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Restless Earth and the Distribution of Life

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  • Essay length: 1138 words
  • Submitted: 11/07/2002
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AS and A Level Hazardous Environments

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Restless Earth and the Distribution of Life

The phrase 'Restless Earth' can be used to describe the constantly changing and evolving

nature of this planet. When contemplating this phrase, one could consider the theory of plate

tectonics as being the main theme within the concept of a restless earth. The phrase can also

be interpreted in an ecological sense when considering the genesis of life on earth, its evolution

and the global distribution of species. By studying areas of tectonic and volcanic activity;

concepts that can be jointly considered; ecologists, geologists and geographers are able to

garner an idea of how life first develops on newly formed land.

The volcanic island of Surtsey, located in the ocean south of the Westman Islands off the

coast of Iceland, built up out of the ocean following an eruption that started in 14 November

1963. The island now stands at 172m above sea level and has an area of approximately 2.5

sq. km (Fridiksson, 1975). This relatively new-formed island provides excellent case study

material for exploring the dual concepts of a

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