GEO 104 Chapter 1 Notes
GEO 104 Chapter 1 Notes Geo 104-001
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jennifer Gintovt on Tuesday September 6, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Geo 104-001 at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa taught by Rona J. Donahoe in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 23 views. For similar materials see Hazardous Earth in Geology at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa.
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Date Created: 09/06/16
GEO 104- Chapter 1: Introduction to Natural Hazards Haiti: • Jan 12, 2012 • 7.0 M • killed 240,000 • injured 300,000 • death tolls linked to poor construction methods Northern California, Loma Prieta: • Oct 17, 1989 • 7.1 M • killed 63 • injured 4,000 Processes and Natural Hazards • process o physical, chemical, and biological ways in which events affect Earth’s surface • Internal processes o Forces within earth § Ex. Plate tectonics § Internal processes are the result of internal energy of earth • External processes o Forces on earth’s surface § Ex. Weather patterns, storms related to weather § Driven by energy from the sun Hazzard, disaster, or catastrophe? • Hazard o Any natural process/event that has potential to cause harm to human life/property • Disaster o Occurs over a limited time/in a defined area o Criteria (only one of the three are required) § 10 or more deaths § 100 or more people affected § declared state of emergency § there may be a need for international assistance • Catastrophe o massive disaster o significant damages that require a large sum of money or time to fix Why study natural hazards? • Public knowledge o Helps minimize loss of life and property o since 1974- 4 mil people have died as a result of natural hazards Biggest killer? 1. Flooding ~9,000/yr 2. Earthquakes 3. Volcanic eruptions 4. Tsunamis 5. Windstorms o Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, windstorms, and tsunamis are less frequent, but typically have a larger magnitude Disaster trends: • Recent, dramatic increase in natural disasters o Earthquakes: Haiti, New Zealand, japan o Hurricanes: Katrina o Tornadoes, Oklahoma, Alabama, etc. Death and damage as a result of Natural Hazards • Effects of hazards can differ • Hazards that have the greatest impact on human life may not have greatest effect on property (and vice versa) o Ex. Disease, famine, drought • Hazards ability to cause catastrophes vary History and natural hazards: • Repetitive • An area’s history offers clues to the potential hazards that can occur there o Human documentation: Maps, historical accounts, climate and weather data o Natural records: rock types, faults, folds, soil comp. Geologic cycles: • Geo. Conditions govern the type, location, and intensity of natural processes • All processes are called geologic cycles • Subcycles: o Tectonic § Large-scale processes that deform earth’s crust and produce landforms § Forces within earth are the cause § Involves the creation/destruction/movement of tectonic plates • Helps explain… o Location of mountains/volcanoes o Distribution of earthquakes Magnitude-frequency concept: • The larger more devastating events tend to have a lower frequency o Rock § Aggregates of one of more minerals § Different rocks are formed through different processes • Igneous • Metamorphic (to change; form) • Sedimentary § Recycling and transformation of earths materials § Linked to all other cycles: • Energy comes from tectonic cycle • Water for erosion and weathering from hydrologic cycle • Minerals from biogeochemical cycles o Hydrologic § Solar energy drives movement of water between atmosphere and oceans/continents § Processes include • Evaporation • Precipitation • transpiration • Surface runoff • Infiltration • Freezing/thawing • sublimation • Subsurface flow § Water is stored in compartments such as oceans/atmosphere/rivers/streams/etc. • Reservoirs include- ocean, streams, lakes, ice, groundwater, soil water, atmosphere • Residence time is estimated average time that a drop of water spends in any compartment • Only a small amount of water is active at any given time o Biogeochemical § Combines three previous cycles § Transfer of chemical elements through a series of reservoirs § Many important chemical elements are not well understood • Carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus Fundamental concepts for understanding natural processes as hazards • Science helps predict natural hazards a. Scientific method i. Question-observations®hypothesis (prediction) ® data collection®theory (potentially violated) ® more data collection® law b. Uniformitarianism i. James Hutton-1785 1. Present is key to past 2. The processes that happen today have been happening for years ii. Human interaction affects geological processes 1. Present is key to future 2. Peoples actions today affect future hazards iii. Environmental unity 1. One action causes others in a chain of actions and events c. Prediction vs. forecasting i. Prediction- specific date, time, and magnitude ii. Forecasting- range of probability for event iii. Some hazards can be predicted; most can only be forecasted 1. Identify location of probable event a. Most hazardous areas are mapped b. Ex. Volcanoes/earthquakes occur near plate boundaries 2. Determine probability of event 3. Observe precursor events • Risk analysis a. Risk= (probability of event) x (consequences) b. Consequences= damages to people, property, economics c. Acceptable risk i. The amount of risk that an individual or society is willing to take d. Can’t always assess the probability of the event or the magnitude of the consequences • Linkages a. Hazards linked to each other (Environmental Unity) i. Some events can cause others 1. Ex. Earthquakes ® landslides b. Physical environment is linked to hazards i. Ex. subsidence ® flooding, coastal erosion ii. Volcanic eruptions ® global warming • Humans can cause disasters into catastrophes a. 7.445 billion people b. can cause earthquakes, landslides, subsidence • Consequences can be minimized a. Effects: i. Direct- flood waters carry homes away ii. Indirect- psychological effects b. Minimizing impact of disaster i. Recovery 1. Declaration of state of emergency 2. Restoration- power, water, basic functions 3. Reconstruction- back to where we were before the event The good that comes from hazards: • Flooding causes nutrients to be added to the soil • Landslides form dams to create lakes • Volcanoes create new land + add nutrients • Earthquake faults build mountains and provide locations for freshwater springs
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