Plate Tectonics Case Studies

  • Created by: Charlotte
  • Created on: 01-06-14 14:37

Soufriere Hills- Monserrat

Date- 25/06/1997

  • Composite Volcano 
  • Pyroclastic flow
  • Large ash cloud 

Economic- £1 billion in damage 

Social- 19 deaths and 7 Injuries 
-8000 of the islands 12,000 inhabitants have left, 4000 have come to the UK (Monserrat is a UK overseas territory) 

Environmental- the capital city of Plymouth was burried under 12m of mud and ash
-improved land fertility.

Response- evacuations in 1995 of people in the south to the north of the island 
- UK gave £17 million in emergency aid and £100 million over long term
- risk maps of lava routes created with exclusions zones  
-creation of Moserrat Volcano Obersavtory  

Managment- Volcano studied since1980
-no disaster plan so respose was slower
-early 1990s key infrastructure such as the airport was built in risk areas therefore poor land use planning.  

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Poppacateptl- Mexico

  • Stratovolcano 

Steam and Ash released for over 24 hours
6 US airlines had to cancell more than 40 flights in and out of Mexico

December 2000
10,000 evacuated by seismologists warnings on the idea called 'long period event'
largest eruption in 1,200 years, no deaths  

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Mount Etna- Italy

  • Catania on Island on Sicily 
  • Stratovolcano 
  • Vents on sides of the volcano
  • Not particulary dangerous  


  • 1991- lava poured out of the eastern flank of the volcano 
  • Area known as Valle Del Bove
  • low rates of effusion 

Response- Large earth barrier constructed 10 metres high, this did slow down the speed of the lava 
-1992 the lava spilled over the barriers
-dropped concrete blocks into the summit of the volcano
- May 1992 blasted the opening to divert the flow of lava
- eruption ended in 1993 

2002- unable to stop the flow of lava.
-destroyed the ski resort of Piano Provenzana
-large clouds of ash and rain.  

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Mount Pinatubo- Philippines

12th June 1991

  • no activity for 600 years before 1991
  • South east island of Philippines
  • april 2nd- expolsions of gas (hydrogen sulphide)
  • monitoring began. The Pinatubo Volcano Observatory (PVO) produced volcanic hazards map
  • pyroclastic flow and lahars 
  • located on plate boundary between Eurasian Plate and Philippine plate. 

Social- 847 deaths in total. 300 by collapsing roofs due to weight and the amount of fine ash and 77 due to lahars. 
-malnutirtion suffered in aid camps
-58,000 evacuated

Economic- cost $711 million
- 15/6/1991 airport of Manilia had to be closed

Environmental- 80000 hectars of farmland buried under ash.  

Response- 10 billion peso in total were provided to the Philippines as aid. 

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Mount Nyiragongo- Democratic Republic of Congo

  • part of the African Rift Valley System 
  • constructive plate boundary 
  • worlds largest lava lake- 250m crater
  • high viscosity lava 
  • lava spewed from a 13m fissure   

Economic- 3 health centre and 1 hospital destroyed 
-80% buildings in town of Goma were damaged

Social- 147 deaths
-350000 fled the area, many in neighbouring Rwanda to the east of DRC

Environmental- Sulphurous lava polluted lake Kivu, harming wildlife and affecting drinking water supplies

Response- fast full evacutaion- lower death toll, government sent out red alert warning quickly
- 2 days later UN bought humanitarian aid such as high energy foods.
- UN set up refugee camps

Managment- little managment or monitoring
-January 2014 NASA satellite picked up gas/ash cloud eruption  

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