

Defending the coast

-  Due to most of the area being sparesly inhabited, the loss of money to fix and defend the coast line is too great  -  people are forced to change business or move  -  the bigger the population, the better the sea defences and the more money is spent to repair them; groynes (v. expensive), rip-rap (less expensive)

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