Environmental hazards exist at the interface between physical geography and human geography. Natural hazard events are often exacerbated by human actions, although conversely, human‑induced hazard events are also affected by natural environmental conditions. The principles involved in studying natural hazards are identical to those involved in studying human‑induced hazards.

The focus of this optional theme is on the full range of human adjustments and responses to hazards and disasters at a variety of scales. The term “natural disaster” is deliberately avoided in this theme because it is not considered to be an accurate reflection of the multitude of underlying reasons that expose people to risk and subsequently create the pre‑conditions necessary for a disaster to occur.

Definitions for this unit


Characteristics of hazards

Hazards 1.JPG

Characteristics

Global hazards map

with thanks to Tom Phillips at KGV



Characteristics and spatial distribution of earthquakes


How are earthquakes and volcanoes monitored?

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/monitoring/deformation/data/instruments.php
http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/geography/natural_hazards/managing_hazards_rev2.shtml
p202 Course Companion


LIC - Sichuan

HIC - Tohoku

Japan Earthquake 'not the big one'
Japan Earthquake map - BBC




Volcanoes
Eyjafijallajokull - Iceland Volcano HIC

Eyjafjallajökull

http://www.acegeography.com/volcano-case-studies.html




Measuring magnitude
  • What is measured?
  • How is it measured?
  • What are the strengths / weaknesses of measuring it in this way?

Earthquakes
http://www.geography-site.co.uk/pages/physical/earth/richt.html

Volcanoes
http://www.theguardian.com/education/2004/sep/02/research.highereducation







Characteristics and spatial distribution of hurricanes



How do hurricanes form?



Lesson - Monday 21.9.15
Last lesson we looked at the characteristics of hurricanes, where they develop and how they develop into hurricanes from thunderstorms. The video below explains how and where hurricanes are born.

1) From p205 describe the distribution of hurricanes
2) Describe the changes that occur as the intensity of a hurricane increases
3) Complete an annotated diagram of a hurricane to show it's main features.
4) Make a copy of the saffir simpson scale. Describe what it measures and evaluate it with a strengths and weaknesses table (p206 course companion will help with this).
5) Use the case study template and the checklist to complete a case study of Hurrucane Katrina using the links below.



HIC - Hurricane Katrina, USA 2005
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-34090533
http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/news/katrina-formation

http://bassaleggeography.wordpress.com/2012/01/25/hurricane-katrina-case-study/
http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/geography/natural_hazards/hurricanes_rev3.shtml
http://www.hurricanekatrinarelief.com/faqs.html
Wider reading for predictability
LIC - Cyclone Nargis Myanmar (Burma)


Questions on hurricanes
Times article 2007: Increasing hurricanes


Characteristics and spatial distribution of droughts




What is a drought?



UCL Drought monitor

How do droughts develop?

El Nino / La Nina

Further physical causes





Deforestation
Widespread cutting down of trees reduces the ability of the soil to hold moisture. The routes of vegetation creates small passages for water to infiltrate the soil. When this vegetation is removed, the soil becomes increasingly impermeable and greater surface runoff occurs.
An estimated 62% of precipitation occur as a result of evaporation from wetlands, lakes and forests which pump water into the atmosphere (
http://www.irinnews.org). Therefore the removal of vegetation from forests and wetlands has an effect on the hydrological cycle as well.



Resources for LIC drought example - East Africa Drought

http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/interactive/2011/nov/01/somalia-drought-camps-map-interactive
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/17/ethiopia-hunger-drought_n_928989.html
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jul/04/drought-east-africa-climate-change
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_East_Africa_drought
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jun/28/africa-drought-kenya-somalia-famine?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jul/07/horn-of-africa-drought?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487
http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/poverty-matters/2011/jul/04/horn-africa-drought-food-shortages?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487
http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/poverty-matters/2011/jul/04/horn-africa-drought-food-shortages?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487

Resources for HIC drought examples - SE Australia Drought


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7499036.stm
http://www.geo.uio.no/edc/downloads/the_australian_drought_of_2005_-_offprint_of_wmo_bulletin_2005_54(3)_156-162.pdf
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17887572

Where did it happen?
Why?
How long for (duration)?
What were the effects?
How did people respond?

Human Induced Hazard - Deep Water Horizon


http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/interactive/2010/may/25/deepwater-horizon-oil-spill-oil
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/apr/20/deepwater-horizon-key-questions-answered?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/interactive/2010/apr/29/deepwater-horizon-oil-spill-map
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/interactive/2010/may/20/deepwater-horizon-gulf-oil-spill-gulf
http://www.nwf.org/What-We-Do/Protect-Habitat/Gulf-Restoration/Oil-Spill/Effects-on-Wildlife.aspx
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/05/01/us/20100501-oil-spill-tracker.html?_r=0