• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Geomorphological hazards at a variety of scales should always be considered when planning the location of the settlement and economic activity. Discuss.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Geomorphological hazards at a variety of scales should always be considered when planning the location of the settlement and economic activity. Discuss. Geomorphological hazards should always been considered when planning settlement locations. This is mainly due to the extreme and deadly effects of these hazards for both humans and the environment. Volcanoes and earthquakes are the major hazards to contemplate. While the death and destruction caused by earthquakes can be quite substantial in urban areas, they usually only leave small scale physical scars on the landscape, with open cracks in the ground and some local land or lake level changes. Whereas volcanoes can be incredibly destructive, destroying anything in the erupted lava's path whether human or natural vegetation. When the lava cools it leaves bare rock, vegetation growth is then relatively slow and it may take many plant successions before the climatic climax vegetation is reached. This can prove particularly devastating in Ledc's where agriculture is the main income source and these large areas of newly created volcanic desert prove impossible to cultivate on. ...read more.

Middle

High buildings such as skyscrapers are more likely to remain standing if they are built using steel caged structures, small areas between each support, deep foundations on solid rock and a rubber pad placed between the building and its foundations. This can prove very expensive and is usually only seen in countries of high economic development where the settlement structure and population density are very dense and therefore after an earthquake the property damage would usually greatly outweigh the loss of life While on the other hand many Ledc's in earthquake zones cannot afford these expensive construction costs and even if they could there are sometimes corrupt government officials that divert the money elsewhere. Due to many of these Ledc's very high population densities while low levels of economic activity, the prominent feature after an earthquake would be the large loss of life. I have previously mentioned the negative effects of geomorphological hazards, but there are some positive impacts of these on humans. Mineral and metal reserves of copper, tin, silver and zinc as a result of volcanic activity provide valuable export trade for many developing countries e.g. ...read more.

Conclusion

So this attracts a large number of people to these areas for the farming opportunities, with some of the highest populations in the world located on volcanic soils. Below Vesuvius where they had been previous of volcanic eruptions leaving fine ash deposits is intensity farmed for wheat, tomatoes, maize, grapes, peaches and various others, and these yields produced are much higher than the national average. So for these positive reasons that I have mentioned including tourism, export trade, pollution free HEP and fertile soils. It is very logical that many people want to live and work in an area of geomorphological interest and that governments want to choose these locations for settlement and tourism opportunities. But with these benefits come risks, in the form of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions together with the secondary effects of mud flows which can cause extensive damage to both property and human life. And as these events are incredibly difficult to predict when and of what magnitude they will be, it makes living in these areas vulnerable and dependent upon nature. So I believe any government should carefully weigh up both the financial benefits and the possible loss of human life before they should choose a location for settlement or economic activity. Stephen Stewart ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Hazardous Environments section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Hazardous Environments essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The number of fatalities that result from volcanic and seismic natural hazards is related ...

    4 star(s)

    of earthquake proof buildings; buildings made of mud-brick (collapse easily into rubble); lack of enforcement of building codes / regulations; lack of research into techniques to protect the buildings from earthquakes; population boom and competition for houses (resulted in rapid building of sub-standard housing); lack of national plan for the

  2. "The Impacts of Natural Hazards include Social, Economic and environmental effects" Discuss this statement ...

    This is due to MEDC having advanced prediction, such is the case in Japan which is another multiple hazard region. Japan has a history of Earthquakes and cyclones similar to Sumatra. While earthquakes are still difficult to predict, Japan has built buildings to withstand the most destructive quakes (in a

  1. Suggest why droughts have severe impacts on people and the environment.

    Power companies, which run hydroelectric industries, will suffer greatly. Companies will have to pay higher prices for energy as more expensive fuels (oil) are used to replace hydroelectric power. Another major issue which people suffering from drought is disease; this is caused by lack of washing, themselves and food, eating bad crops and meat, and also from dead animals.

  2. Knowledge of plate tectonics helps us to understand geomorphological processes but has not significantly ...

    However this is slightly unrealistic and usually the best that can be achieved from this is some control and reduction of the impact a hazard will cause. An example of this can be seen along the San Andreas fault

  1. To what extent is magnitude the main factor to influence the type and level ...

    if the land is flat it won?t be as hard hitting as if it was mountainous. This shows us again that it magnitude might not be the most influential factor in determining the challenge posed by tectonic hazard and it may be a mixture of factors.

  2. Explain why tectonic processes produce a variety of contrasting landscapes 70 marks

    This hot magma rises to the surface of the sea floor and pushes its way through the crust to form a volcano. These underwater volcanos become larger over time and form a volcanic island arc. Examples of island arcs include Japan and the Caribbean islands.

  1. Tectonic Activity - A general introduction

    ? water exerts pressure on soil particles ? increases with shaking and water molecules ?push? apart the soil particles ? complete loss of soil strength and stability ? reduces load-bearing capacity and buildings can sink into the ground. For example, in Mexico City, 1985, where parts of the city were built on ancient lake sediments.

  2. The World Distribution of Population is as important as the world distribution of areas ...

    A particularly area of distribution is the Ring of Fire because it exemplifies the connection between the risks associated with high density areas of population and seismic activity combined. In laying home to over 800 million people, 90% of world earthquake activity and 50% of the world's active volcanoes; the

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work