Natural Enviornment Case Studies

Monserrat Volcano

Tambura Eruoption

South Asia and Carlisle Floods

Happisburgh, Norfolk

Camden and Germany Recycling

Tar/Oil Sands (Canada)

Offshore Wind Farms (UK)

River Nene


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Monserrat Volcano

Volcanic Eruptions

Monserrat is a small island in the Caribbean Sea

Eruption: June 25th 1997

  • 70mph pyroclastic flow (Destroyed 20 villages and two thirds of homes)
  • Half of the island became an exclusion zone
  • Ash cloud spread 10 miles into the air and 100 metres into the sea
  • Beat the cooling affect of the sea water for 100 metres
  • 19 killed and 7 injured 
  • Destructive Plate Margin (Atlantic and Caribbean Plates)
  • 8000 of the 12000 inhabitants left the island
  • Schools, Hospitals, the Airport and Port have been destroyed ruining the tourism industry
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Tambora Eruption

Global Climate Change Impacts

Tambora is an active stratovolcano on the island of Sumbawa, Indonesia.

  • 92000 died
  • Europe became cold and rainy with floods, and Ash fell in the snow
  • Africa experienced heavy monsoons and cold weather causing rice production to fall
  • China suffered famine
  • 200000 Europeans died from typhus and famine
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South Asia and Carlisle Floods (LIC - HIC)


How chances of flooding are increased:

  • More rainfall, Urbanisation (Impermeable Materials), Saturated Grounds, Melting Snow

Flooding Effects and how they differ from LIC to HIC:

  • South Asia (River Brahmaputra and Ganhes): 2000+ deaths, 25 million made homeless, factories closed and livestock killed, 112000 homes destroyed, 100000 caught water bourne diseases (eg, Diarrhoea) , Many farmers became unemployed
  • Carlisle (River Eden): 3 deaths, 3000 made homeless, 350 business shut down, Roads damanged, Rivers polluted, Stress related illnesses increased, 3000 jobs became at risk


  • South Asia: Many didnt escape and transport links were blocked, Other governments and charities sent food, water and medical aid.
  • Carlisle: People evacuated, Reception area open for evacuees, Temp Acommodation provided.
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Happisburgh, Norfolk

Coastal Management Strategies

  • Village population of 850
  •  Cliffs defended in 1958 which reduced errosion by 50cm per year
  •  Houses worth £80000 have decreased to just £1
  • Sea defences would cost £4 million for 500 metres of protection
  • 26 houses have already been washed away
  • Defences would cost more than the village so isn't worth it
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Camden and Germany Recycling

Camden (London) and Germany have incredibly good recycling systems that have been put in place.


  • 3 Refuse collections per week
  • Regis Road Centre recycle bigger items for free (Upgraded in 2007)
  • Bulky Items and white goods can be left on the road side and are collected by the council 3 times a year
  • Recycling Advisors go around local schools and communities
  • 27% of waste recycled in 2007 compared with 17% in 2003


  • Green Dot Scheme introduced - bottles and cans are taken back to shops to be reused
  • 75% of waste recycled, with only 1% of waste going to lanfill (only 160 landfill sites now, in 1970 there were about 50000)
  • Two thirds of recycling is shipped abroad as so much is collected £2.5 million is spent per year in recycling (Including Nucelar and Toxic Waste)
  • 68 incincerators which are all clean. Electricity is generated by burning waste.
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Tar/Oil Sands in Canada

Effects of Non-renewable energy sources on local and national environments

Oil is mixed up with sands or clay and has to be mined. Found in Northern Alberta, Canada.


  • Expensive
  • Energy Intensive (Large trucks used to mine the sands)
  • Large amounts of greenhouse gases produced
  • 2 tonnes of mined tar sands only produces one barrel of oil. Leaves huge holes in the ground, scarring the landscape with toxic waste ponds and pipes.
  • 470km squared of forest removed in 2010.


  • Existing oil fields are running out of oil
  • Oil from Canada is more reliable for the USA than the Middle East
  • By 2030, 16% of North Americas oil demands could be met by oil sands. Secure source.
  • Provides oil until renewable sources can be developed - takes time and money
  • Land could eventually recover
  • 20% of Canadas exports in 2007 was produced by Oil Sands.
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Offshore Wind Farms (UK)

The effects of a renewable energy source on the environment and people


  • Reduces UK's Carbin Footprint
  • Zero emmisons while operating
  • Creation of jobs
  • No NIMBYs as out at sea
  • By 2020 15% of the UKs energy will come from wind power
  • Becoming a cheaper way of generating energy


  • Migrating sea birds can be affected (Some wind farms have been rejected due to this, eg. Docking Shoal in Lincolnshire)
  • Visual Pollution
  • Expensive to construct (One large turbine costs £3 million)
  • Expensive to transmit the electricity ashore
  • Hydraulic hammers which are used to help prepare the offshore platforms are noisy and can harm wildlife
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River Nene

Heavy rainfall on the 9th April 1998 caused the river to overflow, requiring a £6.8 million project to protect the most affected parts of Northampton.

Causes and Effects:

  • Torrential downfall and thunderstorms prior to flooding causing saturated ground
  • 3x the average monthly amount of rainfall
  • No effective warning system to predict or warn of flooding
  • Two deaths and 1500 evacuees
  • £350 million worth of damage
  • Sewage caused serious health risk
  • 2500 properties affected and 5000 cars written off


  • Flood retention reservoir built to hold excess water
  • Embankments built 10m away from river for larger water holding. Tress were added to improve visuals and hold soil together.
  • 4m fllood walls built by railway station
  • Flood warning sirens and a 2 hour warning system installed by environment agency
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Walton-on-the-Naze has a population of 12000.

  • LSD moves sand along the coastline from South to North
  • In 1998, £167,000 for 300 tonnes of Leicester Granite Rip-Rap was placed around the Tower breakwater. This slowed down erosion but hasn't stopped it.
  • Cliffs suffer from slumping making the defence of the area even more complex. 
  • Soft rock types are: London Clay and Red Crag. (Easily erroded)
  • In 1977, on the Southern Part of the coastline, defences were installed such as: a seawall, breakwaters, groynes and the cliff was regraded,
  • In 1999, the northern part of the coastline was replenished with sand and gravel from Harwhich Harbour
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