Tectonics Case Studies

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Chances Peak, Montserrat (1995-7)

Background

  • Montserrat - small island in Caribbean.
  • Volcanic area located in south of island on Soufriere Hills - Chances Peak. 
  • Before 1985 dormant for 300 years.
  • 1985 began with small earthquakes & eruptions of ash & dust. 
  • Most intense erruptions in 1997.

Volcano information

VEI: Unknown (active since 1985).

Death rate: 19

Economic cost: $500 million 

Level of development

GDP: $8,500

HDI: unranked

Life expectancy: 73 years 

Physical nature of the hazard

  • Subductive plate boundary - North American plate beneath Caribbean plate.

Short-term responses

  • Evacuation.
  • British government gave money for compensation & redevelopment. 
  • Unemployment due to collapse of tourist industry. 

Long-term responses

  • Exclusion zone set up in volcanic region. 
  • Volcanic observatory was built to monitor the volcano.
  • Volcano resulted in growth in tourism. 
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Pinatubo, Philippines (July 1990 - June 1991)

Location

  • USGS working at Clark Air Base (Luzon).
  • Earthquake 7.8 magnitude (July 1990). 
  • Part of chain of composite volcanoes. 
  • 75000 locals evacuated before eruption.

Volcano Information

  • VEI: 6
  • Death rate: 847 people 
  • Economic cost: $92 million 

Level of development

  • GDP: $4, 119
  • HDI: 0.654
  • Life expectancy: 67 years

Physical nature of hazard

  • 90km NW of Manila (capital).
  • Subduction zone - Eurasian plate subducted beneath Philippine plate. 
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Mount St Helens MEDC (1980)

Background

  • Part of Cascade Range of mountains. 
  • NW USA, Washington.
  • National Park (tourism/forestry/salmon farming/agriculture).
  • Low population density.
  • Composite cone volcano - destructive 

Volcano Information

  • VEI: 5
  • Death rate: 57 people
  • Economic cost: $969 million

Level of development

  • GDP: $49,800 
  • HDI: 0.937
  • Life expectancy: 78

Physical nature of hazard

  • Every tree within 30km destroyed.
  • Juan de Fuca plate subducted beneath North American plate. 
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Nevado del Ruiz, Colombia (1985) LEDC

Location

  • Part of Andes Mountain range.
  • 129km west of Bogota (capital).
  • Los Nevados National Park.
  • Nevado del Ruiz (stratovolcano) is part of the Ruiz-Tolima volcanic massif - intersection of 4 faults (active).
  • Pacific Ring of Fire.
  • Andean Volcanic Belt. 
  • Plinian eruptions. 

Volcano Information

  • VEI: 3
  • Death rate: 23,000 (lahars).
  • Economic cost: $11.8 billion.

Level of development

  • GDP: $49,800 
  • HDI: 0.719
  • Life expectancy: 72 years 

Physical nature of hazard

  • Subduction zone = Nazca oceanic plate beneath South American continental plate.
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Loma Prieta Northern California MEDC (1989)

Location

  • Wealthiest state in USA.
  • Very highly developed.
  • Aid easily accessible.
  • State governor has high power. 
  • Retro fitting e.g. Transamerica Building.

Earthquake information

  • Magnitude: 6.9 (15 seconds biggest since 1906).
  • Death rate: 63 people
  • Economic cost: $7 billion

Level of development

  • GDP: $49,800 
  • HDI: 0.937
  • Life expectancy: 78 years

Physical nature of hazard

  • 43 deaths due to motorway collapse.
  •  Candlestick park recently reinforced.
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Haiti LEDC (2010)

Background

  • 145th UN human development index.
  • 86% Port-Au-Prince living in slum conditions. 
  • 45% literacy rate.

Earthquake Information

  • Magnitude: 7
  • Death rate: 200,000
  • Economic cost: $7.8 billion

Level of development

  • GDP: $1,300
  • HDI: 0.456
  • Life expectancy: 61 years

Physical nature of hazard

  • 56 aftershocks - 4.5 of greater magnitude
  • Main quake lasted one minute.
  • 1/3 buildings collapsed.
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Kashmir, Pakistan LEDC (2005)

  • Corrupt government & lack of ENFORCED building regulations.

Earthquake Information

  • Magnitude:
  • Death rate: 
  • Economic cost: 

Level of development

  • GDP: $3,900
  • HDI: 0.554
  • Life expectancy: 69 years.

Physical nature of hazard

  • Infrequent seismographs - very little prediction of earthquake.
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Kobe, Japan MEDC (1995)

Great Hanshin Earthquake

  • Warning systems in place but seismographs knocked out by magnitude.
  • No one outside of Kobe was aware of earthquake. 

Earthquake information

  • Magnitude: 7.2
  • Death rate: 6400
  • Economic cost: $147 billion

Level of development

  • GDP: $36,200
  • HDI: 0.912
  • Life expectancy: 82 years

Physical nature of hazard

  • Unknown fault line
  • Low predicatbility
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Japan Tsunami MEDC (2011)

  • 30% of global earthquakes happen in Japan.
  • 10m ssea wall but ground displaced by 1m - wave moved over wall pullung boats & debris with it.

Earthquake information

  • Magnitude: 8.9
  • Death rate: 19,000
  • Economic cost: $300 billion

Level of development

  • GDP: $36,200
  • HDI: 0.912
  • Life expectancy: 82 years

Physical nature of hazard

  • 5 minutes of shaking.
  • 10 tsunami waves.
  • TV and automatic alerts felt P-wave.
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Boxing Day Tsunami (2004)

Earthquake information

  • Magnitude: 9.3
  • Death rate: 294,000
  • Economic cost: $12.5 billion

Level of development

  • Most countries underdeveloped - unable to warn fellow endangered areas of waves approach. 
  • India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Maldives, Burma (Myanmar), Somalia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bangladesh, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania & the Seychelles. 

Physical nature of hazard

  • Indian ocean
  • Subduction zone on west coast of Sumatra.
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Nyiragongo, Congo LEDC (2011)

Background

  • Civil war
  • 66% literacy rates
  • Acted as a spill over from masacre in Rwanda.

Volcano information

  • VEI: 1
  • Death rate: 147
  • Economic cost: unknown (corrupt government)

Level of development

  • GDP: $400 
  • HDI: 0.304
  • Life expectancy: 55 years

Physical nature of hazard

  • Lava flow straight through big settlement Goma.
  • Constructive plate boundary.
  • Stratovolcano - high viscosity lava (andesitic).
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Eyjafjallajokull, Iceland MEDC (2010)

Volcano Information

  • VEI: 4
  • Death rate: 0
  • Economic cost: $5.2 billion

Level of development

  • GDP: $36,483
  • HDI: 0.906
  • Life expectancy: 81 years

Physical nature of hazard

  • Mid-atlantic ridge
  • Contructive plate boundary
  • Wind travelled in southerly direction
  • Glacier on volcano lead to high levels of ash

Hazard hotspot

  • High hazard perception
  • Sparsely populated
  • Only 1 family relocated
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