Geography Case Studies

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  • Created by: Rebekah
  • Created on: 05-06-13 10:15


SICHUAN EARTHQUAKE. Southern area of China, Monday 12th May 2008, 2:28pm, measured 7.9 on the richter scale.

Cause: occured in an area where volcanoes are forming due to the destructive collision between two tectonic plates, the Indian plate and the Eurasian plate. Indian plate slides beneath the Eurasian plate causing deformation as new mountains are formed. The earthquake was caused by built up pressure and friction which stops the plates moving = jerk = movement = earthquake.

Damage to agricultural: 100,000 paddy fields wrecked. Move than 50,000 greenhouses destroyed. 7.3 million metre squared of livestock barns collapsed.
Damage to infrastructure: 15,000,000 buildings collapsed leaving people homeless and unemployed. 839 water tanks collapsed. 1,300 water treatment works destroyed = like disease spread e.g. cholera.

-> 69,180 dead
-> 374,159 injured
-> 17,420 missing
-> 45.61 million affected
-> 15 million relocated
-> 5.46 million homes destroyed
-> 21 million homes damaged
-> 7000 schools destroyed

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EYJAFJALLAJOKULL ERUPTION: 14th April 2010 in Iceland. Continuously erupted for a period of 6 days. Officially over in Octover when snow on top of the mountain had stopped melting.

Cause: sits along the mid-atlantic ridge, boundary between the Eurasion and North American plates which are constructive. Plates move apart due to convection currents which was the cause of the eruption. As the plates move apart magma rises and solidifies and forms igneous rock. Tension and cracks appear.

Lava from the volcano was spurting 100 metres into the air and ash, dust and steam hung over Iceland and began to spread across Europe. The ash caused airports acorss Europe to stop working until the ash had cleared as the atmosphere was un-safe and too dangerous to fly in. Lead to cancellations of sporting or entertainment events of teams who had to fly elsewhere.

State funeral of President of Poland was affected as national leaders were unable to attend e.g. Barack Obama, and Stephen Harper.

Disruption to royals: couldn't travel to Copenhagen to celebrate 70th birthday of Denmark's Queen Margrethe.

Effect on farming, is that the ash that fell on many farms and pastures became wet and compact making it near impossible to continue farming on the land in the short term..

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SAHEL DROUGHT - AFRICA. 'Sahel' means shore of the desert and is along the border of the Sahara desert. Sahel is a region of low rainfall and frequent drought. Countries of Sahel are:
Mauritania, Mali, Burkina, Niger, Chad, Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia.

Sahel naturally experiences wet to dry seasons although drought caused when rain fails to fall during the wet season just before a dry season.

Effect: ongoing from the 1980's. Caused famine (lack of food supply) meaning other countries surrounding were also affected. Included 20 countries resulting in 150 million people, 30 million of which were in urgent need of food aid. Lack of rainfall meant crops could not grow and resulted in food rations.

Long term: food aid is unsustainable and therefore development aid is needed - local communities educated in farming practices to reduce famine. People began migrating to other countries in search of food and new shelter as crops failed and disease was spread which resulted in absolute poverty.

1984-1985 LIVE AID: 1st global media aid request to raise awareness and expansion of aid agencies work. Help Sahel. Millions of money were made in 1985 and were put forward to help the region of Sahel.

2006 OXFAM: provided appropriate and sustainable technology to help reduce risks and effects of drought in Sahel.

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HURRICANE KATRINA. 25th August 2005, Florida. Began as a low storm and eventually formed into a hurricane as it moved West and hit Florida Coast on the evening. Some scientists say global warming is partially to blame due to further heating of oceans.

Hurricane Katrina sometimes reached category 5 = described as being among one of the worst natural disasters to ever have occured.

How: warm air from the storm combined with the warm ocean surface and begin rising. Thus creating low pressure. Winds blowing in opposite directions cause the storm to start spinning. The storm moved over the ocean and picked up more warm moist air. Wind speeds increased and it eventually moved West and hit the Florida coastline.

EFFECTS: caused property damage in Louisianna, Missisippi, Florida, Georgia and Alabama. This estimated damage caused was 81 billion dollars.

Biggest aftermath/hazards caused was flooding especially near the Missisippi river.

