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

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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.

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