GCSE geography SDM (retake)

Why people live in a tectonic area

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GCSE geography SDM (retake)

Key terms:

  • MEDC- more economically developed country
  • LEDC- less economically developed country
  • NIC- newly industrialised country
  • EU- european union
  • Destructive plate margin- an actively deforming region where two tectonic plates move toward one another and collide.
  • Constructive plate margin- Where two plates move away from each other and new oceanic crust is formed.
  • Slip margin- Two plates slide past each other, without creating or destroying any land. As they move past each other they often get stuck, building up great pressure until finally they jolt past each other. This sudden movement is what causes earthquakes.
  • Collision plate boundary- Where two continental crusts collide neither can sink. Instead they push into each other forcing material to be folded up into huge mountain ranges. Often this movement and pressure can cause earthquakes, but no volcanoes will occur on these boundaries.

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Why live in an area of tectonic risk?

why live in an area of tectonic risk?

Inertia may be a cause due to volcanoes and personal beliefs. Also it may be traditional, they may have history there, they may love the culture of the area. They may have always lived there.

Their may be a lack of alternatives because they may be either poor, their job may be connected to the disaster area, or their close family might live their and don't want to leave their family.

Their may be advantages of the area such as; tourism for volcanoes, geo-thermal energy to save resources, their may be hot springs that bring a lot of people to the area, the fertile ground due to weathering of lava making the soil softer and more refined to grow vegetation better and usually in volcanic areas there are valuable minerals, another great reason to live there.

Finally the last reason why people would live in area of tectonic risk, is because they ignore the risks, such as; difficulty to predict when a natural disaster will occur, they may not think it will happen to them, in some LEDC's they may not be told about the risks. Moreover they may ignore them because it means they can sleep at night.

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Reasons for deaths in earthquakes

Reasons for deaths in earthquakes

The main causes of deaths in earthquakes are as follows;

  • It may take place in a densely populated area
  • it may be close to a destructive plate boundary
  • in LEDC's their may be a pancake effect on weaker buildings
  • in LEDC's they may be totally unprepared i.e. poor building structure
  • in big cities their may be crowded conditions
  • if the area has poor infrastructure then it may be hard for people to get out of the area at risk because of blocked roads and number of roads going out of the area. I.e. 1 road lots of deaths 8+ roads minimum amount of deaths.
  • often richter scale has little to do with death toll, it is usually to do with if the country is less or more economically developed and if they are prepared.
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recovery cycle for an MEDC

Recovery cycle for an MEDC

1.Hazard.2.Emergency response: heat sensors, sniffer dogs, emergency services such as fire brigade to put out flames to reduce the risk of more deaths. 3.Recovery: quick clear up to make the community less at risk from outbreaks of disease. 4.Reconstruction: quick reconstruction of houses to get people out of shelters because they are only temporary. 5.Monitoring: use lasers to make sure continental and oceanic plates move extremely slowly, seismographs can help to predict when an earthquake will occur, foreshocks tell the people living in the disaster area that they must get away or prepare for the earthquake. 6.Preperation: most MEDC's that get earthquakes will have regular evacuation plans and evacuation drills, cross bracing on buildings, dampers in the roof of buildings and the majority of building will be built to have a low centre of gravity.


  • 1-2 during disaster
  • 3-4 after disaster
  • 5-6 before disaster
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recovery cycle for an LEDC

Recovery cycle for an LEDC

1.Hazard.2.Emergancy response: aid groups, local services help and the local public try to help as much as possible.3.Recovery: living in camps, public atempt to rebuild lives and aid is required.4.Reconstruction: it is a very slow process and often before they have finished recovering from one diaster they are often hit by another because reconstruction is so slow, an example of slow reconsruction is Haiti.5.Monitoring: they don't usually monitor them.6.Preparation: usually the have very few plans to protect themselves in the future.


  • 1-2 during disaster
  • 3-4 after disaster
  • 5-6 before disaster
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Seismic retrofitting

Seismic retrofitting

Addition of cross braces: they increase strength of sructure, reinforce the building, hold the building together, expensive to build, LEDC's often find them too expensive, some people say that they are not aesthetically pleasing, they restrict big pieces of debris from coming off from within the building such as; desks or big tables.

Addition of base isolators: they move to keep the building intact however they must be put in while building and can't be added once built.

Addition of dampers: they are good because they counteract the sway of buildings and are not very intrusive. Meaning they are perfect for big buildings containing expensive equipment, in disaster areas.

Increasing load capacity: strong beams for good structure, very hard to damage so weak earthquakes have little or no effect, however they must be built in when the building is being built.

Retrofit methods: built to withstand earthquakes so don't have to be replaced, very high cost, less intrusive and a lot of planning is required to put them in.

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