New Orleans was most affected as its lower than sea level and protected by levees which weren't strong enough to withstand.

1 million people were made homeless and 1,200 drowned in the floods. Poorest and most vulnerable were left behind to suffer as majority were evacuated. $50 aid was given by the government.

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Reservoir's showing evidence of human activity as it would have been made and they don't occur naturally.
Footbridge is also evidence of human activity and provides easy access to be able to cross the stream.

Upper course features include: waterfall, rapids and interlocking spurs.

Geology and formation: when ice began to melt 15,000 years ago large volumes of water were produced by the melting of snow and ice and also the rainfall. Thus, resulting in erosion along the Eastern Longmynd creating deep valleys of which one is Cardingmill.

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BANGLADESH: one of the world's poorest and densely populated countries. Its 140 million people live mainly on the floodplains of the river Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna. Over the years these three rivers have deposited millions of tons of silt, creating one of the most fertile areas in the world.This is the advantage of living here. Disadvantage = flooding.

Affected by two types of flood.. River floods: happen every year and are a part of the natural cycle of snow melt and monsoon rainfall. Caused mainly when the monsoon rains are exceptionally heavy or prolonged. Coastal floods: created by cyclones built up in the Indian Ocean and move towards the Bay of Bengal. Water is funnelled down Bangladesh creating a storm surge that may reach 6m in height. When combined with heavy rainfall and river flooding, the effects can be devastating.

1998 flood: exceptionally heavy rains. 60% of the country and all main river channels were flooded. Capital city, Dhaka and other regional cities were badly affected and underwater for weeks. Hundreds killed and made homeless. Agricultural land and crops were lost or contaminated by polluted water. Over 900 bridges and 15,000km of roads were destroyed.

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Records shows flooding here has increased in the last 50 years. Despite more use of flood control measures, the cost of damage caused by flooding has slowly risen.

Reducing the flood risk: Preparedness Programme ran by Oxfam:

-> Cluster villages: a village has been raised 2m above water level. Each village houses between 25 and 30 families.

-> Raised homestead: individual homes raised 2m about water level on earth banks. Earth banks are replanted with grass to prevent erosion.

-> Flood shelter: 2 hectares of raised land where people can bring livestock. Each shelter has a space for over 100 families and includes a community room and toilets.

-> Rescue boats: located around the areas most at risk of flooring and near to food shelters.

-> Radios: given to each 'preparedness committee'. Flood warnings can be issued and he prepared plan put into action.

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BOSCATLE, NORTH CORNWALL. Unprepared for 2004 August flood. Destroyed homes and businesses swept away a hundred vehicles. Bridges and roads also damaged. Mud and debris was left throughout the lower part of the village.

The effect on the local economy: Boscatle relies on tourism for 90% of its income, most of which is earned during the summer months.

Causes: wet summer and ground was saturated. Thundery clouds developed as remains of Hurricane Alex which had moved across the Atlantic Ocean. These clouds remained stationary due to converging winds. 1.400 million litres fell in 2 hours and quickly reached the rivers that rose at a high rate as they flowed towards Boscastle. Risk increased as bridges and houses trapped material being washed downstream creating a dam-like effect.

Environment Agency investigated and found human factors contributing to the flash flood:
-> blockage of material flowing downstream
-> trees growing alongside the river which were washed into the river, blocking channels
-> artificial narrowing as it passed through Boscastle reducing its carrying capacity.
-> building alongside the river and not allowing expansion during periods of high water flow

Effects: 25 business properties destroyed. 50 buildings flood damaged. Visitor centre destroyed. Stress and anxiety of local people. Insurance companies paid out an estimated £20 million to repair damaged property.

Planning for the future: 2008 a £4.6 million flood scheme was completed. Aiming to reduce the flood risk whilst preserving the character and amenities of the village.

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Economic Development: AN AID PROJECT IN AN LEDC.

WATER AID: an organisation that aims to improve people's lives by supplying them with access to clean and safe water, hygiene and sanitation in some of the world's poorest countries. Works in 27 countries.

MALI LEDC: one of West Africa's poorest nations. Natural environment is harsh and deteriorating. Rainfall levels, which are already low, are falling further and desertification is spreading. 65% is desert or semi-desert. Population of around 12 million. Total percentage of the population with sustainable access to improved water supply is 50%. Wateraid has been active in Mali since 2000.

