Unit 4 tectonics pre release case study cards

Unit 4 case study cards to help with pre release essay


Factors that affect hazardous activity

Human factors:

  • Population density
  • Level of development
  • Preparation and awareness
  • Industry

Physical factors:

  • Magnitude
  • Boundary type
  • Magma type
  • Geology
  • Duration
  • Depth of focus/ epicentre
  • Time
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Categories for impacts




In general event occurring in less developed countries have a higher social impact than events in MEDCs however these events have a higher economic impact due to the level of development and the sector of employment focused upon.

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Case studies to use


  • Japanese earthquake
  • Asian Tsunami
  • Haiti
  • Kobe
  • Sichuan


  • Mauna Loa
  • Eyjafjallajokull and Grimsvotn volcanic eruptions
  • Mount Merapi
  • Montserrat
  • Mt Etna
  • Pinatubo
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Japanese earthquake

  • Magnitude: 9.0
  • Depth of focus: 32km
  • Time: 14.46
  • Plate boundary: destructive
  • Level of development: MEDC
  • Population density: 337.13
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Social impacts

Social impacts:

-          14,998 deaths; out of these deaths 92% of casualties died by drowning; proving that although Japan was prepared for the earthquake they had not sufficiently prepared for the subsequent tsunami.

-          5,297 injured

-          9,853 missing

-          45,700 buildings destroyed

-          4 passenger trains disappeared

-          Immediately after the disaster 1.5 million houses were left without water

-          According to TEP around 4.4 million people were left without electricity

-          There were 300,000 refugees in the Tohoku region.

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Economic impacts

Economic impacts:

-          Industrial production stopped

-          Estimated cost of rebuilding $122 billion

-          Damaged area; Tohoku region accounts for 8% of Japan’s GDP

-          Damage to fishing industry that is significant for employment in the area; $5 billion and 90% of 29,000 fishing boats deemed un-usable


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Magnitude: 7

Depth of focus: 13km

Time: 16:53

Plate boundary: Conservative

Level of development: LEDC

Population density: 367.14

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Social and economic impacts in haiti

-          Estimated 3 million affected by the quake

-          222,570 deaths

-          Displaced 1.3 million people

-          97,294 buildings destroyed

-          Haitian prison destroyed; almost all of the 4,000 inmates escaped; posing a great security risk to all those affected

-          Estimated economic losses are 20%-100% of GDP of Haiti

-          Estimated that it will cost $8.5 billion in damage to Haiti’s economy.

-          The earthquake made the country’s GDP contact by 5.1% in 2010

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Environmental impact

-          Water borne illnesses were and still are a huge problem, 5,000 people have died since the catastrophe due to cholera.

-          According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the biggest issue is the building waste; some 40 to 50 percent of the buildings fell in Port-au-Prince and nearby towns

 The impacts from this tectonic event were significant; when reviewing the Degg Disaster model the earthquake had very high impacts because the physical event met a very vulnerable population whose capacity to cope was low because of extreme poverty within the country; the lack of development was a major factor in this earthquake because the secondary impacts such as death from cholera are so high due to a lack of healthcare provision within the country.

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Japan’s earthquake had a lower impact due to its level of development and if the Haitian earthquake had occurred in Japan the impact would’ve been a lot less due to the infrastructure that would’ve have been present in a high income country such as Japan, furthermore the subsequent issue of water borne disease would’ve have been a lot lower due to a better provision of healthcare.

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really helpful,

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