geography case studies

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  • Created on: 13-05-13 17:55

Bangladesh, South Asia, 2007 July and August

  • Regular floods in late summer. Monsoon climate 80% rain in four months.
  • 90% land is less than 10m above sea level.
  • Brahmaputra river discharge increased by melting snow and ice from Himalayas.

Physical factors

  • Monsoon came suddenly after very dry and early summer.
  • heavy rainfall Assam record 169.5mm in 24 hours on 22nd July (900mm in total for july)
  • ground completely saturated due to long heavy rainfall,  increased surface runoff and discharge
  • peak discharges for Ganges, Brahmaputra coincided increaseing discharge downstream.

Human factors.

  • Deforestation in Nepal and Himalayas meant less interception and increased discharge.
  • growth of urban areas due to migration increased amount of surface runoff.
  • Collapse of old earth dams in Madhya Pradesh, India caused further flooding.
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Impacts of flooding in Bangladesh 2007

Social impacts

  • Over 2000 people died.
  • Wells became polluted with sewage, over 100,000 poeple caught water-borne diseases e.g dysentery/diarrhoea.
  •  Estimated 25 million made homeless.
  • Dhaka inundated especially poorer districts and shanty towns near river.
  • 4000 schools affected and 44 destroyed.

Economic factors

  • Estimated $1 billion due to damge to crops and property.
  • Factories closde around Dhaka, poorest became unemployed.
  • Widespread loss of livestock e.g 80% of country rely on agriculture.
  • world price of Basmati rice rose by 10%, 550,000 hecters couldn't be planted at peak time.
  • 10,000km of roads destroyed. landslides blocked roads in Nepal and Assam highlands.
  • Increased debt. Farmers for food/seeds. governments imported food and medicine.
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Carlisle, Cumbria, 2005 8th January

River Eden runs through North Cumbria reaching sea near Carlisle.

  • Large Drainage basin, large volume of rainfall leads to high river discharge.
  • Parts of basin have Steep sides water runs quickly into river.
  • Many streams drain quickly into basin making a short lag time.

Physical factors

  • Heavy rainfall on 6th January for 36 hours. 200mm of rainfall recored equv of four months.
  • Rain fell on saturated ground water didn't soak into ground, went straight into river.
  • Very high peak discharge (over 1520 cumecs) compared to average 52 cumecs.

Human factors

  • Carlisle large built-up area, impermiable concrete and tarmac surfaces, little soil/vegetation. causing little infiltration and high surface runoff.
  • Drains and sewage systems overflowed becoming source of flooding. 25% of flooding problems were associated with overflowing drains.
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Impacts of flooding in Carlisle, Cumbria

Social impacts

  • Three people died.
  • Over 3000 people made homeless and thousands of personal possessions damaged.
  • Children lost education, four schools severly flooded.
  • Increase in stress-related illnesses.

Economic impacts

  • took a year to repair damage to homes, costing over £100 million.
  • 350 businesses had to shut down, no electricity, telephone service or transport.
  • United Biscuits largest employer flooded 3m of water £5 million damage. 33/1000 lost jobs.
  • 70 000 addresses had no power, sewage works and police station severely flooded.
  • 80 buses most of public fleet destroyed. Roads and bridges damaged Warwick Road.

Environmental impacts

  • Floods increased river bank erosion, rivers polluted with rubish and sewage.
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  • asthetic scenery attracts tourism.
  • Antarctica Treaty System. 50 members developed in 1961.
  • Number of tourists risen from 6700 in 1992 to 46,000 in 2008.

Damage to ecosystems

  • Fishing disrupts food chains. Krill fishing in Southern Ocean deplete food for whales and penguins. overfishing of Patagonian Toothfish in Antarctica.
  • Large cruise ships increase pollution. development of roads and hotels disrupts widelife.
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Arctic tundra is found in Greenland, Northern Russia and Canada.

  • Minerals e.g gold in Canada  and Alaska lead to development in tundra areas.
  • Oil exploitation in Alaska over last century.

Damage to ecosystems.

  • Bottom trawling disrupts ecosystems, increases turbidity reducing light levels. Gulf of Alaska, Greenland Sea  and the Barents Sea.
  • Oil spills occur during transport. 189 huge spill of coast of Alaskam Exxib Valdez oil tanker crashed, 40 million liters of oil spillt, killing 250,000 birds and fish.
  • Pipelines Leak causing oil spils, 1977-94 average 30-40 spills a year from Trans-Alaska pipeline, some by intentional attacts or forest fires.
  • Mining creates ground/surface water contamination. Lead-zinc mine in Maarmorilik (Greenland) closed 1990 lead and zinc still released pollution near fjords.


  • National parks, Denali National Park Alaska 1917, cars Banned fishing quotas inBarents Sea. oil pipes have automatic shut-off balves minimise oil spills.
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Effect of development on locals in Alaska

Inuit people live in Northern canada, Greenland and Russia.

  • Native tribes lived in tundra climate for thousands of years.
  • Newcomers from Europe and US interest in tundra since 17th century opportunites for whale and seal hunting. whales for Oil which is used to fuel lamps and make candels.
  • Newcomes had negative effect on natives, brought new diseases
  • Late 19th century 90% of Inuvialuit (Canadian tribe) killed by tuberculosis,measles and flu.
  • Increase of whaling,selaing and fishing reduced numbers of animals available for Inuit people

Lifestyle change required

  • Not enough resources for Inuit tribe to support themselves by hunting and fishing, must find paid employment.
  • Young Inuits don't learn traditional skills.
  • Few jobs available go to more educated white population.
  • Unempoloyment nearly 50% amongst Inuit communities, have to rely on government help.
  • Change in employment led to Inuits living in Permanent settlements rather than nomadic.
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UK Demographic history

Stage 1 (prehistoric to about 1760) and tribes in Brazilian rainforest.

  • Total population small 6 million in 1700
    Poor diet
     and hygiene, wars and diseases such as black Death, caused high DR 

Stage 2 (1760-1880) and Nepal/Afghanistan.

  • Populaton grows quickly, 5 times bigger by 1880's (30 million). improvments in farming and medicine reduce starvation and disease so DR falls Birth rate remains high economy grows.

Stage 3 (1880 - 1940) and Egypt.

  • Population continues to grow but slower, 41 million by 1941. Birth control improved  BR falls. Death rate continued to fall except WW1. food supply, medicine, hygine all improve.

Stage 4 (1940-today) and most of Europe and USA.

  • Growth slowed down, 56 million by 1981. DR low except during WW2, BR low except baby booms after WW" and 60s.
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