Running a 'pilot scheme' in Mali's capital, Bamako.
-> providing clean water and sanitation services to the poorest people.
-> organisation aim is to prove to the government that projects in slums can be successful both socially and economically.
-> financed the construction of the area's water network and training local people to manage the system.
-> combination of safe water, sanitation, hygiene and education maximises health benefits and promotes development.

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Economic Development: TERTIARY

BIRMINGHAM recently been redeveloped with new transport, amenities, and other services enforced to supply us with sufficient services.

Bullring: used for bull baiting in 1200's then transformed into a market in 1960s, and now redeveloped into a new modern high technology retail environment. Amenities such as restaurants, cafes, outdoor markets, two shopping centres, department stores. Improved transport links too, increased pedestrian walks, trams, trains, buses and increased car parking. Improved sustainable environment. Bull main attraction.

Brindley Place: development included 19 restaurants, shops and bars. 120 new homes to encourage people to live in the city. Then became symphony court offices to be developed creating 6,000 new available jobs. Developed mainly for leisure and work purposes. Work places and amenities include: Mint Hotel, Costa Coffee, National Sea Life Centre, Symphony Court and Crescent Theatre.

TERTIARY: **The third level of industry providing us with our services such as shops, restaurants and supermarkets.**

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Economic Development: QUATERNARY

CAMBRIDGE BUSINESS AND SCIENCE PARK: Milton Road, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire.

History: originally for farming and then preparing tanks during D-Day and World War II, after then the land was derelict and of no use.

Development of land was put forward by the Mott Committee (a Cambridge University committee) who recommended a need of expansion in the science industry. Trinity College took on and put forward planning permission understanding its importance.

Facilities include: trinity centre (bar, restaurants, conference rooms), health and fitness club, innovation centre, kids nursery (built for your children during your working day on site), transport to and around site, communication, recycling facilities, landscaping, security, entrepreneurships.

Home to over 100 companies of all different sectors such as: bio-medical, computer, energy, environment, financial, industrial technologies.

QUATERNARY: **Fourth level of industry researching the way forward in science and technology**

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Economic Development: MNC (Multi National Company)


Nike found in 1972 is the world's leading supplier of sports footwear, apparel and equipment. The word 'nike' in Greek means 'victory'.

The government have accepted many Nike factories in Vietnam as the well known manufacturer brings economic status: 75 million shoes are made for Nike in Vietnam each year.

Benefits that Nike brings to Vietnam:
-> Creates employment
-> Higher wages than local jobs
-> Improves skills
-> The success has attracted more MNC's to Vietnam and therfore creating even more jobs
-> Its contribution to local tax base helps pay for improvements to infrastructure

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Rocks of Dorset Coast: Studland Bay is sand and clay, The Foreland is chalk, Swanage Bay is clay, Peveril Point Durlston Bay and Durlston Head are all limestone.

The headlands and bays are formed due to the resistance of the rock. At the bay there is less resistant rock meaning it is soft and therefore will erode more quickly. At the headland there is more resistant rock meaning it is hard and therefore less erosion occurs due to time which eventually leaves your headland.

Swanage Bay has groynes: wooden fences built out into the sea. They stop longshore drift and build up the beach. A wide beach absorbs more wave energy.

Old Harry is at Peveril Point alongside pinnacles.

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PEVENSEY BAY: low lying area in East Sussex which is vulnerable to coastal flooding. Heavy engineering would not be appropriate due to the scene and environmental value the area holds. So soft engineering takes place.

Soft engineering works with the environment by using natural physical processes to protect the area rather than using concrete barriers and boulders. Soft engineering is based on preserving and managing beaches.

BEACH REPLENISHMENT: replacing sand or shingle that has been removed by longshore drift.

BEACH REPROFILING: shaping the beach so it absorbs more energy during storms.

FENCING/HEDGING: building fences or planting bushes to reduce the amount of sand being blown inland.

The Pevensey Bay scheme is seen as sustainable as it works with the natural environment rather than against, and does not involve massive building work which is ideal as it holds amenity value and is also a tourist attraction. The scheme also supports the economy as there are no building costs, or are very little.

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