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Compare the physical causes of tectonic hazards at contrasting plate boundaries

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Introduction

´╗┐Compare the physical causes of tectonic hazards at contrasting plate boundaries 1.0 A tectonic hazard is a physical occurrence resulting from movement in the earth?s crust which has the potential to cause loss of life or property? (Digby) these tectonic hazards include Volcanoes, earthquakes, or tsunamis and have varying impacts depending on the severity of the physical causes. Tectonic hazards usually occur at plate boundaries where either continental or oceanic crust meet and are either converging, diverging, or sliding past each other. However, intra plate tectonic hazards also occur and there are various other physical causes which are suggested to cause tectonic hazards, these include things such as soil liquefaction, the type of magma, geology of the land around, and the climate of the area. This essay will look at several different plate boundaries, including the 1995 Kobe earthquake in Japan which took place on a destructive boundary, the 1989 San Francisco earthquake on a conservative plate, and the mid Atlantic ridge which is a constructive boundary which causes the 2012 E15 eruption in Iceland. ...read more.

Middle

This soil liquefaction also had a secondary hazard of landslides which were dangerous in the mountainous area. Destructive margin 2.1 Conservative margin Conservative margins, or transform fault boundaries, are when two plates are moving sideways past each other, so land is neither formed nor destroyed. most transform faults appear on the sea floor as deep valleys, however the San Andreas Fault in California is one of few which is exposed to land, due to the pacific plate grinding past the north American plate, roughly at the same rate as finger nails grow. As a result of a slip along the San Andreas Fault the plates caused the Loma Prieta quake of 89, this was because the two plates were moving at different speeds and had uneven sides, causing a build up of pressure. The magnitude of this earthquake was 7.8 and had very severe impacts of the San Francisco Bay, many people were left homeless due to a great loss of infrastructure, one of the physical causes that led to this great amount of infrastructure loss was because of the geology of the ...read more.

Conclusion

However, there are other physical factors which affect the severity of the earthquake and determine how much of a hazard it is, for example an earthquake itself may cause little damage to the infrastructure of an area, but the relief of the land meant that many landslides followed the quake, destroying a lot of land. There are also physical causes of tectonic hazards which do not even happen at plate boundaries, although it is common for them to occur at plate boundaries, there can also be tectonic hazards at hot spots, or intra plate locations, for example Hawaii. Hawaii is an island which is located above a hotspot; this is a place of localised heat under the earth?s crust that finds its way to the surface creating mantle plumes. Mount Kilauea is a shield volcano in Hawaii which has one of the largest active craters in the world, and has erupted 45 times in the 20th century, however do not produce very violent eruptions. Sources: Digby BBC news Geointeractive.co.uk ...read more.

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