Geography Unit 1 case studies (coasts, rivers, population, health)

Rivers: Hard Engineering

3 Gorges Dam, China

  • 100 villages resettled (1.2 million)
  • 25% farmland immersed in river basin 
  • 320,000 killed from floods
  • cost aproximately $37 billion
  • landslides- sediment transported reduced by 50% = more erosion downstream 
  • ecological deterioration 
  • 70% of China's fesh water is now polluted 
  • located on the Yangtze river 
  • generates hydroelectricity for central and Eastern China 
  • reduced flood risk for 15 million and improved navigation along the river 
  • 660km long resveoir behind it 
  • dam is 2.3km wide, 100m high 
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Rivers: Soft Engineering

Abingdon, Thames

  • Gravel soakways on the A34
  • planning restrictions; tesco had to install permeable tarmac for new extension
  • low value land allowed to flood i.e sports ground, park
  • trees lining the river bank
  • hard engineering too expensive and possibilty of flooding downstream
  • July 2007 660 properties flooded 
  • Built on flood plains of the River Ock and the Thames
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Rivers: Flooding in LEDC

Pakistan 2010 floods

  • A 5th of Pakistan flooded
  • floooding lasted 3 weeks- prolonged rainfall 
  • monsoon rainfall conditions
  • deforestation in himalayas 
  • urbanisation increased = more impermeable surfaces = increased run off
  • many live near river for fertile soil
  • $230 given to returning families along with food packaged for a month 
  • 11,000 schools damaged 
  • only 56% of the 1.96billion given in aid was used as aid
  • 2000 deaths
  • 20 million homeless
  • 1.2 million livestock lost 
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Rivers: Flooding in MEDC

Boscastle Floods, Cornwall, 2004

  • Heavy thundery down-pours
  • 200mm of rain fell in 24 hours 
  • most intense between 3pm-4pm
  • Heaviest to east of Boscastle on high ground 
  • Land already saturated due to previous wet weather- infilitration limited
  • village in a valley- rapid run off
  • 60 properties submerged by 4pm
  • 70-80 cars swept away 
  • 100 people airlifted to safety 
  • significant damage to roads, property, bridges and services
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Coasts: Erosion

Barton-on-sea, Hampshire

  • Cliffs of soft clay 
  • section battered with waves with a long fetch 
  • longshore dirft South East 
  • 1999 ad-hoc (only protected parts of the coast) now all areas protected 
  • cliffs erode at 1mm per year 
  • landslides/rotational slumping 
  • loss of defence (beach and hard engineering) 
  • houses lost, one already demolished
  • pressure for costly coastal defence schemes
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Coasts: Flooding

1953 Storm Surge

  • deep depression moved south from Shetlands, low pressure caused by a rise in sea level 
  • spring high tides
  • North sea narrower in the South; high water concentration 'funnel effect'
  • strong winds generated 6m high waves
  • low lying land prone to flooding
  • Netherlands below sea level, much marshland drained in UK to increase coastal population, bad defences, no warnings
  • widespread flooding, sea defences breached, fast flowing flood water carrying debris
  • deaths: UK; 307  Netherlands; 1835
  • 250,000 acreas of farmland devestated
  • £20 million for UK 
  • Thames Barrier and Delta projects were products
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Coasts: Hard Engineering

Wheelers Bay, Isle of Wight

  • ageing sea walls collapsing which trigger landslides
  • property behind becoming unstable 
  • 15,000 tonnes of rock revetments placed seawards of existing defences
  • coastal slopes regraded to make shallower profile
  • cliff drainage to prevent landslides
  • cost of £1.6 million
  • in attempts to make the defences astetically pleasing Granite rock revetments used
  • Groyns to build up beach by preventing longshore drift
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Coasts: Soft Engineering

Studland, Dorset

  • Dune contruction and regeneration by planting and encouraging the growth of Marram grass
  • Fences around the dunes to allow succession and prevent destruction by trampling 
  • Beach stabilisation 
  • Beach nourishment- imported sand (also to aid the dunes) 
  • cliff drainage to reduce the risk of landslides
  • 'hold the line' management 
  • Managed realignment - allowing natural physical processes to act on a stretch of shoreline by removing existing defences altogether or moving them to higher ground.
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Population: Anti-Natalist


