Geography Case Studies



Case Study: A River and it's Landforms

  • River Tees is 137km long
  • River Tees has the source in Cross Fell, 760m above sea level
  • Source has on average 2000mm of rainfall each year.
  • Upper course- steep sided valleys, interlocking spurs, V-Shaped valleys, waterfalls.
  • High Force Waterfall is 21m high- highest in the UK.
  • Harder rock over softer rock, means that the softer rock is eroded away, leaving an overhang of harder rock, that eventually collapses into the plunge pool that has been created by the erosion of the waterfall.
  • Gorge is created, as the waterfall retreats.
  • Gorge currently 700m long.
  • Hard rock- Whinstone
  • Soft rock- Limestone
  • Bed load is mainly large boulders, transported by traction.
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Case Study: Flooding and Responses in an MEDC

  • Flood hapened in 2004.
  • 200mm of rain fell in 12 hours.
  • Rain localised to the drainage basin.
  • Boscastle is a narrow and steep valley.
  • Stream rose by 2m and a 3m high wave followeed, triggered by water pooling behind debris.
  • No deaths or serious injuries- 150 rescued by 7 helicopters.
  • 75 cars and 6 buildings washed away.
  • Being and MEDC meant that a lot of help was available and fast to respond.
  • Environment Agency spent £4.6 million on flood relief scheme.
  • Widened and deepened river channel.
  • Removed bridges that acted as dams and barriers for debris.
  • Raised car park above design flood level.
  • Planting trees in drainage basin to reduce run off. 
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Case Study: Coastal Area and it's Landforms

  • Between Swanage and Studland in Dorset.
  • Lies near a headland.
  • Geology- chalk.
  • Hard headland causes waves to refract and cause bays- waves are calmer as energy has been absorbed so deposit material and create beaches.
  • Chalk is common for forming cliffs, as it is a sedimentary rock.
  • Hydraulic action weakens the cracks in the rocks, and deepens the cracks to form sea caves.
  • The cave is on a headland, so hydraulic action breaks through the rock to form an arch.
  • Arch is continuously expanded by erosion and eventually the arch collapses as it cannot support the weight, leaving a stack (Old Harry).
  • Stack is eroded at the base, and eventually collapses, leaving a stump (Old Harry's Wife).
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Case Study: Flooding and Responses in an LEDC

  • Lasted from July to September 2004, and August 1998.
  • Rivers flooded in 1998 and 2004, but 1998 had more deaths than 2004 (nearly double).
  • Rivers Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna.
  • Bangladesh is mainly flood plain.
  • Lots of deforestation in the area for fuel, which increases amount of water in the soil.
  • Building on the flood plain make it vulnerable to flooding.
  • 70% of Bangladesh is less than 1m above sea level.
  • Three major rivers meet near the capital city, Dhaka.
  • Tropical storms prevent floodwater running into the sea.
  • Water Aid provided purification tablets, food supplies, clothing and blankets.
  • Flood shelters and flood warning systems have been put in place.
  • Embankments (man made wall that has a path on and keeps transport accesible).
  • Sluice gates (gate that controls the amount of water going through a point).
  • Rasing homes on stilts or mounds - saves houses from floodwater.
  • UN launched an appeal for $74 milion, but only 20% of it had arrived by September.
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Case Study: Coastline Management

  • North Norfolk is made of soft rock (clays and gravels) and usually erodes 12m per year.
  • Small village of 850 people on the East Coast of Norfolk.
  • Narrow beaches give little protection froms storms.
  • 1958- Revetements were built that were destroyed in 1990 and not replaced.
  • 25 homes have been lost in the last 15 years.
  • Houses used to be valued at £80,000 but are now valued at £1 since the defences are gone.
  • Cost of sea defences is around £4 million for 500m.
  • District council built rip rap in 2005- costing £200,000.
  • Local villagers raised £40,000 to buy 1000 tonnes of rip rap.
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Case Study: Strategies to influence natural population change

  • Late, Long and Few Policy was introduced in 1970.
  • One Child Policy was introduced in 1979.
  • 1949, China encouraged to have a lot of children after the WWII to produce more food and build a strong army.
  • In 20 years, the population had increased from 540million to 830million- China couldn't cope.
  • Late Long Few- fertility rate decreased from 5.7 to 2.9.
  • People with one child had benefits-longer materninty leave, better housing and free education.
  • Couples with more than one child had to pay a fine- could be 4x the annual wage for rural areas.
  • Policy has prevented 400million births.
  • Fertility ratendropped from 2.9 to 1.8 in 30 years.
  • Policy has meant that China has an ageing population as there are less young people.
  • Some rural areas, people can have 2 children if the first is a girl or disabled- need people to work on the farm, and to look after parents when they are older.
  • China has 37,000,000 more men than women.
  • Increased number of gender based abortions.
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Case Study: International Migration

