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Knowledge of plate tectonics helps us to understand geomorphological processes but has not significantly increased our ability to manage geomorphological hazards. Discuss this view.

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Introduction

Knowledge of plate tectonics helps us to understand geomorphological processes but has not significantly increased our ability to manage geomorphological hazards. Discuss this view. Having knowledge does not necessarily mean you can solve a problem, having the resources and facilities, however does. Our knowledge has changed to in the recent years of plate tectonics, where in the early 20th century, there as the continental drift theory published saying that a single continent existed about 300 million years ago. This continent was called Pangaea, and later he said it split into to smaller continents. This theory was then developed on from the mid 20th century, when ocean ridges (such as the mid Atlantic ridge) were discovered. The magnetic striping showing how the rocks are much older and were erupted in times when the earth had a different polarity. The sea floor spreading also led to our knowledge of plate boundaries, as if there is some spreading of plates then at some point there must be a plate being destroyed. Evidence for this was then found afterwards with big oceanic trenches where part of the oceanic floor as being destroyed. ...read more.

Middle

Protection is the other way to manage a hazard, where the aim is to protect property from the impact of the hazard, but this can also happen with insuring against losses (in MEDCs) and the supply of aid (in LEDCs). Our success of managing hazards can be summed up in their success, for example on Mt Etna, diverting the flow of lava with dynamite was more successful than the Japanese where they thought they were prepared for earthquakes but the Kobe earthquake had a large detrimental effect on their society. With earthquakes there has also been many developments in the more economically developed world where there is suitable capitol for modifying the vulnerability. Building design is a vital element in protecting against earthquakes. There can be large concrete weights in a building to act as a pendulum, shock absorbers built into the foundations of the building and cross bracing to hold the building together when it shakes. The difference in construction technologies and their effectiveness to protect against earthquakes can easily be seen in a comparison between an MEDC and an LEDC. For example in California in the 1989 earthquake (7 on the Richter scale) ...read more.

Conclusion

We can also involve land use planning in areas that we believe to be in a danger zone due to our knowledge of plate tectonics, slopes and climate, by not allowing construction in areas that are designated high risk. In conclusion, I believe that to some extent, our improved knowledge of plate tectonics has increased our ability to manage geomorphological hazards, but not significantly enough to be a huge advantage to us. Our predictions are much better than they used to be, as we know the areas we should monitor due to our knowledge of plate boundaries and hot spots. Also we know how certain aspects of our geology are effected and therefore we can protect against them, for example we know how P,S and L waves work in Earthquakes and therefore we can build infrastructure that will be able to with last these. However manageing the event itself is largely unsuccessful, with people getting injures due to failed attempts. There have only been a few attempts of successful modification of the event such as Etna. Therefore I come to the conclusion that our ability to modify vulnerability has improved from our knowledge, but our ability to modify the event has not to a large extent due to resources. ?? ?? ?? ?? Rachael Burden ...read more.

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