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

The World Distribution of Population is as important as the world distribution of areas of tectonic activity in predicting the hazards of volcanic activity. Discuss this statement

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

October 23rd �The world distribution of population is as important as the world distribution of areas of tectonic activity in predicting the hazards of volcanic activity�. Discuss this statement (40 marks)   A hazard is a danger or risk and a natural disaster deals out a great number. It can be hypothesised that the greatest hazards posed by natural disasters are upon humans, so in knowing where populations are located we can predict the risks of volcanic activity. Hence, it appears common sense would dictate the statement to be entirely true, however, with the addition of a distinction between two arguments it is not always the case. The first states that in a dense area the main hazard is high death tolls, infrastructure loss, famine and epidemics, so distribution of population is vitally important, but the second identifies how in areas of sparse population, other severe effects will occur so population distribution is limited in its predictive advantage; additional effects being those on an international scale, environmental and supply side shocks. Population distribution refers to the patterns of people spread across a given area, often associated with population density (the average number of people per square kilometre). ...read more.

Middle

With a population of 500,000 people, 147 were killed because the 40mph lava flows reached the densely populated area quickly. 1/3 of Goma was destroyed along with 14 villages along the path to Goma, from the Volcano and through the valley. Therefore, such an eruption would have benefited from focus on the population dispersion analysis rather than just when the volcano would erupt because evacuations needed to have been put in place. The pseudo-mathematical equation for risk 'Risk = Hazard x Value x Vulnerability / Capacity' (Value indicating the elements at risk (number of human lives, economic value of property, etc., while vulnerability refers to factors which increase the susceptibility to the impact of hazards) highlights how the number of human lives and property at risk and the susceptibility of these individuals is a bigger factor than the simplicity of seismic activity distribution because the environment can recoup and the volcano is the effector not the effected. More importantly, the density of 'Value' and 'Vulnerability' was the factor which most increased and determined hazards.   Contrastingly, the 1980 eruption of Mount St Helen's did not lead to massive casualties because, whilst there were some deaths as a result of the eruption, there were relatively few because of its location in Washington State, with no nearby cities. ...read more.

Conclusion

The difference lies in how some areas, i.e. those which are densely populated, have found that population is vital in determining the severity of hazards at a time of volcanic activity, whereas there are other areas where there has been a small population i.e. sparsely distributed populations, but a massive international effect has occurred as a result of the eruption, leaving population distribution with no predictive capacity in such cases. Therefore, no one factor can be stated as the single most important item in determining whether or not and to what extent a volcano should be perceived as a hazard because each volcanic event is unique. For the future the statement, "Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, Northern America and Oceania are highly urbanised, with proportions urban ranging from 70 to 82 per cent in 2010. Africa and Asia remain mostly rural, with only 40 and 42 per cent of their population living in urban settlements, respectively. By mid-century, however, all regions will be mostly urban, indeed more than 60 percent urban, according to current projections" (United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division) is suggestive that population distribution is only going to become more present as a factor, but will never be the sole variable. Georgia Amos   ...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)

    (illustrated in figure 3) A seismic natural hazard, is most commonly thought to be an earthquake, however an earthquake can be the cause of many other natural hazards, such as tsunamis. An earthquake is a sudden release of energy in the earth's crust creating seismic waves.

  2. Describe and explain the global distribution of volcanoes and earthquakes.

    As one island volcano becomes extinct, another develops over the hotspot, and the cycle is continues. This process of volcano growth and death, over millions of years, has left a long trail of volcanic islands and seamounts across the Pacific Ocean floor. Earthquakes can also occur away from plate boundaries.

  1. Describe the global distribution of earthquakes.

    This leads to buildings collapsing and for sand to explode onto the surface to create 'sand volcanoes' and 'boils'. Earthquake shaking commonly triggers many landslides (a comprehensive term for several types of hill slope failure) in hilly and mountainous areas.

  2. The hazards presented by volcanic and seismic events have the greatest impact on the ...

    disaster, whereas the locals did not often have very sturdy shelters and nowhere to go after the disaster happened. The volcanic eruption of Nevada del Ruiz in Bolivia is another example of how some of the poorest people can be so badly affected by these events.

  1. The Global Distribution of Geophysical Hazards

    India has a very low risk of receiving earthquakes. The big death toll in Turkey is due mainly to a 7.6 magnitude earthquake that occurred in1999 killing 18000 people. Turkey sits on the Anatolian plate which is surrounded by the Eurasian, African and Arabian plates making it vulnerable on all sides.

  2. "Poor countries are more at risk from natural hazards than rich countries" How far ...

    of Bangladesh's GNP and therefore will take them longer to recover, looking at the wider view. Impacts also vary between MEDCs as well. This is often due to the magnitude of the event as technology or prediction techniques have no influence on the size of the event.

  1. California and the Phillippines - Hazard Hotspots and Human Management of Risks

    This was true even among survivors of the 1965 Taal eruption. The lack of escape boats was also of minimal concern. Islanders referred to a building set up by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology (PIV), as a form of ?volcanic eruption insurance policy?.

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

    A further, factor which plays its part in the outcome of tectonic events is Frequency. In this I will examine how influential it is for an earthquake to constantly occur or to never occur in a certain area and what impacts that may have.

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