  • 1969 women had on average 6.5 children 
  • 16% of population used contraception
  • growth rate was 3% a year
  • 1970 nationwide family-planning programme 
  • free contraception
  • trained family planning specialists
  • By 1999 contraceptives used by 77% of population
  • fertility rate dropped to 1.7
  • population growth at 0.8%
  • community based policy rather than coercive
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Population: Economic Migration

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  • oil reserves
  • no income tax- favoured destination for Britons wishing to 'work and play'
  • 10 million foreign workers mostly unskilled work in the Gulf States
  • Migrants comprise 90% of workers in UAE
  • Dubai has 1 million migrants within a 1.5 million population
  • come from over 160 countries- mostly south and south east Asia
  • average pay for unskilled worker is $4 a day- attracts impoverished people of e.g India, Bangladesh, Pakistan etc
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Population: Rural Decline

The Isle of Purbeck, Dorset

  • Corfe Castle biggest village, Swanage is the only town, total population of 44,416
  • popular area for retirement 
  • out migration of younger adults in search for economic oppurtunities
  • 2001 birthrate was 10.1/1000 deathrate was 11.9/1000; natural decrease in population
  • 49.27% of the population above the age of 45 compared to UK as a whole which is 39.64%
  • house prices risen because of out-of-area comuters, retirees, second omeowners and in-migrants
  • local employment oppurtunities are limited and wages are low
  • 38 rural post offices had closed by 1991, along with 35 petrol stations
  • public transport limited; only few buses with extra mini bus that is volunteer run, one available trainline 
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Population: Urban Increase

Lewisham, Inner City London

  • high immigration to the city for jobs and better quality of life
  • 2011 population was 275,885
  •  approximately 200,000 businesses with around 2,000,000 employees in Inner London. 56% of all private sector jobs in Greater London are located in Inner London.
  • increased employment
  • high population density, 78.5 per hectar
  • hig hmigration from other countries; only 64% have England as country of Origin in Lewisham
  • 6.2% unemployed
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Health: Infectious Disease

Aids, Botswana

  • total population of 1.6 million with 24% infected
  • In Northeast of the country among expectant mothers in urban areas rates are as high as 50%
  • 2002 first African country to supply anti-retrovial drugs because of higher income per capita than Sub-Saharan average because of diamond mines
  • life expectancy in 2004 under 34 years
  • Aids destroying workforce effecting the economy; predicted to be one third smaller by 2021 (the economy) than it would have been without AIDS, while gov expenditure increased to 20%
  • Deaths due to AIDS is around 5,000 - 6,800
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Health: Disease of Affluence

Coronary Heart Disease, UK

  • Nearly one in six men and more than one in ten women die from coronary heart disease
  • CHD is responsible for almost 74,000 deaths in the UK each year, an average of 200 people each day
  • More than 25,000 people under the age of 75 in the UK die from CHD each year
  • There are nearly 2.3 million people living with coronary heart disease in the UK
  • There are nearly 1.4 million men and almost 900,000 women with CHD in the UK
  • Death rates from coronary heart disease are highest in Scotland and northern England and lowest in southern England
  • The UK spends nearly £2 billion each year on the healthcare costs of treating coronary heart disease.
  • Risk factors; tobacco use, alcohol use, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity
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Health: Famine

Famine, Ethiopia

  • 1984-84 bad drought, then another again in 2000 where it affected 43% of the population
  •  Live Aid Concerts of July 1985 which raised more than £50m.
  • migration of people to search for water meant too much pressure was put on areas with sufficient water and pasture
  • lack of food and water led to death of livestock and in 1984 over 1 million died
  • food prices rose- many families abandoned their land and headed for the cities
  • rate of malnutrtion was estimated over 50% in camps set up e.g Denan
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Health: Regional variations

Charles Dicken Inner City Ward and Drayton and Farlington, Portsmouth

Drayton and farlington:

  • Cosham, Queen Alexandra Hospital (NHS Trust)
  • 22.3 people per hectar
  • 2% unemployed
  • 48.8% very good health

Charles Dickens:

  • 42.4% have very good health
  • 7% unemployed
  • 55.1 people per hectar
  • fewer doctors surgeries
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