Geography Case Studies - Dynamic Planet

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  • Created by: acull26
  • Created on: 09-05-16 09:52

Sakurajima Volcano, Japan (developed)

  • Sakurajima has been erupting since the 1950's, sometimes 200 times a year
  • Around the bay there are lots of urban areas where in the city of Kagoshima 650,000 people live
  • In a developed country earthquakes can be predicted and they can warn people to evacuate or take shelter
  • Japan can afford to spend money on monitoring, protection and evacuation
  • In developed world tectonic hazards have economic costs such as housing, but less social costs such as loss of life


  • Concrete shelters to protect from vocanic bombs and ash
  • Concrete lahar channels divert dangerous mudflows
  • Aircrafts and seisometers monitor the volcano
  • Evacuation routes are clearly sign posted
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Mount Nyiragongo, Goma (developing)

  • January 2002, fast flowing lava poured out of mount nyiragongo
  • 100 people died, 12,500 homes were destroyed
  • Disruption to the mains water supplies cause cpncern over spread of disease
  • Poisonous gas caused acid rain which affected farmland and cattle
  • 120,000 were left homeless

Relief effort:

  • The united nations sent 260 tonnes of food in the first week
  • Governments around the world gave $35 million to get aid to refugees
  • Emerngency measles vaccinations were carried out by the World Health Organisation

In developing countries it is hard to rebuild homes as many people are in poverty. They often do not have the resources needed to rebuild or prevent damage caused.

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Haiti 2010, Earthquake

  • 12th January 2010, magnitude of 7.0 on the richter scale

Primary effects:

  • 316,000 died and 300,000 were injured
  • 1 million were made homeless due to poorly built housing
  • The port and major communication links were damaged due to rubble from collapsed buildings

Secondary effects:

  • The water system was destroyedd and cholera broke out killing over 8000
  • The port was destroyed making it hard for aid to be brought in
  • Haiti's important clothing factories were destroyed, these provided 60% of Haiti's exports and 1 in 5 jobs were lost
  • 1 year after the earthquake and still 1 million people were left homeless

Relief effort by 2012 was very slow due to damaged transport links:

  • 80% of the rubble had been cleared
  • Only 18% of homes had been rebuilt
  • 350,000 people still lived in tents
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Climate Change in the UK (developed)

Environmental Impacts:

  • Sea level rise will cause more loss of land due to increased erosion, low-lying land like London is at risk to flooding
  • Fishing industries could change as fish species move to different water
  • Warmer temperatures could encourage diseases such as malaria
  • There could be more severe storms like the 'great gales' in 1987 and 1990
  • More heatwaves like in summer 2003 when temperatures reached 38 degrees

Economic Impacts:

  • Costs of coastal defences will be expenisve
  • Damage to cities such as London would be expensive, defences such as the Thames barrier would need improvement at vast expense
  • Hotter summers could increase tourism which would bring more money to the UK
  • Warmer weather means farmers can grow different crops improving agriculture in the UK
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Changing Climate in Egypt (developing)


  • If sea levels rise by 50cm then one third of the city of Alexandria would be underwater
  • 10% of the nile delat would be flooded causing 7 million people to have to live elsewhere
  • Temperature increase would cause more unreliable rainfall and more desertification
  • Heatwaves bring more illness


  • There would be loss of land which would hit farming, less crops would be able to be grown which mean there would be more famine
  • There would be falling crop yields and less exports
  • Egypt has debts of $30 billion in 2007 so it may not be able to afford to cope with global warming and support its population
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Management of the Biosphere


  • Global, signed by 168 countries in 1971
  • Conserves 2.05 million km squared of wetlands
  • International law treaty

National Parks, UK:

  • National, 1951
  • Conserves areas of natural beauty in the UK including 22,000 km squared in 15 parks
  • Preserves wildlife in the UK
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The Sahel, Climate and Water supplies

  • Semi-arid bit of land south of the Sahara Desert
  • Since 1970 rainfall has more often than not been below average
  • It only rains in 1 or 2 months a year
  • It can come in torrential downpour which is lost as surface run off

Drought cause - seasonal rivers and lakes to dry up, disaster for subsistence farmers who produce millet and maize, soil erosion and desertification

Countries in the Sahel are developing such as Chad, Niger, Sudan and Ethiopia. Drought puts a strain on the failing food supplies as these countries have rapidly growing populations. In the future these countries may not be able to support there populations due to a large number of dry seasons.

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Large scale water management, Three Gorges Dam

  • Located in China on the Yangtze river
  • Costed $26 billion

Positives -

  • Reduces seasonal flooding along the Yangtze river
  • Improves water supply for irrigation by regulating the river flow
  • Generates 80kWh of electricity a year
  • Makes it easier for ships to navigate

Negatives -

  • 1.3 million people had to be relocated
  • River wildife has suffered and lost its habitat
  • Water quality is low because of upstream industry and sewage
  • Good farmland has been lost
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Small scale Water Managment, Dhaka (Bangladesh)

Non-governmental organisations set up low cost projects in develpoing or undevelop countries to improve water supplies. They used intermediate technology such as wells, hand pumps and rain barrels because they are cheap and easy to use.

  • Prodiplan is working with the community to help deliver water, sanitation and hygiene education to Dhaka
  • 6 deep tube wells have been constructed, saving people time and energy
  • 2 new sanitation blocks provide toilets and water for washing
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