  • 2000km border between the USA and Mexico.
  • More than 1million Mexicans migrate to the USA every year.
  • Most immigrants are illgegal, meaning they have to take long, dangerous journeys.
  • Mexico- high crime rates, low wages, 86% literacy rate, life expectancy of 72 years, 40% of the population are unemployed, poverty, 6% have no acces to clean water.
  • USA- developed infrastructure, migrant communities, 99% literacy rate, higher wages.
  • Social effects:
  • USA-many Mexicans don't speak English, immigrants cause higher crime rates, improves culture, encourages Spanish to be taught in schools, tension as immigrants take jobs.
  • Mexico-leaving older people in Mexico (young people migrate), leaves a high number of females in Mexico, villages can lose most of their people.
  • Economic effects:
  • USA- immigrants can take low paid jobs which helps to boost the economy, people may expect Americans to work for the same price, immigrants pay taxes
  • Mexico- lots of money is sent back, young and skilled workforce leave, leaves few farmers.
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Case Study: Urban Change

  • Greenwich peninsula is within a meander of the River Thames.
  • 1990- derelict and pollurted industrial area.
  • Redevelopment began in 1997 with new oil, gas, tubes, and O2 Arena.
  • Built to be sustainable.
  • Uses roof water to flush toilets.
  • Supermaret generates electricity using solar power.
  • Houses have south facing glass walls and are well insulated.
  • Most housing is affordable.
  • School on site.
  • Environment imprved with 12,000 trees, reed beds and salt marshes by the river.
  • To cut traffic there are good public transport systems and many cycleways but few parking areas.
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Case Study: Retail change over time

  • Since 1980, more out of town shopping centres have come about.
  • 80% of new shopping space has been in out of town shopping centres.
  • Many shops left the CBD and moved to the Meadowhall Centre.
  • CBDs became unattractive to shops as the rent is high, shoppers get wet, limited range of goods and a rise in internet shopping.
  • Constructed on a brownfield site.
  • Near to suburban housing- provides a workforce.
  • Bright and modern- attractive to customers.
  • Near many motorway intersections- ease of access, increases catchment area.
  • Built in 1990.
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Case Study: Internal Migration

  • Push factors- lack of services, ability to make a living.
  • Pull factors- jobs available in cities, better services.
  • More housing built in already crowded areas(favelas)- increase in disease spread.
  • Slums house a third of Rio's population.
  • Leaves elderly to work on farms.
  • Sewage is a problem for the city.
  • Increase in street crime.
  • Housing is built on poor and usualy steep land, prone to flooding and landslides.
  • More land is left for people to farm, increase food production.
  • Money earnt in cities can be sent back to improve rural areas.
  • Cheap land offered in rural areas to prevent migration to urban areas.
  • Local authorities may improve infrastructures and services.
  • Local residents may work together to improve living conditions and more people would mean there wuold be more people to help.
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Case Study: Tectonic event in an MEDC

  • Happened in February 2011, 12.50pm.
  • 6.3 on the Richter scale.
  • Focus only 5km deep- shallow, more of an impact.
  • Epicentre 6 miles away from Christchurch- lots of building to be damaged.
  • 181 people were killed and almost 2,000 were injured.
  • More than half of the city's central building were severely damaged.
  • Liquefaction damaged infrastructures.
  • Businesses were put out of action so people lost jobs.
  • Christchurch lost tourism interest.
  • Chemical toilets were provided for 30,000 people.
  • International aid in toe orm of money- $6-7 million.
  • Paid $898 million in building claims.
  • Water and sewage was restored by August 2011.
  • Also by August, 80% of roads and 50% of paths were repaired.
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Case Study: Tectonic event in an LEDC

  • Tuesday, January 12th, 2010, 4.50pm.
  • Strongest in 200 years- Haiti not prepared.
  • Transform plate boundary- Caribbean and North American plate.
  • 7.0 on the Richter scale.
  • 230,000 people died.
  • 1 milion left homeless.
  • 32 aftershocks in 11 hours.
  • Damage to sea ports prevented aid being delivered as quickly.
  • Small towns were built to home people.
  • UN troop numbers boosted to 2,000.
  • Tents and plastic sheets were distributed.
  • $57 million had been raised.
  • 400,000 survivors were moved to villages outside the capital,
  • Hit the capital city- lots of damage.
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Case Study: Climatic hazard in an MEDC

  • 29th August 2005
  • Cost $3 billion in damage.
  • Category 4 storm.
  • 1800 people were killed.
  • 300,000 houses were destroyed,
  • 3 million left without electricity.
  • Main routes out of New Orleans was closed because part of a bridge collapsed.
  • Coastal habitats such as turtle breeding centres were damaged.
  • 230,000 jobs were lost due to damaged businesses.
  • Water supplies were polluted with sewage, chemicals and dead bodies.
  • USA has a warning system so people could prepare-70-80% were evacuated before.
  • Coastguard, police, fire service and army rescued 50,000 people.
  • The flood defences supposed to protect New Orleans failed.
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Case Study: Climatic hazard in an LEDC

  • November 2013- started 8th Nov and disspiated 13th.
  • 170mph winds- Category 5.
  • Actual death toll unclear due to infrasturcture issues- between 2,000 and10,000.
  • 282mm of rain fell in 12 hours.
  • 28,000 people were injured and 6000 people died.
  • $1.5 billion in damages.
  • 11 million left homeless.
  • People crushed queuing for food aid.
  • Destroyed oil rig produced oil spills.
  • Infrastructures damaged so it is hard to get aid to the places that need it the most.
  • UK gave $131 million and sent over military.
  • 5 days without any aid- Government had a slow response.
  • Destroyed communications.
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Very helpful!



Thanks, really helpful

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